Pulse Secure introduces full-featured vADC Community Edition to turn developers into fans

Pulse Secure has had free ‘try before you buy’ products before, but this new Community Edition has all the features of the full version, and with no time limit on use. The only limitations are that its scalability is limited to smaller applications, and it lacks the full management and Pulse Secure support.

Prakash Mana, Pulse Secure’s VP of product management

Secure Access solution provider Pulse Secure has launched a new Community Edition of their software-based virtual Application Delivery Controller [vADC]. It contains all of the feature functionality of the full vADC, like global load balancing and web application firewall, with the idea being to allow application developers to use it to create Production Grade application solutions for smaller projects. The logical corollary of that is that the developer will become an advocate for Pulse Secure when it comes time to tackle a bigger project.

Pulse Secure has had a variation of the Community Edition in place before, but which lacked the full feature functionality of this one.

“We have always had a ‘try before you buy’ experience, but with this we are launching a Full Service Community Edition,” said Prakash Mana, Pulse Secure’s vice president of product management. “There are typically two kinds of free editions. Some have less feature functionality while others don’t expose all the UI and functions to the users. We wanted to provide something that is production grade – truly enterprise grade – and that required that it have full functionality. It also plugs into DevOps tools like Kubernetes, Puppet and Chef.”

Offering a full-featured trial version of vADC has objectives that go beyond ‘try before you buy.’

“We really want next-gen app developers to get familiarized with the tool that we are providing,” Mana said. “We want them to be our advocate.  We want them to remember us when later on they are working on an app which would require full enterprise support. We want them to keep Pulse Secure on the top of their minds. That’s why there is no time bomb with this. It won’t disappear in 60 days or in 6 months. You also don’t have to go to our site to download it. Developers can get it from places like AWS Marketplace or the other cloud marketplaces, or from Docker Hub without any registration. We want to be everywhere that app developers go, so we can give them access and support that is as frictionless as possible.”

There are a few limitations on the Community Edition. It can be used for commercial applications up to a limit of 10 Mbps, although up to four nodes can be clustered together for high availability, for a maximum aggregate bandwidth of 40 Mbps.

“It is fine for smaller applications, and has all the functionality of the full version, but not the scalability,” Mana said. “In addition, while the Community Edition has an appliance management capability to manage configurations, we do have an additional orchestration level – Service Director – which automates the management of your licenses and provides other enterprise management features. Service Director and full Pulse Secure support are available as an upgrade. What we want is to get app developers to start using it, see how useful it is, and then advocate for transition to a fully supported paid version.”

This is aimed directly at developers, but Mana said Pulse Secure channel partners should still be interested.

“For the channel, as it is for us, it’s a great tool to generate pipeline,” he indicated. “It’s really about resonating with your customers. The channel point of view here is important to use, because we leverage them so much.”