HP, Microsoft team on security portfolio

HP, Microsoft team on security portfolio

HEWLETT-Packard is to introduce a server that will act as a firewall, VPN and cache appliance running Microsoft security software.

The hardware vendor has announced that it will launch a ProLiant DL320 server powered by Microsoft’s Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 suite. This is designed to protect applications against new and emerging threats, while delivering the flexibility of VPN, cache and firewall capabilities.

The venture was announced in a joint statement by the companies at the US round of Microsoft’s TechEd 2004 conference, which will be in New Zealand in August.

However, the device will only be released in August or September this year as ISA Server 2004 is still in the final production stage, and according to Lucas Searle, Microsoft New Zealand Windows Server System product manager, it will only be sold through the HP channel here.

“We share many channel partners, so there will be some duplication,” he adds.

Searle says ISA Server 2004 will be available to the Microsoft channel as a stand-alone product, replacing ISA Server 2000, at around the same time as the HP appliance is shipped.

The software offers application layer firewall, VPN and web cache capabilities, which Microsoft claims will enable customers to improve network security and performance.

Searle says combining ISA Server 2004 with HP hardware as a single offering is a first for this suite.

“It is quite a natural fit and is very useful where people have ProLiants in use running Exchange or Sharepoint Server — they can extend security for email and internet access using similar boxes and software.”

The device could replace other hardware- based firewalls, depending on the security needs of a customer, he adds. “ISA is very powerful to particular kinds of security because it is application aware,” he says. “It [provides] a whole degree of simplicity for IT people and a better experience for users.”

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