Niche network device maker manufacturer Lantronix has claimed to have hit on a cheaper, more workable alternative to VPN.
It is urging system builders to join its managed service providers in a
channel managed by distributor Acal (part of Avnet).
For 12 years Lantronix has concentrated on the safe but unexciting device server market, turning over $60m (£30m) last year.
Now the company is moving beyond its specialisation of connecting serial ports to Ethernet networks.
Its new invention, virtual device networks (VDNs), would enable remote networked devices, such as laptops, servers or peripherals, to be managed from a central console, without experiencing the blockages and security compromises that plague users on virtual private networks (VPNs).
Although the primary target market will be service organisations that have to remotely support hundreds of PCs and pieces of equipment, this could also provide a new lease of life for system builders, said Taqi Hasan, Lantronix senior product manager.
“If you are building systems and servers for clients, you can embed the security from the off. It is a good way of migrating your clients from being buyers of boxes to buyers of services,” he said.
The VDN product line consists of three elements: Device Linx; Manage Linx; and Secure Linx. Manage Linx is an application services platform that uses VIP Access, which simplifies remote access to firewall-protected equipment. The vendor claimed this will enable service providers to manage remote devices for their client more easily than can be achieved through SSL or IP SEC VPNs.
The system works by creating a device service manager, which then decides which users get access to which applications and file areas. “The beauty of the system is that the policies are a lot simpler and are unaffected by firewalls,” Hasan said.
Since the boxes that run this application are run on Linux, there is scope for VARs to run other applications on them, such as monitoring for their client.
Martin Kemp, product manager at Acal, said: “The product will be distributed in the UK by Acal. Manage Linx is a great product for the channel without the limitations of some VPNs. It gives our partners more flexibility and moves them further up the food chain.”
Hasan concluded: “VPNs are too complicated at the moment. It is a case of the solution becoming a problem.”
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