Dell SonicWALL NSA 3600
Strengths: Enterprise oriented, group manageable, 10 gigabit, support.
Weaknesses: Price may be out of reach of smaller organizations.
Verdict: Good choice for growing companies.
The Dell SonicWALL NSA 3600, along with its TotalSecure license bundle, is the company's offering for the UTM gateway and next-generation firewall market. This dynamic duo is a security powerhouse packed into a 1U rack mount server. It offers some of the best high-security features we have seen, while still remaining user friendly and intuitive. The NSA 3600 offers a good balance of features making it a good fit for single- or multiple-hundred-unit deployments.
We started by removing the tool from the box. We racked it up and then headed over to the quick-start guide to figure out how to connect the LAN and WAN interfaces. Once we connected those, we headed to an SC Lab PC and continued setup with a web browser. The folks at Dell loaded up our licenses for us, but we still had work to do to complete our install. We opened up the built-in quick setup menu, where we configured the time, WAN interface and other environment settings.
After the device was set up, we began experimenting with some of the many security features offered by our license set. We breezed through the configuration of the security features as if we had been doing it for years, despite the fact that we had never used the product before. The interface was well designed and easy to pick up. One feature we really liked was the Dell Threat Reports. Dell provides users with global data about popular threats and makes it available from within the SonicWALL so administrators can quickly get a glimpse of popular threats worldwide. This data can also be collected from SonicWALL devices internal to the enterprise, and then that data can be exported in an executive friendly PDF report. The NSA 3600 also has built-in support for cellular failover WAN, as well as WLAN control for SonicWALL access points. Speed is particularly emphasized on this model, with support for wireless AC and two 10gbe QSFP+ ports standard.
Dell SonicWALL products come with a 90-day software support period and a one-year hardware warranty factored into the cost. This provides customers with access to telephone, email and web support, as well as software updates. Most customers will want to extend the duration of support and Dell offers extension packages in eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week and 24/7 variants for between one and six years.
The Dell SonicWALL NSA 3600 is an excellent choice for medium to large organizations desiring easy management of many devices from one place. It offers the raw power and throughput to support organizations of this size, but these features will likely go unused at smaller organizations. Growing organizations will also be able to make good use of the performance features of the NSA 3600 because they can use a gigabit now and then grow into 10-gigabit later as the network requires. - SP