Some VARs A Bit 'Anti' On Symantec's New Antispam Gateways

The products--the Symantec Mail Security 8100 and 8200--blend the Cupertino, Calif., security vendor's antivirus technology with antispam technology it acquired from Brightmail in June. Solution providers previously offered these technologies as separate solutions and built integration services around them. But now that there's a plug-and-play antivirus/antispam appliance, they may have to find that service revenue somewhere else, said David Sockol, president of Emagined Security, a San Carlos, Calif.-based solution provider.

"Don't get me wrong, these appliances are going to be fantastic," Sockol said. "But with these, [customers] are up and running in 30 minutes to an hour. So there's not really much opportunity for us to bill them for implementation."

Yet Randy Cochran, vice president of channels for the Americas at Symantec, said the new appliances will be greater than the sum of their antivirus and antispam parts. "As a solution provider, it's great to be able to offer a turnkey solution," he said. "This is a lead horse that can get resellers in the door for additional sales."

Symantec plans to roll out three devices first. In the 8200 line, the Symantec Mail Security 8240 is designed for midsize businesses with anywhere from 100 to 1,000 users, and the Symantec Mail Security 8260 is earmarked for enterprises with 1,000 to 2,000 users. In the 8100 series, the Symantec Mail Security 8160 is positioned as a premium, traffic-shaping appliance for enterprises and ISPs and is geared for organizations of more than 2,000 users.

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Although the new appliances will simplify low-value technical and administrative tasks such as installation and patch management, they also should yield additional revenue, said Tom MacArthur, vice president of sales at Storbase, a Waltham, Mass.-based solution provider.

"Organizations are demanding greater control over e-mail security policies," MacArthur said. "[These appliances] address these needs."

Pricing wasn't available for any of the units, but Symantec executives said they plan to employ subscription models for content updates.