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Rainbow Connection

Rainbow Technologies' NetSwift iGate offers SSL VPN functionality.

iGate provides a means of securing Web-based resources both in transit via SSL and by allowing access to those resources only to authenticated users. Authentication can be configured to accept passwords, tokens (via Rainbow's USB iKey tokens) or both. In addition, iGate's SSL VPN is designed to provide access to non-Web resources through a secured link without the complication of an IPsec implementation.

Brighter Outlook

I tested a beta version of iGate 3.1 within NWC Inc.'s infrastructure, evaluating both its SSL VPN capabilities and its Web access control feature set. Significant improvements have been made to the iGate since I last looked at the product a year ago. The product now supports roles and groups for defining access to applications and resources, offers industry-standard compression (gzip) and has installation/upgrade image management.

There are, however, some weaknesses. If you have many users, set up and configuration using iGate's internal identity store takes time. Furthermore, configuring some aspects of the SSL VPN functionality via the admin console can be confusing: It is not always clear whether options are referencing the VIP (virtual IP) or the back-end servers. It would be advantageous for Rainbow to adopt terminology common to content switches and proxies.



How the iGate SSL VPN Works

click to enlarge

The enterprise version of the product is also priced quite high: $16,995 to enable the SSL VPN functionality--in addition to the entry-level price of $49,995 for a limited number of concurrent users (300). This seems a bit much, especially compared with offerings from competitors, which support a wider variety of identity stores and more users at a lower price. Although I like what is happening in terms of functionality and feature set, iGate's pricing needs to come down to compete.

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