Reseller deal highlights interest in all-in-one security

A new reseller agreement will give Dell's customers access to ServGate's security equipment, demonstrating that interest in multi-function devices is on the rise.

ServGate Technologies Inc. has announced a partnership with Dell Inc. that will enable Dell customers to purchase ServGate's multi-function firewall.

The appliance, the EdgeForce M-30, now available through Dell, can support between 10 and 30 users. The Milpitas, Calif., security company plans six more products for Dell, the largest of which will support up to 1,000 users.

The EdgeForce M-30 includes a firewall, VPN and modules for antivirus, intrusion detection, antispam, Web filtering and a new feature that scans outgoing e-mail for inappropriate content.

Small and medium businesses are changing how they think about security, said Atchison Frazer, ServGate's vice president of marketing. "The conventional wisdom used to be that you set up your network and security was an afterthought. Now security is a primary concern," he said.

This demonstrates that the market for multipurpose security devices such as ServGate's is growing. Charles Kolodgy, research director with Framingham, Mass.-based research firm International Data Corp., projects that the market for such multi-function devices will grow by 80% during the next five years. Part of that growth will come from vendors adding multiple functions to existing product lines, Kolodgy said.

With such a growing market, the partnership between Dell and ServGate makes sense for both companies, Kolodgy said. ServGate gains a significant channel for reaching small and medium-sized business customers. And now Dell can get its feet wet in the security market.

"Now when a small business asks about security, Dell has something to provide them," Kolodgy said.

Network security was a key factor when Tempe, Ariz.-based Estenson Logistics was setting up its network last year. Jeff Schuler, IT manager at Estenson, was given the task of linking the company's 13 offices, many of which had no more than three or four people working in them.

Security was important, but it needed to be inexpensive and easy to manage. The offices are connected using an IPsec VPN.

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ServGate's EdgeForce M-30 costs just under $1,000, and Schuler said it provided the simplicity of deployment and management that he was looking for without breaking his budget.

Schuler is using intrusion detection in addition to the firewall and VPN and may add other features over time. He has confidence in the quality of features such as antivirus protection because ServGate has partnered with market leading companies for these features in the past.

"I am impressed with the way they were able to bring in big names, but still make the product accessible," Schuler said.

Though the base product lacks some features he would like, such as event logging, overall it fits his needs and has enabled him to link his offices securely and affordably.

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