Forum Systems Sentry WAF
Strengths: Advanced protection functions for web applications.
Verdict: This one is pricey, but its feature set ameliorates that somewhat.
The Sentry WAF from Forum Systems is a full-feature web application firewall that provides comprehensive protection to almost any web application, including HTML, JSON, XML and SOAP. This product is designed to protect against the new threats facing complex web applications, and to keep the backend of those apps safe from being exploited by hackers.
We found it to be reasonably easy to install. The initial configuration is done through a terminal session and, at the end of a short wizard, the appliance has an IP address and all the basic configuration information needed to be deployed in the network. Once deployed, all further configuration is done via the easy-to-navigate, web-based interface.
This product offers a lot in terms of deployment flexibility. While the platform itself is a physical appliance, customers also can access a virtual appliance for deployment testing and development. Once the configuration is complete on the virtual appliance, it can be exported and then imported directly into the physical appliance. This functionality guarantees that policies are tested completely before being deployed in production.
Documentation includes well-organized and easy-to-follow installation and appliance administrator guides. The installation guide provides excellent detail on the setup process of the appliance and how to deploy it in the network, while the administrator guide offers in-depth configuration and management information.
Forum Systems lends support to customers through an agreement. Customers can purchase eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week or 24/7 assistance plans. Contracts also include access to an online portal that includes resources, such as a knowledge base, FAQ section and forum.
At a price of $64,000, this appliance is quite pricey for most organizations. However, we find it to be a good value for the money based on its comprehensive feature set and advanced application protection functions.