Check Point refuses to extend support

Check Point Software Technologies is to stop offering support on version 4.1 of its firewall software at the end of this year,...

Check Point Software Technologies is to stop offering support on version 4.1 of its firewall software at the end of this year, despite calls for an extension from some customers with upgrade concerns.

It is forcing its customers to move to its Next Generation (NG) firewall product, launched in the middle of last year, by ending support on version 4.1. Customers have been demanding an extension, but the software maker has, so far, refused to budge.

"Check Point is forcing the upgrade, but our reseller has been telling us that there are issues with NG and has advised us not to upgrade," said Arno Molenaar, network manager at Elsevier Bedrijfsinformatie.

Molenaar manages three Check Point 4.1 firewall installations on Nokia appliances.

"Microsoft keeps supporting its product for a longer period when a new product comes out," Molenaar added.

Paul IJpelaar, infrastructure specialist at Dutch insurance company Interpolis, is setting its migration path to NG from 4.1, but only because support is about to end.

"I don't see the need to always use the latest version of a software product. Check Point touts all these features, but what if you don't need those features? Cisco is far less aggressive [about pushing customers to upgrade]," he said.

Cisco Systems is one of Check Point's main competitors.

NG is a new product, written from scratch with many more features than 4.1 and even more features on the way with the release of feature pack 2, expected soon. An upgrade from 4.1 to NG is a major upgrade.

Check Point has admitted that it is forcing its customers to upgrade and said it is doing its best to help, but insisted that it will not extend support.

"We are more or less forcing our customers to upgrade, but have run many technical training sessions for customers. There are no plans to extend the support on 4.1, the support period was already extended because this is a major upgrade," said Bart Ankoné, managing director of Check Point in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

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