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Back Web FAQ: Whale Communications Acquisition

Q. What are the terms of the acquisition?
A.Microsoft has acquired the company and its complete operations. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Q. Why did Microsoft make this acquisition?
A. Whale Communications is a technology leader in the secure access market. Its competitive differentiation has been, and continues to be, providing more value to customers in the areas of security, customizability, flexibility, access, and application functionality. The company distinguished itself in the marketplace with its early focus on application level security, enabling policy enforcement down to the application level combined with maximum ease of access to all Web-based, client/server and network-based applications.

And, since Whale's solution is based on a hardened-Windows platform, it delivers a high level of native integration with Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Active Directory, authentication services, Terminal Services, Windows file shares and Microsoft applications including SharePoint Portal Server and Exchange Server.

Q. What is the price promotion?
A. All new and current Whale customers will receive 25% off list price of the Whale Intelligent Application Gateway, both Express and Enterprise Editions, which combines Whale's platform with Microsoft's Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004. In addition, customers receive 25% off list price on any add-on or access modules. This includes Whale's many Application Optimizers, available for Microsoft and multiple third-party applications. Whale's add-on access methods include Network Connector, for back-connect applications like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Client/Server Connector, and Novell Connector.

Q. How long will the promotion last?
A. This promotion on Whale's Intelligent Application Gateway and add-ons is available now through December 31, 2006.

Q. How does Whale's technology fit into your broader security vision and strategy?
A. SSL VPN and Web application protection are an integral part of Microsoft's secure access strategy, and this technology fits in perfectly with our long-term vision of delivering broad access to a full-range of network applications from both managed and unmanaged devices. As a key part of meeting our promise to protect information and control access, we are committed to providing a comprehensive SSL secured access platform that helps customers extend and manage the reach of their information systems; allowing them both the flexibility and the control to provide security-enhanced access for a broad set of remote user scenarios.

Q. How are you going to integrate the Whale technology?
A. The Whale and Microsoft technologies are already available in an integrated appliance solution built on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, which combines Whale's Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG), and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004. Further integrating Whale's IAG with Microsoft's current products, most notably ISA Server, will be one of our primary areas of focus leading up to the Windows Server codename “Longhorn” wave of releases. We are also working with our OEM partners to release an updated ISA Server 2006 plus Intelligent Application Gateway appliance, which we hope to bring to market in early 2007.

Q. Are you still going to sell the Whale appliance?
A. Customers will be able to purchase existing products directly through both Whale and Microsoft sales teams, as well as through Whale's global channel of Value Added Resellers. This product line includes Whale's Intelligent Application Gateway appliance, which integrates Microsoft ISA Server technology, and custom Application Optimizers for granular deep content inspection of remote network traffic.

Q. How are the Whale products going to be supported?
A. Whale products will continue to be supported through Whale and its global channel partners.

Q. Is Microsoft still going to support Whale's optimization of non-Microsoft applications, such as IBM or SAP?
A. Whale Communications distinguished itself in the marketplace with its early focus on application level security, enabling policy enforcement down to the application level combined with maximum ease of access to all Web-based, client/server and network-based applications. Microsoft is committed to the continued investment and support of Whale technology and its focus on optimizing both Microsoft and third-party applications. Microsoft is also committed to providing a comprehensive SSL secured access platform that helps customers extend and manage the reach of their information systems; allowing them both the flexibility and the control to provide security-enhanced access for a broad set of remote user scenarios.

Q. What products does Whale currently have?
A. Whale's product line includes two editions of its Intelligent Application Gateway product that incorporates Microsoft's ISA Server, multiple Intelligent Application Optimizers for both Microsoft and third-party applications, and Connectivity Modules.

Intelligent Application Gateway Product Editions Intelligent Application Optimizers Connectivity Modules

Q. What are the components of the integrated appliance?
A. The integrated appliance solution is built on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Whale's Intelligent Application Gateway, and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004.

Specifically, the components included are:

Q. When should a customer use ISA Server versus Whale's IAG?
A. The appropriate access mechanisms are dictated by both business and security needs. Our goal is to provide a broad solution that can easily adapt to a variety of usage and deployment scenarios. For example, if a customer needs a network-edge gateway that provides fast and secure access with both IP-level filtering, domain-independence and IPsec VPN granular access policy / quarantine, then they could deploy ISA Server alone. If, however, the company wants to improve remote worker productivity by providing access to a range of line-of-business applications from behind existing security infrastructure, or if they need to provide business partners and customers access to applications and resources from unmanaged endpoints and networks, then Whale's Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) plus ISA Server would be ideal.

Buy ISA Server when you need: Add the Intelligent Application Gateway when you need:

Q. What's happening to Whale's Resellers?
A. Customers will be able to purchase existing products directly through both Whale and Microsoft sales teams, as well as through Whale's global channel of Value Added Resellers. We welcome Whale channel partners to expand their security practices and become part of the Microsoft Partner Program.

 

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