Strengths: eGUI interface makes policy creation easy and granular.
Weaknesses: Can be too expensive for many environments.
Verdict: The strength here is in the policies – a solid, configurable product that can be finetuned for your requirement.
The gateprotect GPZ5000 is the ultimate multifunction security gateway appliance. This product features a full firewall with intrusion detection and prevention system; anti-malware at the gateway, including protection from viruses, worms and spyware; spam protection; web and URL content management; and application control. This appliance is built for the large enterprise with high throughput and multiple VLAN capability, along with QoS and user-based controls.
A couple of years ago when we reviewed this product, we said that the management console was difficult to use and hard to understand. After getting the chance to spend a bit more time with the product this go around and consequently becoming comfortable with the design of the gateprotect eGUI, we actually found that this tool has become a bit more easy to configure and use. The eGUI, especially, added to the process becoming somewhat more simple as it replaces the standard management interface with something more visual. Rules are created simply by establishing a map of the network and assigning rules or policies based on connections, users or groups.
The initial configuration of the appliance is done by connecting it to the network and then installing the management application on a machine on the same network. Once the appliance is powered on, it can be seen from the application, and the eGUI interface can be accessed by logging in. There is a setup wizard available, but it is actually much easier to configure the appliance from scratch using the drag-and-drop method of the eGUI. Overall, this appliance seems to get easier and easier to use every time we see it.
Documentation included a one-page quick-start guide - that provided the steps to access the appliance initially - and a full administrator guide. The administrator guide covered the appliance from initial configuration all the way through advanced management and use of the appliance features. This also included many step-by-step instructions, configuration examples and screen shots. We found all documentation to be well-organized and to provide a good amount of detail.
The company offers no-cost phone and email technical support during evaluations and the first 30 days after purchase of the product. After the first 30 days, customers can purchase additional assistance through a contract. The company offers both eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week and 24/7 support options, which include phone- and email-based technical help. Customers also have no-cost access to an online support area that provides a knowledge base, FAQ section, user forum, product downloads,and other resources.
At a price just shy of $20,000, this product is not inexpensive by any means. However, we find this solution to be an excellent value for the money. While the price may seem high at first, it is balanced by the overall ease of use of this appliance. Not only is this appliance easy to manage overall, it has a very high degree of flexibility in policy configuration, with the help of the eGUI interface.