Businesses today, both large and small, rely on remote connectivity to enable mobile workers to remain productive. There are countless SSL VPN solutions available for the enterprise, but the SMB has historically had to compromise on connectivity and security or use a device that's overkill. SonicWall designed its new SSL-VPN 200 with the needs and budgetary constraints of the SMB sector in mind.
The SSL-VPN 200 is an identity-based security appliance that provides secure remote access to a protected network. Designed for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and priced at $595, there are no license restrictions on the number of concurrent user tunnels, but the device is recommended for a maximum of 10 concurrent users generating typical traffic or five concurrent users generating heavy traffic.
The SonicWall SSL-VPN 200 provides users with secure remote access to an entire private network, to individual systems or even to individual applications hosted on Microsoft Terminal Servers. For security purposes, a solution provider can predefine the resources that are accessible to specific users or groups. Data is protected against eavesdropping using 128-bit SSL encryption between the network and remote end points.
SonicWall's SSL-VPN appliance provides clientless, identity-based remote access. Solution providers do not have to install or update clients on user PCs because there's no need for a pre-installed VPN client. Instead, a NetExtender client is automatically installed on remote PCs as an ActiveX component. The client sets up a virtual adapter for secure access to permitted network resources. The VPN appliance supports File Shares, Telnet, SSH, FTP, RDP and other protocols.
The SSL-VPN 200 offers basic filtering capabilities but does not contain a built-in firewall. (Solution providers should therefore combine the VPN appliance with a SonicWall firewall or one from another vendorit will work with most third-party firewalls.) When used in conjunction with one of SonicWall's firewalls, the SSL-VPN 200 will route traffic through the firewall's deep packet inspection engine to provide enhanced dynamic threat protection. When the VPN appliance is used in conjunction with a SonicWall Internet security appliance, the traffic can be fully inspected for viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other evil bits of code.
The SonicWall appliance is easy for solution providers to deploy and easy for users to use. The solution provider sets up policies that allow or prevent specific users from accessing specific resources. Once that process is completed, users are presented with custom Web interfaces that display only the resources that are available to them based on the policies specified by the solution provider.
The main compromise that SMB users must make with the SSL-VPN 200 is that it does not support high availability; if it goes down, so does all remote access functionality. Companies that need high-availability remote access will need a more robust and more expensive VPN appliance.
SonicWall's tri-level channel program aims to meet the needs of VARs of all sizes. The entry-level program is for Approved channel partners, who have a minimum requirement of registering with SonicWall and demonstrating that they are legitimate Value-Added Resellers. Approved partners receive regular communication of promotions and events, scheduled WebEx products and solutions training and membership in the Partner Advantage Sales Incentive Program. SonicWall did not disclose a margin range for products sold by Approved partners.
Partners in the next tier, Silver, must have one CSSA on staff, meet a sales volume of $40,000 annually and submit a marketing plan developed with a SonicWall representative. Silver partners garner all of the Approved partner benefits, plus an assigned SonicWall field representative and a 27 percent discount off MSRP at distribution.
The top partner tier is the Gold level. Gold-level partners must meet all of the requirements of Silver partners, plus bring in $100,000 in sales and have an additional CSSA as well as a certified GMS expert on staff. Gold-level partners get all of the benefits offered to the lower tiers in addition to having direct access to SonicWall marketing and receiving a 32 percent product discount.
Those interested in partnering with SonicWall will find that the company offers more than 28 free classroom and Web-based training courses. Technical Web-based courses are free to channel partners and are designed to fully prepare partners for certification testing.