Security's New Jack Of All Trades

Much more than a firewall, the product incorporates several security technologies into a handsome rack-mountable appliance. At $9,900, it proves to be quite affordable for midsize enterprises. What's more, the initial purchase price includes three months of WatchGuard's LiveSecurity Service support package, an MSP-like offering that combines human expertise with automated security controls.

It is important to note, however, that WatchGuard recently announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Francisco Partners, a Menlo Park, Calif., private equity fund. The $151 million cash-only deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to shareholder approval.

The 6500e is billed as a unified threat management (UTM) device and combines several security technologies with speed to meet the needs of a corporate network. The unit boasts raw throughput of 2 Gbps through its firewall and associated security processes. Backing that up are eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, which allow for network segmentation, failover connections, DMZ support and packet capture.

WatchGuard also offers optional antispam, antivirus, Web filtering and antiphishing products to prevent both coordinated and uncoordinated attacks, which feed into its zero-day protection capabilities.

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While WatchGuard is focused on 100 percent distribution via the channel, recent software problems have shaken partners' confidence in its ability to meet the channel's needs. A good channel program consists of more than just policies and marginsit also must be able to provide partners with the technology that can fuel sales and meet customer needs. Indications are that the company is working to resolve these issues and offer more reliable products and more opportunities for partners.