WatchGuard has announced its first UTM (Unified Threat Management) solution for Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform. With organisations worldwide pouring vast amounts of sensitive data, applications and services into the cloud, secure data access is paramount. With WatchGuard’s XTM security appliances, these companies are now able to ensure secure cloud access while leveraging WatchGuard’s comprehensive and multi-layered defence across network, email, web and content security.
“Windows Azure’s cloud scalability, speed, and economics make it a compelling option for our customers that want to take advantage of the cloud while continuing to use their on-premises infrastructure,” said David Aiken, Group Product Marketing Manager, Windows Azure, Microsoft. “These customers require secure data access from on-premises networks to the cloud, and WatchGuard’s unified threat management platform helps extend on-premises datacentres to the cloud while assuring secure access.”
All WatchGuard XTM security appliances now offer full support for VPN access to the Windows Azure Virtual Network service, allowing organisations to quickly and easily create secure VPN tunnels linking on-premise networks and cloud environments. Combined with its existing Microsoft Hyper-V support (Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and Hyper-V Server 2012), this makes WatchGuard the only company to deliver unified threat management for the hybrid cloud, ensuring secure and seamless data access across public cloud, private network and virtualised IT environments.
“As we work with customers to extend on-premise infrastructure to the cloud using Windows Azure, we need to ensure both a high level of security and seamless data access across multiple environments,” noted Maurice Wornhard, security architect at Cartagena in Norway. “WatchGuard is unique in delivering powerful threat prevention for network, email, web and content across any combination of cloud, network and virtualised environment.”
Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform is fast gaining momentum with enterprise customers. It currently accounts for 20 percent of the cloud computing market, a number that is projected to grow to 35 percent within the year according to Forrester Research, Inc., Analyst James Staten in an April 2013 Bloomberg News article, entitled “Microsoft Azure Sales Top $1 Billion Challenging Amazon.”*
“Windows Azure is clearly a compelling solution for organisations that are looking to improve and extend availability of their IT services,” said Roger Klorese, director of product management at WatchGuard. “We are pleased to work closely with Microsoft to bring the same level of comprehensive and best-in-class security that companies rely on for private networks to these growing cloud connections.”