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Kothari Guides Channel For NAC Startup FireEye

Security startup FireEye wants to stand out in the fast-growing network access control (NAC) market and has brought in a seasoned channel hand to help: former Juniper Networks worldwide channel chief Tushar Kothari.

A week after launching its inaugural FireEye 4200 NAC appliance, Menlo Park, Calif.-based FireEye on Monday plans to unveil a channel program guided by former Juniper Networks worldwide channel chief Tushar Kothari.

Kothari, who started his own consulting practice after leaving Juniper, has been working with FireEye to create a channel program around the FireEye 4200. The new Firepower partner program includes a deal-registration component that gives partners a discount of upward of 20 percent compared with unregistered deals, according to Kothari.

"The way FireEye approaches NAC is very innovative, and by helping them marry that technology with the right partners, we will see results," Kothari said.

The FireEye 4200 employs virtualization technology that runs versions of various Windows operating systems to test devices attempting to connect to the network to determine whether they're infected with malware, said Ashar Aziz, president and CEO of FireEye.

Using virtual machines in NAC helps to root out vulnerabilities and analyze threats, Aziz added. "These virtual machines are like crash test dummies that run continuous tests of network traffic. The upshot of this approach is that we can more accurately find infected machines," he said.

David Gottesman, president of Technology Deployment Research, a San Francisco-based solution provider, thinks the use of virtualization technology in the NAC space is going to quickly put FireEye on the map.

"We like the aspect of using virtualization [in NAC] as a test ground for the different threats that are attempting to come through the network border," Gottesman said. "This enables you to find out if you have a malicious piece of code that is going to start taking down machines."

The FireEye 4200 is available now, priced starting at $29,995.

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