Network Engines to partner with Microsoft on IAG Support

Network Engines Inc. enjoyed a boost in share price Tuesday after software giant Microsoft Corp. announced a new partnership with the appliance maker.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) agreed to acquire Whale Communications Ltd., a provider of secure access products, last year. Under a deal announced Tuesday, Canton, Mass.-based Network Engines (Nadaq: NENG), which makes storage and security server appliance products, will provide service and support to new and existing Whale SSL VPN customers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Network Engines spokesperson Joni Moore said the arrangement is a major get for the company, which had already established its knowledge of Microsoft products with a line of appliances that are compatible with Microsoft’s Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server.

There are approximately 400 existing Whale customers worldwide, Moore said. The Whale technology, known as Intelligent Application Gateways (IAG), has been rolled-in as an optimizer in an appliance renamed the NS-4700. The 2U rackmount system imposes a physical separation between the public network and the customer’s internal network and allows only known-good traffic to pass to each application, the company said in a statement.

Shares of Network Engines surged 14 percent to $2.66 in Tuesday morning trade following the announcement.

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