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Executive Editor

The Gartner Group ranks SSL VPNs

Jan 05, 20062 mins
Network SecurityNetworking

* Gartner analysis puts SSL VPN players into three categores: leader, challenger, visionary

The Gartner Group, celebrated for its Magic Quadrant rankings of vendors in various markets, has just come out with its report on SSL VPNs for the third quarter of 2005.

It’s a qualitative analysis of products from 13 companies that Gartner says it picked because its clients ask about them a lot and Gartner analysts think they are worth looking at.

The analysis plots the vendors on a graph, with the X axis indicating ability to execute on plans and the Y axis designating completeness of vision. If  a company ranks low in both areas, it is designated a niche player. If it is strong on execution but weak on vision, it is a challenger. If it is weak on execution but strong on vision, it is a visionary. If it is strong on both execution and vision, it is a leader.

Everybody wants to be a leader, but only two made it: Juniper and Aventail. Nortel, a challenger, and Citrix and F5, both visionaries, landed close to the leader category.

Juniper, Aventail, Nortel and F5 are also among the top five SSL VPN vendors for sales, according to a recent Synergy Research report, which was outlined in the previous newsletter.

Gartner says three-quarters of its clients that are considering SSL VPNs short-list Juniper, and that over the past three years, Juniper has sold 32% of all the end-user licenses for SSL VPNs. Aventail is short-listed by most of Gartner’s clients. It has sold 10% of all SSL VPN end-user licenses over the past three years.

Nortel has sold as many licenses as Aventail but falls short on the visionary scale. It could move up into being a leader by beefing up its endpoint security software and enlisting partners whose products can enhance Nortel’s, the Gartner study says.

Citrix is sitting just outside leadership on Gartner’s chart because its SSL VPN gear has yet to establish itself as a product customers seek out as opposed to a product customers of other Citrix products buy as an add-on.

The Gartner study is interesting because it does critique the major SSL VPN vendors and point out their strengths and weaknesses, although not along the lines customers making buying decisions might employ.

The vendors ranked in the report are AEP, Array, Aventail, Caymas, Check Point, Cisco, Citrix, F5, Juniper, Nokia, Nortel, Permeo, PortWise and Whale.