Thursday, October 28, 2010

Support Contracts for Linux & BSD Users

Today we announced the availability of support contracts for our Linux and BSD users! This is a great step forward for us as we continue to expand not just the features and functionality of the Firewall Builder application, but also expand the services provided by NetCitadel LLC which is the company that supports and develops Firewall Builder.

The new support services are offered as packages ranging from "Small Business" to "Ultimate". Each package includes a fixed number of support cases that can be opened during the 1 year support period. Our goal is to make sure there are solutions to fit a range of budgets and needs.

As part of this new support offer we are also offering support contract renewals for Windows and Mac users whose existing support contracts have expired. You can see the complete details about our support packages, along with a link to our online store for purchasing on our website:

http://www.fwbuilder.org/4.0/support_contracts.html

We plan to continue adding to the list of services provided by NetCitadel based on user feedback and demand. Stay tuned for more information!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Firewall Builder V4.1.2 Released!

We are happy to announce that we released Firewall Builder V4.1.2 this morning. This release includes a few bug fixes and many usability enhancements.

After conducting several usability tests with new users we realized that some concepts and areas of the application can be challenging for new users who are trying to get started. To help these new users we have added more visual cues and navigation aids in the GUI. We also simplified the entry fields in several wizards to make it easier to create certain types of new objects.

Existing Firewall Builder users who have enabled "tooltips" in their Preferences settings under the Objects tab will now see additional tooltips when editing firewall policies and other areas. If you haven't enabled tooltips, which were disabled by default on all versions before V4.1.2, then you won't see any of these new tips.

To find out more about the changes in this release you can read the full release note here:

http://www.fwbuilder.org/4.0/docs/firewall_builder_release_notes.html#4.1.2

Information for getting the latest packages can be found here:

http://www.fwbuilder.org/4.0/docs/firewall_builder_packages.html

Let us know what you think of the new enhancements.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Firewall Builder User Survey Results - Part 2

In the last post I went through some of the demographic data about the users who responded to our User Survey. This time I am going to cover more about what new services and features users are asking for.

In the last post one of our readers, Scott, asked "What were results of the future direction questions?" Hopefully this post will help answer that question.

In the survey we asked what additional services you were interested in, here's what you told us:


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Firewall Builder users on all platforms were interested in Online Training, so we are looking in to ways to provide training services. These would be done as either pre-recorded content or live training webinars. If you are interested in Firewall Builder training classes, please leave a comment and let us know what topics you would like to see covered in Online Training sessions.

It also turns out that many of our Linux users are interested in having a Technical Support contract, so we are working on developing a support offering to help meet that need. We are still ironing out the details - stay tuned for more information about this in the next couple of weeks.

Many of our users would like us to provide remote Professional Services. We are looking at several options in this area, including partnering with security consulting companies that are knowledgeable about using Firewall Builder for firewall management. We are still looking for partners in some regions, so if you are a security consultant and you are interested in partnering with us send me an email at mike 'at' netcitadel 'dot' com.

Finally, we asked users about what additional firewall platforms they would like to be able to manage with Firewall Builder. Somewhat surprisingly MS Windows Server (2003 & 2008) was the overwhelming winner in this category.

(Click image to enlarge)

We are currently working on plans to add support for MS Windows Server firewall in a new version of Firewall Builder. If you are interested in helping beta test this feature when it is ready please email me at mike 'at' netcitadel 'dot' com.