Sold several times over, the great survivor of the security product world, SnapGear, has made its latest appearance in McAfee colours.
The security giant has re-launched the long-lived range of UTM firewalls it acquired when buying Secure Computing (SC) last year, adding new features such as failover and real-time threat updating.
The range contains the same seven models with the same names, starting with the basic SG310 for micro and branch offices, which includes five 10/100 ports built atop a 25Mbit/s SPI firewall with basic low-megabit, 10 PPTP tunnel VPN inspection.
Further up the line, however, McAfee adds new features to the SG560 in addition to its higher 110 megabit/s throughput, including 3G failover and load balancing, and much higher VPN tunnel inspection performance. The family is rounded out with higher-end and specialised versions, including a server-based UTM card (SG640), a version including Wi-Fi (SG-565), and two versions aimed at larger branch offices (the SG-580 and SG-720).
Perhaps the biggest difference is that all models now integrate with McAfee's global anti-malware and threat detection services, which provide dynamic protection across a range of URL filtering, email reputation, and general anti-malware threats.
The management console has also been revamped from the one familiar to previous users of the product when it was sold under the SnapGear brand, which raises the topic of the range's interesting evolution.
The brand started life in the early part of the decade as a Linux-based firewall startup, before being bought for a reported $16 million by CyberGuard in 2003. The latter then went through a protracted on-off romance with Secure Computing, before being bought by it in 2005. By this time, SnapGear had been reinvented and expanded into a family of Unified Threat Management appliances, and so it has continued after McAfee's acquisition of SC in September 2008.
"The DNA of the product definitely comes from Secure Computing," said McAfee senior product manager, Mike Smart, perhaps understating its descent by about two companies' worth. Smart himself came with that acquisition, and also worked at CyberGuard before that.
As to McAfee's interest in SC's SnapGear, Smart admitted that the range had "filled a void", which is to say that McAfee had not previously had a convincing range of lower-end UTM models to sell to the ever-precious 'small and medium-sized' (SMB) market.
UK and US pricing and licensing details were not available at the time of going to press. McAfee plans to market the range through service providers, OEMs, and its mainstream channel in both countries.