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Check Point, AST in firewall deal

Check Point inks a firewall bundling pact with AST Research, its first with a PC maker.

Internet security company Check Point Software Technologies (CHKPF) next week will announce a firewall bundling deal with AST Research (ASTA), its first with a PC manufacturer.

AST will install Check Point's FireWall-First, a scaled-down version of its flagship FireWall-1 software, at no additional charge on AST's Manhattan servers.

The OEM deal is similar to one Check Point struck with Sun Microsystems, which has bundled FireWall-First with its entry-level Netra Internet servers since 1995.

The AST bundle is designed for smaller companies setting up their own Web sites while protecting their internal networks from unauthorized access over the Internet. It runs on the Windows NT operating system.

The Sun Netra bundling deal vaulted Check Point into the top spot among Internet firewall vendors. Check Point recently scored a marketing coup when it announced that IBM will resell Firewall-1 on its servers running its AIX Unix operating system.

Rival firewall firm Raptor Systems has a similar PC server bundling deal with Compaq Computer, which also owns a small equity stake in Raptor.

In the AST deal, FireWall-First for Windows NT comes with an HTML interface and allows a limited number of IP addresses to reside behind the firewall on a corporate network. It supports five Internet applications: HTTP for Web serving, email (both SMTP and POP3), Internet Relay Chat (IRC), telnet, and file transfer protocol (FTP).

Manhattan users can add additional IP addresses to allow more users inside the firewall, and they can upgrade to FireWall-1, Check Point's full-featured product.

AST, once a top-tier PC vendor, has had financial problems recently and is in the process of being acquired by South Korea's Samsung Electronics.