CyberGuard has a long and impressive track record in the firewall market, providing solutions from the desktop to those suitable for the high end, such as data centers. The SL2000 is positioned at the high end and, while certainly not the cheapest firewall in this Group Test, is worth every penny.
From an aesthetic point of view, CyberGuard has always been one of the more stylish players, and the SL2000 is no exception. It is a large, rack-mountable (5U) appliance with an attractive, curved fascia. Installation is simplicity itself. CyberGuard aims for a 'plug-and-play' firewall, and that is basically what you get.
Once the firewall is installed, configuration is carried out via an extremely simple-to-understand GUI. Management is browser-based, so you can configure and maintain the firewall from anywhere on your network.
The firewall is based on a B2-level hardened OS, and provides a similar degree of high availability as Stonesoft's StoneGate product. You can configure the device to provide possibly the highest degree of protection of any firewall in this Group Test. It offers stateful inspection, circuit-level gateway protection and virtually every type of application proxy you can imagine. You can take advantage of the SmartProxy facility, which allows you to create your own proxies, as well as providing load balancing.
The SL2000 is also CVP compliant, which means that you can easily integrate it with the anti-virus solution of your choice. The product also logs every type of information you could possibly require, offering a detailed audit trail.
Given that it is aimed at high-usage sites, the SL2000 can handle up to 2Gbps of throughput; it also has three power supplies for high availability, and the option to aggregate multiple NICs for failover. The product also provides an IPsec/IKE/X.509 virtual private network (VPN) at no extra cost, which is a real bonus.
Given this is a heavy-duty product, it is extremely easy to use, and if you run into a problem there is a wealth of documentation in PDF format. The company also offers extensive, 24x7 telephone support.
Aimed at the data center end of the market, the SL2000 doesn't come cheap, but the degree of protection that the product offers means that you really will get return on investment.
Definitely worth considering if you require a heavy duty firewall solution.