WatchGuard announces launch of virtual appliances

WatchGuard is to move into the virtual firewall market this month with four appliances.

The company is launching virtual versions of its XTM and XCS solutions this month that can run on a single vSphere hypervisor, with products available for small, mid-sized and large environments.

XTMv and XCSv will also offer application control, reputation-enabled defence, intrusion prevention, gateway anti-virus, web-blocker and spam-blocker features.

Eric Aarrestad, vice-president of marketing at WatchGuard, told SC Magazine said that the company was conscious of demand for a move to virtualisation and it already had 400 beta customers.

He said: “The product is the same as the appliance but we are offering four versions of each for the small office to the data centre; it is controlled by a licence for the number of users and throughput.

“We see three scenarios: multi-tenancy with the managed security service provider (MSSP) being asked by IT for something that is partitional for the customer; for users who are experiencing growth in the mid-market who need app control; and for those looking to virtualise specific areas but are unsure about how to determine the perimeter.

“We also anticipate large adoption with branch consolidation as, rather than have five appliances, they will have a virtual appliance. This is a top-down strategy as software virtual options are growing and we want to provide this to customers.”

WatchGuard said the XCSv series can manage traffic passing within the virtual infrastructure and be deployed alongside messaging and web servers and across internal networks between virtual machines in the same cluster or on the same server.

WatchGuard has also announced that Dundee City Council has installed its next-generation firewalls and content protection appliances as part of its investment in enhanced security, better performance and greater defence in depth for its IT systems. It has selected the XTM 810 and XCS 770R solutions to secure more than 100 council sites and 6,000 users across offices, depots, schools and libraries.

Don Higson, IT projects officer at Dundee City Council, said: “We currently receive around four million emails every month, of which typically 20 per cent is clean. That's a lot of spam and potential malicious threats, but the fast throughput and accuracy of the WatchGuard XCS appliances mean that almost all of these emails are blocked before they get to our users – that mitigates the risks and reduces wasted time checking through unwanted messages.

“By combining powerful anti-spam and anti-virus along with our planned introduction of strong data leakage prevention capabilities, the WatchGuard XCS will protect sensitive data behind the firewall.”

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