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A VPN vendor with an IT operations twist is reinventing itself after several months' "hibernation."

Xceedium, which started life in 2000 with a secure remote-access appliance for IT operations, is under new management and will be announcing a new product and funding within the next couple of weeks.

The company's latest gear comprises a platform appliance called the GateKeeper, which includes SSL VPN capabilities, but not for front-end access control. Instead, the device provides a single secure port for back-end operations personnel, such as SAN administrators, to enter data center devices using a single console that features a browser interface and can be positioned either in-band or out-of-band.

"We aren't a firewall, and we don't compete with firewalls," says CEO Cheryl Traverse. "We authenticate an IT operations person and audit and track their activities. All tools are under one centralized console, there's no need to go in and out of various consoles."

According to David Van, the company co-founder and CTO, there's a need in the market for this kind of security. Management systems like OpenView from HP, he maintains, alert IT personnel to network problems but don't offer secure access for operations folk to fix the problems. And equipment such as SANs can be vulnerable when a technician or administrator attempts to use point products without central security control.

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