March 12, 2004
Cisco Systems Inc. today announced it plans to buy security software vendor Twingo Systems Inc. for $5 million in cash, a move that may help bring more price competition in the crowded SSL VPN market (see The Lowdown on SSL VPNs ).Cisco is planning to incorporate Twingo’s Virtual Secure Desktop into its WebVPN solution, beginning with the VPN 3000 Concentrator Series. The move is an attempt to steal a march on rival vendors in a burgeoning market.
The good news is that end users are set to gain from this, according to Lehman Brothers analysts, who write in a research note to clients that “pricing pressure is likely to accelerate in this segment overthe medium-term."The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN space is one of the fastest growing parts of the security market, according to Lehman Brothers. A number of vendors, including Juniper/NetScreen, Nortel, and Cisco, are all jostling for position.
But prices may not come down immediately, cautions Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for VPNs and security at market research firm Infonetics Research Inc. “Users should investigate the technology to see if it resolves their remote access issues. If it does, then they should know that pricing is going to change significantly over the next year, with the entry of the large players.”
Things have certainly been hotting up in the VPN market recently (see Infonetics Gives VPN, Security Stats). Last month Juniper announced its $4 billion bid for NetScreen Technologies, aligning itself for a run at the enterprise business and at Cisco.
Cisco’s acquisition of Twingo, which is expected to close in the third quarter, was comparatively cheap, but strategically important (see Cisco Prepping SSL Story and Cisco Takes a Stab at SSL).
Cisco's VPN 3020 solution supports up to 200 concurrent SSL VPN users, which doesn’t compare favorably to the 1,000 to 2,500 SSL VPN users supported by NetScreen.
“By integrating Twingo into its VPN & Security Business, we believe Cisco may aim to leverage Twingo's technology and engineering resources towards its internal efforts to develop a large scale SSL VPN solution,” writes Lehman analyst Tim Luke.
Cisco did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum
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