Microsoft Touts First Fruits Of Whale Deal


IAG 2007 marries Whale's SSL VPN and Web application firewall technologies with Microsoft's Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA), said Joel Sloss, senior product manager for Microsoft Edge Security and Access Products group.

Before the acquisition, Whale shipped its own hardware, in the form of a dual server with an e-Gap switch in between, Sloss noted. Now, IAG 2007 and ISA run on the same server under a single motherboard, and the gateway includes functionality such as traffic routing and network firewall, he added.

"ISA Server is taking the place of the e-Gap switch component to provide network separation on a single appliance," Sloss said.

IAG 2007 is available only as an appliance, and Microsoft's OEM partners will provide the hardware frontline services and support for the product, said Sloss. The Redmond, Wash.-based vendor has partnered with Network Engines and Celestix Networks and is looking for additional partners, he said.

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"The OEMs will own that relationship with the customer and provide maintenance and front line support. There's a real opportunity for additional revenue," said Sloss.

Hugh Kelly, vice president of marketing at Network Engines, a Canton, Mass.-based vendor that will be one of Microsoft's first OEM partners to deliver IAG 2007, says it's cheaper for companies to go the hardware route when deploying this type of technology.

"IAG 2007, because it's so complex, is much less expensive to deploy as a preconfigured appliance," Kelly said.

Prior to the acquisition, Whale had complex, expensive licensing terms for adding functionality and users, but with IAG 2007, Microsoft is moving to the standard server client access licensing model, Sloss said.

Microsoft also announced its has signed up more than 100 networking and security partners to support Network Access Protection, the vendor's long awaited network access control product, which will be ready for widespread use when Longhorn Server launches later this year.