I am pleased to announce that the Beta for the next big release of Astaro Gateways (7.500) is now available. While this release will be finalized for all versions of AxG, the Beta phase is only for the Astaro Security Gateway. This release includes exiting new things that were posted, submitted, and/or reviewed by you, our partners and end users via our new feature request portal at feature.astaro.com.
This version’s Beta will last approximately four weeks, with the GA version roadmapped for the beginning of July. Your participation in the Beta is greatly appreciated, as it allows us to tune and strengthen the final version based on your testing and comments. Please read on for more details about the Beta; what it contains, how to get it, and other information!
What’s new in BETA ASG V7.500?
7.500 adds over 50 new features and conveniences, most of which are directly a result of submitted features by our partners and customer base. While we’ll have detailed documentation and release notes ready for the final release, here is an overview of the things of note, and a few bullet points for information so you know where to go and what to see/try. This is not an exhaustive list, but most new things will be at least mentioned. Some things listed as "minor" may indeed not be considered minor for various admins/users/partners, depending on your needs.
Major New Things
Intrusion Protection Performance
- Uses new version of the IPS engine
- Scales massively when used with Multi-Core CPU/Appliances
Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor
- New Interface utilization bars on Dashboard (setup scale via editing the Interface and filling in new parameters for Upload/Download)
- Click for detailed overview as to "whats happening in my network right now"
- Gives the ability to work with manual lists for many features/fields
- Useful to import a large blacklist (for example) into the URL Blacklist
- Can been seen in many user-input boxes in Web, Mail and more. (Green Up/Down Arrows)
Transparent Authentication Support for Web Security
- Allows users to authenticate against a Portal-Style page
- Allows for username based tracking, reporting, and surfing without changing browser settings
- Currently logo can be customized. Text,HTML, and further customizations planned for a later time.
- Configurable Timeout via HTTP–>Advanced. (Default 900s)
- Easily duplicate existing objects for quick re-use.
- Supported in most places for many objects (Definitions, Services, Certain Profiles/Actions)
Extended Network Security Reporting
- Added Detailed Packet Filter/Firewall Reports
- Added Detailed IM/P2P Reports
Reputation Support for Web Security
- Allows use of the trustedsource.org reputation for Web Filtering
- Documentation coming, for now visit their site/FAQ for more info on reputations
- Automatically map a current lease to a static assignment
- Limit DHCP leases to those with static assignments only
- Configurable DHCP lease time
- Servers retain configuration when enabled/disabled
Multicast Routing Daemon
- PIM-SM Routing support More documentation on this implementation to come. Experiment with it and if it solves your needs.
Other New Things
- Windows SSL VPN Upgraded – New Client which supports X64 and many other options (download again via the UserPortal)
- Improved HTTP Caching – Increases hit/usage rates and makes the cache more effective.
- Quarantine/UserPortal Usability – Adds navigation to the bottom (supplementing the existing controls at the top), large amounts (250-1000) of displayed items per page, and sorting by subject line.
- Default Definition for "Internet" – Allows to specify "Internet" as an object which will exclude internal network(s) to aid policy creation (0.0.0.0/0 on Gateway interface)
- Customizable Shortcuts – Change the default Ctrl assignments to fit your preference
- Improved Definition/Services Sidebar – Mouseover now instantly shows full name and extended info to aid identifying desired object for drag ‘n drop.
- User List shows static IP’s – if assigned/configured (no need to edit in order to view)
- Live Log Negation – use to filter live logs to not show lines that match "-" entries i.e. -test to remove lines containing "test"
- Console/SSH Logins Trigger a notification – provides admin the needed insight when accessed.
- Instant Email Backup – Button for every created backup file which allows it to be sent immediately via email to configured addresses
- Custom text for notifications – Allows easier identification of which installation is sending the message. Especially useful if managing multiple sites using notifiers.
- Test NTP Sync – Button to immediately poll the configured NTP server
- Automatic Backup before Up2Date install
- Configurable Default for Lists – Allows for the amount of items per page (Packet Filter Rules, or anywhere there is a number amounts drop down) to have a larger default view
- Cluster/HA Serial Number View – Information on connected units made easier
- Schedule Firmware Installation – When an Up2Date for Firmware is available, you can schedule it to auto-install at a certain time (not a recurring setting)
- WebAdmin Network Section Split – Now two sections; "Network" and "Network Services" for usability.
