Array Networks SPX3000
Strengths: Highly customizable VPN and portal system
Weaknesses: Difficult to install and manage.
Verdict: Lots of features, but they come at the cost of ease-of-use.
SummaryThe SPX3000 appliance from Array Networks combines many good features for making network resources easily accessible to users outside the network - without sacrificing security. Not only can users access files, but this product allows users to get direct access to desktops and applications as well. The SPX3000 includes modules, such as WebDirect, which allows administrators to build customized web portals, and AppDirect, which allows for use of both client-server and thin-client applications.
This product is fairly easy to use. We feel the installation could be a little more straightforward as there are two separate pieces to install with this product. The first step is done by connecting via HyperTerminal and entering a few commands to set network information. The second piece is done through the web GUI and is wizard-based. However, once the initial setup is complete there are still many other configuration and customization steps to be completed to get this product up and fully running. The web GUI itself also is a little confusing and awkward to navigate.
With the ability to handle up to 2,500 consecutive users and up to 256 different virtual portals, this product offers solid performance. The tool allows for highly granular customized access that can cover almost any environment's needs.
The only documentation provided with this product was a small binder with a short installation and setup guide and warranty information. The setup guide is only a couple of sheets, including a diagram of the product and a brief description of lights and ports. This guide also contains a short set of step-by-step instructions for the command line piece of the installation. We did not receive any other documentation.
[UPDATE] Array SPX3000 does include documentation beyond that which we reported in our review. However, this documentation is included in such a manner as to resemble a Help file (i.e., available directly from the administrator interface). While we liked the overall feature set, we greatly prefer documentation to be available separately since having it available only from the administrator console assumes that the console is functioning.
Array Networks offers several support options for customers. Support is offered at various levels and includes free phone support Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m. PST and 24/7 web-based support, all the way up to a Gold support program, which includes such options as 24/7/365 phone support.
At a price starting just under $3,000, we find this product to be a good value for the money. While it does offer a comprehensive feature set, we found implementation of this product to be quite a process and it can be difficult to manage.