2009 Channel Contenders: Security Hardware3:00 PM EST Mon. Jul. 27, 2009
Cisco Systems enjoys market-leading status in the security hardware space, but there's a slew of other companies aiming to grab share with solution providers too. Here's a look at 10 companies that meet that criterion, according to the 2009 CRN Channel Contenders survey. The research sought to identify the top vendors that solution providers choose as alternatives to market leaders.
At one time Netgear was largely known for its network offerings, but has since emerged in the security space with a line of offerings -- its ProSecure UTM appliances -- that offers a strong focus on affordable security for SMBs. Meanwhile, Netgear continues to beef up its channel presence with hybrid appliance/subscription solutions for SMBs after it launched its ProSecure Security Threat Management Series earlier this year.
Among its array of laptops, desktops and printers, the hardware giant is edging into the security space with offerings that stand on their own merits. What does it offer that its competitors can't? HP contends that security should be inherently baked into its hardware products, not bolted on as an attachment. Meanwhile, the hardware company features an array of Web application security offerings -- most recently it launched a Web security tool to detect vulnerabilities in Flash applications.
Above all else, Barracuda Networks hails its network gateway and SSL VPN appliances as an affordable alternative to expensive high-end products -- a philosophy that drives the company's SMB business. The dedication to affordable security has been increasingly attractive to businesses in all market segments looking to meet security demands while cutting costs in the economic downturn.
Neck and neck with Barracuda was SonicWall. The network security vendor says its high-quality, enterprise-class solutions provide "best bang for the buck," which positions it as a strong alternative to market leader Cisco Systems.
WatchGuard has recently gained headway in the network security space and its partners hail the vendor for its service and support, which they say often surpasses larger competitors hands-down. The company even challenges competing alternative vendors on price for its Edge and Peak UTM lines, making its gateway products a big draw for SMBs.
Not surprising, network leader D-Link emerges on the radar as a strong contender in the firewall appliance space. Its security product line -- namely its firewalls, VPN routers and security gateways -- complete its vast portfolio of network offerings, which can integrate seamlessly with the rest of a customer's network infrastructure. Meanwhile, the company also fills the physical security as well as the IT security space, offering a strong line of Ethernet and IP security cameras.
3Com's acquisition of TippingPoint gave the company a big leg up as a hardware security contender. The company targets the enterprise and branch offices with a host of intrusion prevention and network access control products, touting technological innovation as its biggest draw.
CheckPoint is best known for its enterprise-class perimeter security appliances, marketed on their quality and reliability, but has recently targeted smaller markets with its UTM 1 appliances.
A network leader, Juniper has carved its niche in the security space with a comprehensive line of intrusion detection and prevention products, security gateways and SSL VPN appliances on a premise of technical innovation that competes well on cost with other market leaders.
McAfee made inroads into the firewall appliance space in June, launching a host of next-generation products following the acquisition of Secure Computing in October 2008. McAfee maintains that its biggest draw is that it offers a complete firewall package backed by McAfee's Global Threat Intelligence Network. Altogether, the firewall line -- McAfee Firewall Enterprise, McAfee Firewall Enterprise Control Center and McAfee Firewall Enterprise Profiler -- will be bundled into comprehensive network security suites at an attractive price point.