NetScaler debuts SSL appliance for the little guy

FRAMINGHAM (10/31/2003) - NetScaler Inc. this week unveiled an entry-level Layer 4-7 switching appliance that could add application acceleration, hacker protection, virtual private networks (VPNs) using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and content cashing to an enterprise.

The NetScaler Secure Application Accelerator could be added to an existing network for US$10,000, and provide remote access via SSL VPN connections. The box can also be used to cut off Web-based attacks while speeding up SSL-based Web transactions, like e-commerce applications.

With a $10,000 price tag, the Secure Application Accelerator is being targeted at small and midsize enterprises. NetScaler's focus in the past has been on large Web sites and enterprise networks, such as Google and 7-11, which use high-end NetScaler boxes for load balancing and application acceleration.

Like many competitors in the Layer 4-7 switch market, NetScaler is marketing its ability to provide security by recognizing and stopping Web-based denial-of-service attacks, such as ping floods. With the ability to inspect Internet Protocol (IP) packet headers at Layer 4, and application layer data at Layer 7, the box can analyze the nature of traffic flows and drop packets that match known attack patterns, the company says.

NetScaler is also marketing the Secure Application Accelerator as a SSL VPN box. The appliance is capable of supporting up to 2,500 SSL-based remote access VPN connections. SSL VPNs allow users with Web browser to access browser-based enterprise applications - such as e-mail - from almost anywhere via encrypted SSL links over IP.

In addition to VPNs and denial-of-service mitigation, the box can also act as a Web cache appliance. Both static and dynamic Web pages can be stored locally on the device for faster access, the company says.

The NetScaler Secure Application Accelerator will be available in November.

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