In a move that has echoes of the razor blades model Astaro has moved to make its virtual UTM appliances and software effectively free with the costs shifting towards services.
The vendor has made the decision to change its licensing structure to widen its installed base but also to encourage resellers to focus on services that come with higher margin.
The virtual Essential Firewall has become free and the vendor's other hardware UTM devices have had prices slashed by around 50%.
Jan Hichert, CEO of Astaro, told MicroScope that customers wanted the ability to add features onto a platform expanding beyond a firewall to include VPN email security and AV.
"In the short-term it will impact on revenue but in the long-term it is a more profitable business and people will pay a premium for the flexibility it gives them," he said.
The vendor is encouraging its resellers to upsell services on the basic UTM appliance.
"The licensing changes has increased the addressable market and the future product strategy is to add more security products on top," he said.
Hichert added that clearly its decision to change its licensing structure away from hardware linked charges would have an impact on competitors and it would make life even harder for dedicated firewall specialists.