- Search Boxes Retain Data – No need to re-enter query when returning from a drill down/result click.
- System Restart Reason – Allows logging of "why was system restarted" in the notification
- Group Tool tips for Members – Easily discern Network/Service Group members without having to edit in order to view
- Reporting Exclusions – Used to remove unwanted entries from various reports (such as Google-analytics from Web Security tables
- Log Flag for NAT Rules – Similar to packet filter, tells you which NAT rule was matched as part of traffic handling
- Masquerading for Additional IP Addresses – Allows the use of Masquerading (vs. just SNAT) for additional IP’s bound to an interface
- Support for Multiple Authentication Servers – The authentication server section has been redesigned to support fallback/failover in an easier format, with many usability improvements
- SNMP MIB – Downloadable via the SNMP section of WebAdmin
- Up2date Status Reworked – Clarifies the current status of a Firmware Up2date to avoid confusion regarding the availability, download progress etc…of an issued Up2date.
- Inline/Snap Report Links – Directly moves the Admin to the relevant details report when browsing the embedded daily reports located throughout WebAdmin
- Global POP3 Sender Blacklist – Quarantined as "other" in the QM/EUP
- Dashboard RSS Feed – Provides visibility to select Astaro-issued items via WebAdmin *Other magic features, enhancements, and usability improvements
Beta Program Information & Download Links
- Online help & associated documentation has not been updated for new or changed features (yet).
- Other FTP Locations will be online as our system spreads them to ftp.astaro.com and other mirrors (ftp2.astaro.com, ftp2.astaro.de etc…)
This initial Beta version can only be tested through a new installation, i.e. by downloading and installing the complete ISO image. You cannot upgrade an existing production installation with a Beta up2date package. It is possible to restore a backup from an earlier version (up to 7.403) into your new Beta machine. We will make every effort to ensure Beta participants are able to Up2Date to the final GA version once it is released without re-installing.
Software ISO-Image for your own X86 hardware
ISO Image for ASG Hardware Appliances
These links are directly to this release’s ISO images. You can always find the various files, updates, and MD5’s for this beta at ftp://ftp.astaro.de/pub/ASG/v7/beta
How to be a Beta Tester
A large amount of factors contributes to the best level of perfection for Astaro products in varied production environments. The following sections will provide all the information you need to download, install and test the ASG V7.5 Beta.
Testing Period May 29th – July 15th (estimated)
Limitations and Hints
- As with all Beta software, this release is not yet final and should not be considered an indication of stability, quality, or performance that will be delivered in the GA release of ASG V7.5. If you are using this Beta as part of an evaluation or while considering a purchase, please allow Astaro or the appropriate partner to address any concerns you may have before finalizing your decision based on a Beta release. Further, this Beta will not be supported in ANY way via Astaro’s support teams, and using it in production environments may cause downtime, issues, or troubles. We therefore discourage running the Beta at sites which cannot afford the negative aspects of running Beta software.
- An ASG V7.5 manual and complete Online Help will be available with the GA release, along with other AxG versions of 7.500.
Please post all Beta feedback (no matter how big or small) and discuss any of the ASG V7.5 Beta features on our User Bulletin Board in the "BETA Version" forum.
Your Efforts Rewarded!
Your feedback is closely reviewed and treated with priority by many members of our various teams here at Astaro. It allows us to deliver a final product to you of the highest quality. As a result, participants in our Beta Program for ASG V7.5 will have the chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards totaling over 600 dollars. Please qualify by actively posting and participating in discussions on our Beta version forum on our User Bulletin Board for details.
Special Home User Keys
In addition, we will offer active testers a specially enhanced home-user license which allows the full protection of up to 50 IP addresses (vs. the normal 10). These user keys are awarded after the GA release of 7.500, and are based on user activity, feedback, and general contribution to the Beta phase at our sole discretion.
Your Astaro Product Management Team