Praveen G is the new Product Manager for Novell BorderManager, based at Novell’s development center in Bangalore, India.
Marcus Williamson is from Connectotel, developer of filtering solutions for BorderManager, based in the UK. Here he speaks with Praveen G in an exclusive interview for BorderManager Cool Solutions.
Marcus Williamson: Hello, Praveen. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today at BorderManager Cool Solutions.
Praveen G: Hello, Marcus. Thanks for having this interview set up. I’m sure this will be a wonderful opportunity to address questions and concerns on BorderManager.
MW: Can you tell us a little about your background and your time at Novell so far?
PG: I joined Novell in May 2007. Prior to Novell, I had been working with Intel, HP and Force Computers in various roles, including as a designer, for technical specialist and product marketing.
At Novell, I manage Novell BorderManager and a host of protocols, such as CIFS, AFP, DNS, DHCP, and iSCSI under the OES2 umbrella in the capacity of Product Manager. Novell is a great place to work. There is lot of emphasis towards customer satisfaction from management, which is very positive.
MW: How are things going heading up the BorderManager group?
PG: Internally, BorderManager has recently transitioned to the Workgroup Business Unit from the Identity & Security Management Business Unit. This has been done with the fact in mind that NetWare is under the Workgroup Business Unit. Logistically, it’s advantageous to get support resolution at a better rate and get good turnaround time for BorderManager/NetWare issues. We have set up a team of full-time engineers to work on BorderManager, which shows Novell?s commitment to customers.
MW: BorderManager 3.9 has been getting good feedback from customers. What features do you particularly like, compared with the 3.8 version?
PG: BorderManager is a great product, and you can clearly see Novell’s commitment in getting a feature-rich BorderManager 3.9 to our customers. Some of the things that I like are the web-based management through iManager and the back-up/restore of configuration for the proxy and access control lists. Also, the migration to Access Manager will be easier, as NBM 3.9 uses the same XML schema as Access Manager.
MW: What should we expect to see in BorderManager 3.9 SP1?
PG: Border Manager SP1 addresses a number of bug fixes, as well as a host of significant enhancement features that I’m sure will be exciting for our customers.
Some of the things worth mentioning for SP1:
– Enhanced feature support for 3rd party filtering solution providers
– VPN client support for Windows Vista and SLED10
– Client Trust support for SLED10, active mode support for FTP proxy.
MW: And when will that be out?
PG: We are targeting January 2008 for the SP1 release.
MW: What new features will be included beyond SP1, during 2008?
PG: We will be working on a road map post after the BorderManager 3.9 SP1 release. We will consult and take the inputs from customers, NTS, and our partners to get the roadmap done.
MW: How do you feel that BorderManager currently compares with other firewall, proxy, and VPN solutions on the market?
PG: Novell BorderManager is well accepted by our customers and partners, which by itself shows the quality, feature-richness and robustness of our product compared to similar products on the market. Also, Novell BorderManager is a complete suite of proxy, VPN, and firewall solutions in a single box, while most vendors don?t have single-box solution. Another notable point is the advantage customers enjoy when they have a single point to get their issues resolved, be it on BorderManager or NetWare.
MW: Can you tell us more about the next stage with BorderManager, beyond 3.9? What happens then?
PG: BorderManager customers who want forward proxy and transparent proxy with content filtering services on the Linux platform, with optional content filtering, should plan to upgrade to Novell Access Manager 4 (NAM 4), currently slated for release in 2009.
MW: Thanks. So, as I understand it, NAM 4 brings together the features of the current Novell Access Manager plus the BorderManager forward proxy with caching.
How will you be helping customers, from a sales perspective, in moving to the new platform?
PG: Novell BorderManager customers with current maintenance contracts when Novell Access Manager NAM 4 is released will be entitled to these BorderManager-related capabilities free of charge. Pricing for BorderManager customers who want to take advantage of the additional functionality in Novell Access Manager NAM 4 will be determined closer to the anticipated product release date.
MW: And how about from a technical perspective? What tools will be available to help with the move?
PG: To be honest, I don’t have an answer to that yet. We are looking at an ideal solution that will help ease the migration to Novell Access Manager. By the first half of 2008, we should have a clearer picture on tools and related questions.
MW: How long will NBM continue to be supported beyond the release of NAM 4?
PG: BorderManager 3.9 will follow the Novell standard product life cycle of 3 years general support, starting April 2007. However, we are in the initial phase of discussion on the feasibility of having another 2 years as Extended Support, which would be different from the previous releases of BorderManager. This is keeping in mind that Novell BorderManager 3.9 would be the last product version before customers could migrate to Novell Access Manager.
MW: BorderManager Cool Solutions is a great way to get information out to us BorderManager users. What other channels would you suggest we check out for information from you about BorderManager?
PG: Yes, Cool Solutions is a great source of information. Customers can also periodically check the BorderManager web page (http://www.novell.com/products/bordermanager) for any updates. Also, customers can contact Novell Technical Services, sales, or me directly to get information they need.
MW: How can customers contact you if they have comments and suggestions about BorderManager?
PG: Comments and suggestions of on BorderManager are definitely welcome from our customers. I can be reached on by e-email at:
MW: Will you be at Brainshare 2008 in Salt Lake City next year?
PG: Yes, I will be in Salt Lake City for Brainshare 2008.
MW: Thanks again for your time today, and look forward to seeing you at Brainshare 2008!
Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment. It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too. Be sure to test in a non-production environment.