Astaro Command Center 2.0 BETA Begins

We would like to announce that the Astaro Command Center will have a new 2.0 Version in the coming weeks, and are making available a BETA version of this release so that you can experience the new functionality and offerings, while having the opportunity to provide us with feedback, bug reports, and impressions of the product.

The Astaro Command Center is a centralized management platform which creates a "throne room" from which to manage multiple Astaro Installations. If you currently are responsible for more than a single Astaro Product (or Hundreds), Command Center is the perfect product for you, and is FREE of charge! Read on for further details of the BETA program. So far, the Astaro Command Center has offered the ability to schedule Up2Date installations across multiple devices, monitor resource usages, get license information & detailed per-installation statistics, and access WebAdmin for any connected Astaro with the push of a button.

Most recently in the 1.9 release of Command Center, we have introduced a dual-portal system with new management features, so partners can offer MSP-style services for multiple companies which can connect to the same ACC server, while being able to create user accounts with specific device visibility and permissions to separate these customers into secure groups of devices for management.

For ACC 2.0 BETA and beyond, configuration functionality will be introduced. Starting with this release, it is now possible to setup site-to-site VPN tunnels with an amazing degree of ease from within ACC itself. Simply indicate the devices to be joined together via VPN, select a few options, and the rest is automated. It can even be used to create multi-site Hub & Spoke or Full Mesh between many devices. The product is presented in the same administrative style as our Version 7 WebAdmin, so that if you are new to ACC you will have no trouble getting started.

Astaro Command Center 2.0 BETA Features

IPSec VPN configuration wizard

  • allows set-up of site-to-site connectivity with only a few clicks
  • supports RSA based authentication for high security environments
  • offers the same proven and efficient IPSec policy definitions as known from the ASG
  • supports static and dynamic IPSec connections (initiate, respond-only)
  • automatically imports locally accessible interface networks from selected devices
  • already-deployed VPNs can later be modified with the same wizard

IPSec VPN monitoring overview

  • shows VPNs currently managed by ACC
  • allows re-configuration of VPNs – enable/disable VPNs – delete existing VPNs
  • "at-a-glance" information covering: – tunnel status – deployment status – meta information (policy, auth-method, number of tunnels and devices)

IPSec VPN monitoring details

  • shows exact data on tunnel status, deployment, meta information
  • displays which devices are interconnected for this VPN

Extended Access Control

  • introduces an abstract "Configuration" role which can be assigned for different devices
  • defines which users can change current and future configuration settings

Licensing

  • There is currently no change in the ACC’s FREE licensing model
  • The newly introduced configuration features are NOT enforced or restricted in any way
  • The free license can be used with the ACC V1.9/V2.0 software and virtual appliance
  • The free license is now valid until the end of 2009
  • Licenses for hardware appliances have not changed

BETA Requirements

  • The new features in ACC V2 BETA require at least an ASG 7.400 (or 7.395 Beta)
  • The AMG/AWG line of products do not provide IPSec VPN functionality
  • Future configuration features in ACC might be applicable to AMG/AWG products as well
  • As part of testing this release, your experiences/comments or review is to be posted in the ACC 2.0 Beta Forum.

How to become a Beta Tester
We try to ensure the opportunity is available for anyone to test our BETA release of ACC 2.0, customers, partners, prospects, and home users alike. All you need to do is download the release image, install it on your own hardware or virtual machine, and configure your ASG installation to transmit its data to the ACC device. These following sections will provide all the information you need to download, install and test the ACC 2.0 BETA.

Testing Period
February 25th – March15th

Download
This initial BETA version can be tested by downloading and installing the complete ISO image,or by manually applying the 1.903–>1.950 Up2Date to an existing system. If you decide to install new, or want to mirror an existing installation for fallback, it is possible to restore a backup from an earlier version of ACC 1.9x into 1.950 as well.

New installation:

ACC ISO:

Up2Date 1.903-1.950:

Limitations and Hints
The ACC 2.0 BETA is not going to be supported via official Astaro support plans, however the ACC development team will be closely monitoring and participating in your feedback, questions, and troubles via our ACC BETA Support Form. As with any BETA software, please be aware if you test this in a production environment you may experience no issues at all, or alternatively, bad things may happen. While we would like as much feedback as possible to ensure the quality of the final release, do not test this release if you cannot accommodate possible oddities as result of the pre-release nature of this offering!

Test Cases
After installing the ACC 2.0 BETA, we are particularly interested in your experiences regarding the number of machines you setup to be managed by your ACC, the hardware used, bandwidth of the connections involved, and other scaling/system specifications, along with your experienced performance. Further, and most importantly, please test and work with the VPN configuration tool and let us know your thoughts.

Feedback
Please post any feedback and discuss any of the ACC BETA features on our ACC BETA version forum. Your Efforts Rewarded! Your feedback is key to our efforts, as it allows us to deliver a final product to you of the highest quality. As a result, participants in our Beta Program for ACC 2.0 will have the chance to win one of 3 Amazon Gift Cards for 100 dollars. Please qualify by actively posting and participating in discussions on our ACC BETA version forum for details.

Regards,
Your Astaro Product Management Team

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