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Netgate® is Resetting Its TNSR® Software Offering

Introducing Free Home and Lab Use Product, and Flattening TNSR Business Subscription Pricing

Many of our blog followers are well familiar with TNSR. For those who aren’t, TNSR is Netgate’s high-performance software router based on FD.io’s Vector Packet Processing (VPP). VPP takes the hard work of crunching packets at speed - which used to be the elite domain of expensive, vendor lock-in solutions based on FPGAs and ASICS - and makes it possible to deliver 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps routers at unprecedented total cost of ownership. TNSR productizes the power of VPP, along with other necessary solution elements, into a commercially ready-to-use, supported product. It’s been disruptive from inception, but now we’ve made it even more so.

It’s been informative to hear how hundreds of TNSR prospects and customers describe their edge routing needs. The conversation usually includes some or all of these types of comments:

  • “I’m tired of paying five to six figures for turnkey hardware and software edge router solutions.”
  • “I’m looking for high performance routing in software that can run on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware. It cannot croak when I throw small packets at it. It cannot fall over if I need to use IPsec for site-to-site or cloud connectivity applications.”
  • “My bandwidth needs are evolving rapidly, so I need the freedom to scale bandwidth without any licensing friction. As bandwidth needs go up, pricing is anything but linear, and I really don’t want to have to manage that thought process.”
  • “This is an important part of my secure networking infrastructure. I need an API or some other scalable way to manage all of my instances.”
  • “I don’t need every router feature known to man, but core capabilities, robustness and reliability are essential.”

We’ve listened, and we’ve made three key changes:

First, we are replacing bandwidth-based pricing with instance-based pricing. You define the instance - bare metal or virtual machine. Use any number of cores, any supported CPU vintage, and any amount of memory you like. Drive the software as hard as you wish: 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps and beyond. The software price per instance is flat. You don’t need to think about “scale up”. You pay more only as you “scale out” the number of instances. Simple.

Second, we are setting the per instance price aggressively. There are two simple price points, differentiated only by support SLA. You can find them on our tnsr.com subscription page, but they are summarized here for convenience:

  • TNSR Business (with TAC Pro Support) - defined as 24/7/365 availability, ticket system access, and a first SLA response within 24 hours - is available for $499 per instance per year
  • TNSR Business (with TAC Enterprise Support) - defined as 24/7/365 availability, phone and ticket system access, and a first SLA response within 4 hours - is available for $899 per instance per year

Think about that. A 100 Gbps router for $499 a year (just add hardware). We sell turnkey solutions on our mid- and upper-end hardware appliances: the Netgate SG-5100, XG-1537, and XG-1541 with prices that range from $699 to $4027, depending on configuration options (there is also instance availability on AWS and Azure). Or, you can build your own or buy third-party. The point is: you decide how much hardware performance you need. You decide your brand preference. We make the software that exploits your hardware better than anything else on the market.

Third, we are simplifying your ability to try TNSR without spending a penny. We are replacing our sales-gated evaluation process with a new, free version of TNSR, called TNSR Home+Lab. Come one, come all. Simply register, sign the Evaluation Agreement, and download it for non-commercial use at no charge at home or in a lab. Each release will be good for six months. You can even run it past the half-year mark - as long as there are no restarts or attempts at reconfiguration. Of course, we expect to have new releases around three times per year, so you’ll be better served to install the latest version.

TNSR is a game-changing high-performance software router, shattering previous notions of both price and price-performance. It has proven worthy for commercial deployments across enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions. The changes covered herein make it even faster, easier, and less expensive for users to fulfill their edge routing needs.

Our newest release, 20.08, adds a new router control plane, configuration flexibility, and robustness. Go to tnsr.com, download the free version or purchase a commercial use version. Use our openly available documentation to get it up and running. Head over to the Netgate Forum to tell us what you think, or ask questions of other users. See missing features? Have a problem? Don’t be bashful, speak up. We’re here to make it better. We believe if we do, just as many Netgate customers have done with pfSense® software, you’ll usher TNSR into your own commercial environment - a win-win outcome.