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Mobile Application Gateways

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We invited seven mobile application gateway vendors to participate in a review at our Syracuse Real-World Labs®. We evaluated IBM WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager 5.1, ipUnplugged Roaming Gateway 310, NetMotion Wireless Mobility XE and Radio IP Software Mobile TCP/IP Gateway. Broadbeam and Ecutel Systems declined because of revision cycles, and Padcom backed out citing pending patent litigation with NetMotion.

We designed our test bed to measure client and server configuration and management, mobility services, security, performance and scalability (for more on our testing process, see "How We Tested Mobile Application Gateways,"). We also set out to get a handle on cost, but believe it or not, determining apples-to-apples pricing was one of our biggest headaches.

To evaluate pricing, we presented scenarios for both a small and a large deployment. The first scenario outlined a pilot project or a small company with one single-processor server and 100 clients. The second scenario was a larger enterprise deployment with two dual-processor servers and 2,000 clients. Our scenarios also included the first year's maintenance and support. ipUnplugged led the pack in pricing, earning it our Best Value award: The vendor quoted us $123,192 for 2,000 users--less than half the cost of the most expensive entry, NetMotion, which dinged us for $287,500. For more detailed pricing information, see "Gateway Pricing,".

Jacks of All Apps

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