Today at a business partner security event in Los Angeles, Bob Muglia (Senior Vice-President, Server and Tools Business) launched Microsoft’s Forefront Client Security and System Center Essentials 2007:
Launched today, Microsoft Forefront Client Security is designed to help protect business desktops, laptops and server operating systems from viruses, spyware, Trojans and other current and emerging threats. Microsoft Forefront Client Security delivers critical visibility into threats and vulnerabilities through central management, and integrates with System Center solutions, Active Directory® directory services and other Microsoft technologies.
Muglia also announced the launch of System Center Essentials 2007, a unified management solution to help IT professionals in midsize organizations proactively and efficiently manage their IT environment. System Center Essentials 2007 provides the only unified solution to help simplify a broad set of tasks across the entire IT environment. The solution features a single console from which IT management can view and manage servers, clients, hardware, software and IT services.
Forefront Client Security is licensed on a per-user, per-device basis, starting at $12.72 per user or device, per year for the security agent and at $2,468 per year for the management console. The product is available for purchase today as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License suite via Microsoft Volume Licensing, with stand-alone product availability in July via standard Microsoft volume licensing channels.
Microsoft System Center Essentials is offered as a management server with built-in support to manage 50 clients and 10 servers starting at $2,000. Customers can add up to 500 clients in increments of 20 or five Management Licenses (MLs), priced at $400 and $100 respectively, and up to 30 servers in increments of five and one ML, priced at $500 and $100 respectively. The product will be available in July via standard Microsoft volume licensing and retail channels. All prices are U.S. estimated retail prices.
There’s no shortage of entrenched vendors in either client security or infrastructure management so it will be interesting how Microsoft does as the new kid on the block. Their strength will obviously be in shops with both Windows clients and servers where they can claim unique knowledge, but that’s also their weakness in larger establishments which tend to be more heterogeneous.
Update: On a related note, Microsoft released Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004.