Celestix Unveils ISA 2004-based Appliances

Celestix Networks, one of several Microsoft partners building firewall appliances based on Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2004, began shipping its systems this week.

Celestix bills its line the Multifunction Security Appliance (MSA), a term that takes into consideration the ISA 2004 firewall's additional capabilities as a VPN and Web caching server.

The new Celestix security appliances are the MSA 2000, an SMB-focused device that will list for $3,500; the MSA 4000, a 1U appliance aimed at medium-sized customers and priced at $6,000; and the MSA 5000, the high-end version with an Intel Xeon processor and a $10,000 price tag. The MSA 2000 and MSA 4000 are available immediately. The MSA 5000 is scheduled for availability early next month.

Neil Matz, senior product manager at Celestix, says integration of ISA into an appliance is a necessity for Microsoft's firewall to compete with other firewall vendors on the market, who mostly bring integrated hardware/software packages to the table.

Meanwhile, Matz says, having ISA 2004 installed on a server will save customers money. "It will cost the same or be cheaper," Matz said. "You go out and purchase ISA, then you have to purchase the hardware. Then you have to spend the time and install it. By the time you've got all that done and system hardened the device, really it's about the same or more expensive than purchasing MSA 2000."

Microsoft made ISA Server 2004 generally available in July. HP was the first vendor with a hardware solution built on the firewall, the HP ProLiant DL320 Firewall/VPN/Cache Server. Other companies in the ISA-based hardware market include Network Engines, Pyramid Computer, RimApp Technologies and Wortmann.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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