Ecessa Builds Firewall, VPN Gateway Into WAN Controller

Ecessa (formerly Astrocom) announced Tuesday its new ShieldLink WAN Link Controllers family for small and medium businesses.

The new product has all the features of Ecessa’s flagship PowerLink WAN controllers, but adds a built-in VPN gateway and firewall, said Marc Goodman, marketing director for Ecessa.

With the integrated VPN gateway feature, ShieldLink creates virtual tunnels that enable secure communications between sites by encrypting user traffic over the Internet using the strong security of IPsec. The VPN capability also secures communications between remote telecommuters and the main office, regardless of location.

ShieldLink’s integrated firewall defines three classes (WANs, DMZ and LANs) of network interfaces for handling various network traffic zones. Preventing network intrusion to private networks by inspecting traffic passing through it (both inbound and outbound), ShieldLink regulates the flow of traffic within determined zones. For example, the Internet is a zone with no trust, while the LAN is a zone with higher trust. A demilitarized zone (DMZ), located between the Internet and the LAN, is an intermediate level of trust.

Jason Breyer, vice president of sales for Ecessa, said SMBs are seeking device consolidation so that they can lessen the device-level tech support needed. He said Ecessa also helps with what tech support is required by putting level 4 engineers on the front lines. “They answer the phones live 90 percent of the time,” he said, noting a call back is promised within 15 minutes for the rest.

Like the PowerLink WAN controllers, ShieldLink distributes traffic among multiple, diverse network links and link aggregation (multi-homing); automated inbound and outbound load balancing and failover; site failover and fallback, redundancy and traffic shaping. ShieldLink allocates Internet traffic across several links and uses bandwidth aggregation to maintain several links separately. With the ShieldLink channel bonding feature, multiple and diverse WAN links (i.e. cable, xDSL, T1, wireless, etc.) are combined into one large network connection to provide greater available bandwidth and reliability for large file transfers.

ShieldLink is available immediately in several configurations – 100, 250 for single sites and 55, 200, 250EHQ for multiple sites – at prices ranging from $1,995 to $6,495. ShieldLink also can be purchased as firmware upgrade for existing Ecessa PowerLink products, excluding the PowerLink 50. The upgrade costs $595.

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