NetContinuum Boosts Performance of Web Application Firewall

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The new NC-1100 family also brings improvements in deployment and manageability compared to NetContinuum’s first-generation NC-1000 series, said Varun Nagaraj, president and CEO of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

The NC-1100 products act as application proxies and aim to protect browser-based applications and the data they use against identity theft, data theft, fraud and service disruption. They can process approximately 12,000 transactions per second, a 10-times improvement, he said. In addition to security, caching and compression features in the NC-1100 product line help speed up performance and improve application availability, he said.

Also, customers no longer have to re-number the IP addresses of network devices that interact with the proxy, which until now has made deployment complicated, he said.

Nagaraj said he believes the timing is right for channel partners to bring on NetContinuum’s products. For example, a recent report from Symantec showed that 69 percent of vulnerabilities reported during the second half of 2005 impacted Web applications, a jump of 15 percent compared to the first six months of the year.

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“When customers expose their custom Web applications to the outside world, they inadvertently expose all kinds of sensitive data. There is a growing recognition of the risk,” Nagaraj said. “We’ll easily double our business between 2005 and 2006, and there are good margins still for the channel, so it’s a good time for partners to jump in.”

To help in its channel push, NetContinuum brought on a new channel director, Jan Poczobutt, in January and launched a new partner program in March that emphasizes joint sales calls and the development of joint business plans between partners and the vendor that are reviewed each quarter, Nagaraj said.

Vigilar, a security-focused solution provider and NetContinuum partner, is already seeing the effects of the new program, said Lee Rudd, vice president of operations at the Atlanta-based firm.

“We like what we’re seeing from a channel perspective. They’ve become what I’ll call aggressively engaged with us,” Rudd said, pointing to joint business planning, marketing activities and updated partner training as evidence.

Application firewalls are one of the hottest technology areas for Vigilar, which represents other vendors in the space, including F5 Networks, Rudd said. “Customers for years have had traditional firewalls, and now they’re moving to the application layer,” he said.

The NetContinuum NC-1100 products are scheduled to ship in May starting at $30,000.