Sophos Releases SFOS v16 Public Beta
Hello Sophos Community!
XG 16 beta is here! We’re thrilled to be able to get it into your hands, after many months of hard work! Today, we will put this first version of it into your hands. I’m Alan Toews, the product manager for XG firewall, and I’d like to officially welcome you to the public beta release! If you’re just arriving, we’ve had a small, closed, beta running for the past few weeks, so there are already a number of conversations going on here. Please, jump on in, get going with the beta, and let us know what you find!
We received a ton of feedback leading up to, and after the launch of v15, and we’ve been paying very close attention. As a result, we set three main goals for this release.
- Provide an enjoyable user experience – Security is tough enough you already have to fight to protect your network from the bad guys. you shouldn’t have to fight your firewall, also! A great deal of careful thought went into the changes you’ll see in v16, and while there’s more we want to do, I’m pretty sure you’ll like the changes we’ve made in this version!
- Close the feature gaps with UTM9 – Perfect parity isn’t the goal, but we do want to make sure that the major features you rely on in UTM9, are also present in XG. When possible, we have worked to take the feature in UTM9 that we want to bring over, and expand on it, making it even better. There are a couple notable exceptions, like Sophos Sandstorm, which we’re already working on addressing before the end of the year.
- Do more with Synchronized security – We’ve shown that the firewall and the endpoint can work better when they work together, or when security technologies cooperate, but what we’ve given in v15, is just the beginning. Now, we’ll begin laying the framework for the future.
To accomplish these goals, we’ve primarily targeted four key areas:
We set out to simplify the process of setting policies for your users, while adding more capabilities, and also giving you something you’ll find a bit familiar, whether you’re used to UTM9, XG v15, Cyberoam, or even the Sophos Web Appliance! With the addition of gap features, such as the warn action, unscannable content handling, google apps account enforcement, ecceptions, and others – along with a much improved policy creation experience, and now a true inheritance model, that allows radically simpler policy and firewall rule designs, I think we’ve hit all our goals on this one.
Many of you let us know that there were some core pieces of email protection in UTM 9, that were absolutely essential to bring to XG. Now, with a full MTA, per domain email routing, improved spam features, and SPX, and DLP improvements, we’re pretty excited to get your feedback on this.
Sometimes great innovation is big, bold, and radical. Sometimes it’s subtle, like a whisper. In v15, we faced some challenging problems to solve with navigation, and we tried something a little bolder. While it provided some cool ideas, it left some of you wondering where to go next. In v16, we took a more familiar approach. Now you can get anywhere in just one or two clicks. That’s 50% faster than UTM9 😉
Firewall rules are the center of all security in XG, and they deserve as much refinement as we can give them. Complexity is the enemy of security, and that applies to your firewall rule creation pages, too. We’ve given them a serious bit of attention, to make more efficient use of space, and make the layout even more intuitive.
On top of these four areas, we’ve added some 30 significant features to XG, which we’ve outlined in the release notes and attached documents. We’re now putting this in your hands, to start using. Thank you for your time and interest. It’s no small amount of effort to test a firewall. What we would ask you to do, is focus on these new features. We’ve included a list of some of the most important known issues, so please make note of those before you jump in too deep in any feature.
What to Expect:
The first beta build isn’t 100% feature complete. there are a handful of features we’re still hoping to get in during the beta (STAS GUI setup, DHCP Server & Relay simultaneously, and others), but quality is top priority What other changes arrive in the beta will depend entirely on the quality goals we have set for the release. There will be Sophos team members monitoring and responding continually. Also remember that this is beta software, so standard disclaimers apply.
More information can be found here – https://community.sophos.com/products/xg-firewall/v16beta/f/175/t/79316