Neoteris Tuesday took the wraps off the latest version of its Instant Virtual Extranet appliance (IVE), which adds support for terminal applications like Telnet, native support for messaging programs like Microsoft's Outlook and Lotus Software Group's Notes and access to Web-enabled applications that use Java clients to run.
IVE is designed to be an alternative to virtual private networks (VPN) for companies that don't want to install the software and manage the configuration and administration of a VPN, said Jason Matlof, director of marketing at Mountain View, California, Neoteris. The IVE box can replace a VPN by acting as a proxy server and granting authorized users access to their files, shared folders and applications via a standard Web browser, Matlof said.
The box is placed between the corporate network and the Internet and receives all user requests for file, share and Web-enabled applications. It then routes those requests to the proper systems and returns the data to the user through the Web browser. Because the application uses a browser, there is no need to install a client on the remote PCs, Matlof said.
Version 2.0 of IVE adds support for a host of new applications, Matlof said. The device now offers support for the client-server applications Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, he said. IVE 2.0 allows the clients sitting on the remote PC to access information stored in Outlook or Notes servers by tricking the local client into thinking it's talking to the server when in fact it's only talking to a local Java applet, Matlof said. The applet then send the requests to the IVE box, which relays them to the Outlook or Notes servers and sends them back to the client, he said.
Also added the roster of supported programs is a Web front-end that simulates terminal applications, like Telnet and SSH (Secure Shell), that allows users remote access to Unix servers and other devices accessible via those applications, he said.
Support for Web-enabled applications that use Java applets has also been expanded in IVE 2.0, allowing the box to offer access to applications from companies like Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, he said.
Further improvements in the new version of the product include support for client-side PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and digital certificates and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) reporting, among other things, he said.
With the new version of IVE, Neoteris is set to steal market share and customers away from traditional VPNs due to its ease of use, said Galen Schreck, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.
"They're going to have a lot of success (in the remote access market)," he said.
A key component of that success will be the support for client-server applications like Outlook and Notes, Schreck said. Giving users the ability to use the standard client for those programs, rather than forcing them to a Web version, will make life easier for users, he said. Neoteris should look to add support for even more client-server applications, he added.
With IVE 2.0, Neoteris should see continued success, Schreck said.
"I think the performance is right up there with any other competing solution," he said. "From the ease of use standpoint, it's far ahead of static VPN tunnels."
IVE 2.0 will be available worldwide on June 7. The device is sold based on the number of simultaneous users and the type of functionality needed, Matlof said. A starting price of US$10,000 will give file and Web access to 50 simultaneous users, he said. Prices rise based on configurations, with $100,000 getting 1,000 simultaneous users access to all services, he said.