Linoma Fleshes Out MFT Line with Reverse Proxy Solution
September 21, 2010 Alex Woodie
Linoma Software bolstered its GoAnywhere line of managed file transfer (MFT) products with two product announcements last week. A new reverse proxy server called GoAnywhere Gateway will work in concert with a new release of GoAnywhere Services to ensure that sensitive files are handled securely and there are no direct paths from the Internet into a company’s internal systems, including IBM i servers.
Linoma introduced its multi-function GoAnywhere product line about two-and-a-half years ago as the follow-on to its TransferAnywhere product, which debuted in 2002. The original GoAnywhere tool boasted an impressive array of features, including support for major MFT protocols like FTPS, SFTP, and HTTPS; the choice of PGP, SSL, AES, or ZIP encryption; automated job trigger file conversions; a central audit trail; support for all major platforms and databases, including the IBM i OS and DB2/400; and an intuitive Web browser interface.
Almost exactly one year ago, Linoma broke GoAnywhere into two pieces. GoAnywhere Director became the flagship product with the most feature-rich capabilities for companies that demand central control and flexibility in their MFT activities. Meanwhile, GoAnywhere Services introduced a slightly scaled-down and less-expensive MFT solution. GoAnywhere Services was designed to give organizations an easy way to allow their trading partners to initiate file transfers on their own, through a simple Web browser interface.
With last week’s launch of GoAnywhere Gateway, Linoma has added a third component to the GoAnywhere suite. GoAnywhere Gateway is designed to work hand in hand with GoAnywhere Services, and function as a reverse proxy server for sensitive files that GoAnywhere Services distributes via secure FTP and HTTP links.
GoAnywhere Gateway installs on a server located on a company’s public network, but outside of its firewall, in the so-called demilitarized zone (DMZ). GoAnywhere Services runs on Windows, Linux, Unix, AIX, and Solaris. (Since nobody in their right mind installs IBM i servers in the DMZ, this product is not designed to run on the IBM i OS.)
Thanks to a proprietary “control channel” that Linoma developed, GoAnywhere Gateway can send file requests (received from users over the Internet) across the firewall to GoAnywhere Services. GoAnywhere Services (which runs on IBM i) then creates a new outbound “data channel” connection and sends the requested data to GoAnywhere Gateway, which fulfills the request. The data channel is deleted upon completion of the transaction.
This use of a reverse proxy to camouflage internal servers allows an organization to make sensitive files available to customers and partners over the Internet, without compromising security by opening incoming ports, storing sensitive files in the DMZ, or exposing user credentials or keys to the public network.
“We built GoAnywhere Services and GoAnywhere Gateway to provide a complete and secure approach for B2B file sharing with ease-of-use in mind,” Bob Luebbe, Linoma’s chief architect, says in a press release. “This allows our customers to save time and money while protecting their sensitive data in transit.”
Linoma also unveiled a new release of GoAnywhere Services that includes user interface, administration, and authentication improvements.
GoAnywhere Services version 2.0 adds a new Web browser-based user interface for transfers over HTTP or HTTPS. Linoma says the new user interface resembles Windows Explorer, and gives users functions they are used to using, such as the capabilities to drag and drop, to select more than one item, and to choose options by right clicking the mouse. The new version also allows users to transfer multiple files at the same time, and to monitor their progress.
Finally, GoAnywhere Services 2.0 brings new authentication and administration functions. New users can be added to the system more quickly thanks to a new template-based authentication system. Alternatively, users can be authenticated against external Microsoft Active Director, LDAP, or IBM i user profile information.
GoAnywhere Services runs on IBM i, Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, and other Unix OSes, and costs $1,495. GoAnywhere Gateway runs on the same platforms except IBM i, and costs $2,995.