We found deployment to be fairly easy with help from an initial setup wizard. The wizard is launched from a web browser once the appliance is connected to the network. This utility will help in creating the initial network settings of the appliance, as well as establish a base configuration of the security policy. At the completion of the wizard, all further administration and management is done via the web-based interface of the appliance. We found this to be well-organized and intuitive to navigate.
Policy and rules are also easy to create and manage. The base configuration that is put in place from the setup wizard provides a solid starting point for configuration of security policy, and many features can be easily customized by simply clicking them on or off. The appliance also comes pre-loaded with many intrusion prevention signatures - with most already enabled when the intrusion prevention system is turned on. Custom policy can easily be configured by using the base configuration as a template, which can be tweaked to meet the needs of the environment. The Security Gateway also incorporates Astaro's branch security management toolset that allows for multiple appliances to connect together and be managed by a central device for a consistent blanket policy from one office to another. Furthermore, this product also can integrate with Astaro wireless security access points to provide protection to wireless devices.
Documentation provided with this product includes a short, one-page quick-start guide along with an administrator guide. The quick-start guide includes a few short instructions on how to connect the appliance to the network and get access to the web-based setup wizard. The administrator guide provides a more in-depth look at configuration and deployment of the product and product features. We find both pieces of documentation to include clear instructions, as well as quite a few screen shots and configuration examples in an organized, easy-to-read format.
Astaro offers phone- and email-based technical support to customers who have purchased a support and maintenance plan. Support is offered to customers at both 12/5 or 24/7 levels. Customers also receive no-cost access to a large web-based support area that includes documentation downloads, technical documents and a user forum. Astaro is also rolling out a brand new knowledge base that includes no-cost access to manuals and other documents.
At a price of about $3,135 for the hardware, licenses for one year of network, web, mail, web application and wireless security subscriptions with premium 24/7 support, we find this product to be an excellent value for the money. The Astaro Security Gateway combines flexible deployment options with many gateway-based network security features that are easy to configure and manage in one appliance. - MS