Netscaler Fulfilling Partner Promises

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor last week introduced features for its secure application switch line that add SSL VPN and caching capabilities to the switches. Slated for availability in August, the features will be incorporated into new switches and also sold as software upgrades for current Netscaler customers.

Previously, the switches provided Layer 4 through 7 switching, HTTP compression, SSL acceleration and packet inspection.

Because SSL VPNs provide remote access without the need for client software, there is a lot of momentum behind the technology, said Raj Kanaya, senior director of product strategy at Netscaler. "There are big benefits for remote users," he said. "But in our view, the SSL VPN vendors are only providing access when what end users need is secure application delivery."

Steve Johnson, vice president and general manager of eDeltacom, a Suwanee, Ga.-based Netscaler partner, said that adding SSL VPN and caching capabilities to the Netscaler switches is a competitive advantage. "Customers are demanding solutions that are easier to manage," Johnson said. "Combining security, caching, multilayer switching and optimization into one appliance will give them the edge."

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Meanwhile, Netscaler is finessing its channel program, adding to its channel support team and recruiting partners, said Arif Razvi, director of worldwide channels at Netscaler. The company is working more closely with its larger regional partners and recruiting security solution providers into its fold, and the efforts are paying off. Channel sales have jumped to 19 percent of total sales from 6 percent, Razvi said.

Netscaler also has added 12 partners since March, bringing the total to 28, he said.

Johnson confirmed that he has seen a distinct change in channel support from Netscaler. Up until three months ago, his single contact at Netscaler was based in Baltimore, but now he has two channel account managers based in Atlanta. "In the past two months, I have made more sales calls with Netscaler face to face than I did in the previous two years," he said.