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New products scale down e-commerce

Encanto and Sonic Systems offer technology aimed ad smaller enterprises.

A new version of an e-commerce server from Encanto Networks and a new virtual private network appliance from Sonic Systems are helping to bring inexpensive e-commerce technologies to small enterprises and units of large businesses.

Encanto, run by industry luminary Bob Frankenberg, introduced its e.go 200 and e.go 300 Web servers that come with all the hardware, software, and connectivity required to launch a Web storefront. The offerings update Encanto's original line of servers released in early 1998.

The e-commerce add-ons are part of Encanto's line of Web server appliances, which compete in the small-business market with offerings from Whistle and Cobalt. Encanto developed its own e-commerce software to work specifically on its appliances.

"Encanto's is the only one that does all that it does at the price that it does. You can assemble other sorts of things, but not at the price," said Ray Boggs, analyst at International Data Corporation.

The new Super e.go Web servers will be available April 1 for prices starting at $1,295. The e-commerce versions start at $1,495 with 56K modem connectivity or $1,595 for ISDN connections.

The new firewall/VPN appliance, SonicWall Pro from Sonic Systems, is designed for branch offices of large companies or medium-sized single sites that want security for their Internet connections.

Designed to run on Fast Ethernet networks, the device also offers content filtering to block malicious applets or objectionable content. Other companies offering firewall appliances include WatchGuard, Technologic, Cisco Systems, and Data General.

"A cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized companies is an all-in-one security box that is affordable and secure without unneeded complexity," Chris Christiansen, director of IDC's Internet security unit, said in a statement. "Security appliance vendors such as Sonic Systems are filling this gap."

The new appliance extends Sonic's SonicWall family of security appliances by offering higher performance for faster networks. It supports the IPSec protocol for VPNs, including several data encryption options, and can thwart denial of service attacks

SonicWall Pro uses a 233-MHz Intel StrongARM RISC microprocessor. It is priced at $2,995 and will be available next month from resellers.