The Lowdown on SSL VPNs

Light Reading's paid research division, Heavy Reading, could hardly have picked a better time to launch its latest report, a survey of SSL VPN products, than yesterday (see Heavy Reading Analyzes SSL VPNs).

By coincidence, Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) chose the same moment to announce its intended acquisition of NetScreen Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: NSCN) (see Juniper Buys NetScreen).

The connection? There's little doubt that NetScreen's attractiveness as a potential acquisition target was enhanced by its own acquisition of an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN startup, Neoteris, last year (see NetScreen Snags SSL Leader).

The upshot is that the hot SSL VPN market has got a whole lot hotter in the past 24 hours, particularly as speculation is rife that further acquistions could be in the pipeline. Right now, for instance, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) appears to have some catching up to do in the SSL VPN marketplace (see Cisco Prepping SSL Story).

Cue Heavy Reading's report, entitled "SSL VPN Products: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis," which evaluates all the players in the market in granular detail.

The market for SSL VPNs has become popular, crowded, and complex, says the report. Although significant differences exist in SSL VPN hardware, the real differentiators are in the software. The most important distinction between products is how the SSL VPN gateway communicates with clients, what applications it enables, and how it secures those applications.

An executive summary can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

In the report, author David Newman, president of Network Test, surveys SSL VPN gateways from 16 vendors:

Public Companies

Private Companies

The report also includes the full results of the world's biggest lab test of SSL VPN gateways, conducted by Network Test. A summary of this test of gateways from eight vendors, was published on Light Reading last December (see SSL VPNs: Access Anywhere, Anytime ).

The test results demonstrate that there's no such thing as the best SSL VPN gateway product. It all depends whether products are server- or appliance-based, and on how prospective purchasers view the relative importance of features, price, session rate, the maximum number of concurrent users, transaction rates, response times, forwarding rates, and security attributes.

Table 1: Best by Test
If this matters most to you� �check out this
server-based product:
�check out this
appliance-based product:
Features Aventail NetScreen
Price PortWise NetScreen
Session rate PortWise NetScaler
Concurrent users Nortel NetScaler
OWA concurrent users PortWise NetScaler
OWA transaction rate Nortel NetScaler
OWA URL response time Nortel Array
OWA page response time Nortel Array
OWA under attack Nortel NetScaler
Forwarding rate PortWise NetScaler
OWA = Outlook Web Access, the Webified version of Microsoft�s Outlook mail client

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading

Heavy Reading's 76-page report, SSL VPN Products: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis, costs $3,450.

robokon_tam 12/5/2012 | 2:28:22 AM
re: The Lowdown on SSL VPNs This article serves nothing but advertisement, again. My memory told me it's not the first time.

Did Juniper eye on SSL VPN from NetScreen? If so, Neoteris should have to regret, as they should be sold at least 2B to Juniper rather than ~300M only to NetScreen.

I don't see any points here beside the introduction of "heavy reading" report on SSL VPN. Yes, please place buy it.
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