Vernier Has The Prescription For Remote Users

The company, an early entrant in the now-sizzling network access control market, this week plans to launch the EdgeWall Rx, an appliance that applies the same identity-based access and compliance controls to remote users as its EdgeWall line applies to internal users, said Sankar Venkatraman, director of worldwide channel marketing at the Mountain View, Calif., vendor.

Shaq Khan, CEO of Fortifire, a security specialist in Hayward, Calif., said extending policy-based protection to remote users is the logical “next step” for Vernier. “It allows us to apply the same access policies to wired, wireless and remote users.”

Supporting both IPsec VPNs and SSL VPNs, EdgeWall Rx sits between the VPN concentrator and the network, scanning all devices for worms, viruses and noncompliant software before applying granular access control and enforcing corporate policies. Like all EdgeWall appliances, EdgeWall Rx is governed by the Vernier Control Server, a central management server.

Venkatraman said customers are adding network access control to their budgets. “Last year, customers had line items for firewalls and [intrusion-prevention systems], maybe antispam,” he said. “But this year, almost everyone we talk to has a line item for network access control too.”

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Fortifire&s Khan agreed. “We&ve been selling Vernier for about a year and a half, and a lot of it has been about educating customers,” he said. But with Cisco Systems& recent Network Admissions Control initiative and Symantec planning to buy Sygate, a network access control vendor, customers are paying much closer attention, he said.

“It&s definitely catching on now,” Khan said. “The sales cycle is getting much shorter.”

Khan said Cisco&s focus on its Network Admissions Control initiative has been good for his Vernier business. “It has absolutely helped us,” he said. “When you get right down to it, Cisco is talking about something two years down the road and it&s all about upgrading switches,” he said. “Vernier is out there right now with a product that works without any network upgrades.”

EdgeWall Rx, available now, starts at about $19,000.