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Symantec Launches Midmarket Security Appliance

The new appliances will support between 100 and 200 nodes, and will feature the same security software as the company's enterprise-grade devices but will be offered with unlimited license agreements.

Symantec said Monday that it is launching a new edition to its Gateway Security appliance product line.

Aimed at small and mid-market customers, the new 1620 and 1660 SGS appliances from Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., will support 100 to 200 nodes, respectively. The new appliances will feature the same security software as the enterprise grade 5600 series appliances, but will be offered with unlimited license agreements, which VARs say is crucial to the growing mid-market type business that these appliances are targeted toward.

There are a lot of businesses with 100 to 200 employees, they are growing, and they are constantly adding additional users, making it difficult and expensive to deal with adding additional license agreements, said Jeff Tye, founder of Tuscon Ariz-based solution provider, GMP Networks. Symantec's low-end 460 SGS appliances didn't support enough users for mid-market customers, and it didn't have the same functionality as the larger SGS appliances, Tye said. While the high-end 5600 supports enough users, licensing creates considerably higher costs, making these new appliances ideal for their targeted market, Tye said.

"There are lots of companies that are growing like that, but now they don't have to get hammered by licensing," he said.

Dave Kramer, vice president of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based security solution provider Advanced Internet Security, said that the unlimited license agreement makes it easier for customers to understand what they're buying.

"It's going to make it much easier to understand for the end user, with the 5600 series, you may have had more than 20 line items on the customer's bill to explain," Kramer said.

Symantec's pricing for the new appliances, including unlimited user licenses and a one year maintenance fee, is $1,200 for the 1620, and about $3,850 for the 1660. Upgrading licenses for the higher-end 5600 appliances could cost customers thousands, Tye said, who already has a customer thinking about buying the new boxes as opposed to renewing the maintenance fee on the larger 5600 appliances because it is so much cheaper.

Managing license agreements, particularly with smaller companies that are growing, was a big complaint among customers, said George Sluz, group product manager for Symantec, and the new appliances hope to resolve that issue.

"Now users are bound by the throughput of the box, not by how many dollars you gave us for a license," Sluz said.

The new appliances complete the SGS product line, that was lacking a small, and more mid-market offering that was cost-effective and easy to manage, Sluz said. The appliances, which offer full-inspection firewall, SSL and IPsec VPN, gateway virus protection, anti-spam, intrusion prevention and content filtering, are available now.

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