Avenda Systems eTIPS
Strengths: Goes beyond the surface and looks at registry entries and services.
Weaknesses: We would have liked to see a user or administrator guide rather than just a help feature.
Verdict: A good product that needs a bit more comprehensive documentation.
SummaryThe eTIPS appliance provides a solid platform for NAC. With this tool, system administrators can set policies for wired, wireless and VPN network access and make sure a system meets health requirements before being allowed to join the network. The eTIPS appliance can check for the usual suspects, such as OS values, hotfixes, and anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall status. However, it can also go deeper and check for various registry entries and running services, as well.
We found the setup of this appliance to be quite straightforward. Once the appliance was connected and powered up, we simply connected to it via a console session where we were presented with a short setup wizard. This guided us through setting up the general network information. After we completed the initial setup wizard, we were able to connect the web GUI. The overall layout was simple and intuitive to navigate, and the main dashboard is customizable with many drag-and-drop monitors and modules.
The appliance has 802.1X, simple network management protocol (SNMP) enforcement, RADIUS and Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System Plus (TACACS+) capability, as well as port mapping and vulnerability scanning built in. It also features the ability to run a policy simulation before it is deployed, and there are many deployment templates included.
The only documentation provided was a short quick-start guide, which offers step-by-step instructions on how to connect to the appliance for the initial network configuration and then access the web GUI. From there context sensitive help is available via the web interface.
Avenda provides standard and premium support plans for 15 and 20 percent of the list price. There is also a small support area on the website.
At a price of about $8,000 for 500 users, we find this product to be a good value for the money. It provides a solid set of access and management controls that are easy to implement and manage.