F5 adds SSL VPN to its Big-IP

New product combines SSL VPN security with existing access control and WAN optimization

F5 Networks has added a new member to its Big-IP application delivery family that combines SSL VPN security with existing access control and WAN optimization, enabling businesses to eliminate VPN gateways.

With Big-IP Edge Gateway, individual computers can connect to corporate networks securely and at the same time have the protected traffic optimized to account for network conditions, protocol inefficiencies and application chattiness.

The box also enables wireless roaming via Wi-Fi and cellular networks. F5's Edge Client software on the remote PC supports both the SSL VPN and the optimization.

The new Big-IP combines the SSL VPN functionality of F5's Firepass appliances, and makes it possible for businesses to eliminate one appliance -- SSL VPN gateway -- at the edge of their networks.

The company has also introduced services on the Big-IP devices via a software upgrade. These include location information that connects users to the nearest Big-IP or balances traffic among several Big-IPs that optimize traffic to multiple data centers, for example.

An access policy manager can check credentials against policy servers and enforce access restrictions. With a desktop agent running on remote computers, the policy manager can also perform endpoint configuration checks and apply network-access control policies.

The software also adds new WAN optimization features for virtual environments that keep sessions alive as new virtual machines are created dynamically in VMware environments.

The Big-IP Edge Gateway is available in two models. The base listing price for Edge Gateway 1600 is $17,995, supporting 300 users, with extra licenses available at $US1,495 for 100 and $US5,495 for 500. Edge Gateway 8900 is $US254,975 and supports 40,000 users.

The latest software version for Big-IP is also available now.

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Tim Greene

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