GuardianEdge Hard Disk Encryption 9.1
Strengths: Good features at a moderate price.
Weaknesses: Server installation can be somewhat cryptic. Limited as an Active Directory-only install.
Verdict: A solid product that can be cumbersome to install, but contains many enterprise-class features.
SummaryGuardianEdge Hard Disk Encryption 9.1 is an Active Directory (AD) integrated full disk encryption solution. The product is based on a client server architecture, and secures client endpoints through software-based encryption mechanisms.
The server components are only compatible with AD, and client machines must be part of the domain in order to receive policies. The server components use Windows 2003, while client software can be installed on Windows 2000, Windows XP or Vista.
Installation of the product was very involved. Installation requires ADAM (Active Directory Application Mode), and configuration of the product on a Windows 2003 server machine involves many different and sometimes complex steps.
The installation guide is 165 pages, and getting ADAM up and running takes some time, especially if particular details are not followed correctly or in sequence. Once client and server components are installed, however, technical stakeholders will appreciate some of the complexity. Integrating with AD helps to enforce some separation of duties -- between those stakeholders who will create policy versus those who might be applying it at the server level.
Certain options within the server software can restrict AD snap-in features to ensure that delegation of tasks are based on proper roles.
From a client perspective, pre-boot authentication and support for multifactor authentication devices are standard features. Single sign-on features are also compatible with certain Novell products as well. There are several granular features to help support the encryption of data at client endpoints, and the performance of the product doesn't disappoint.
Documentation is more than adequate. The PDF files are extensive. Every step of the installation and configuration is detailed and can be referenced through easy-to-use indexes.
The price starts at $140 per endpoint, and volume licensing is available. It's also sold with one year of maintenance and support, which is included in the price of the product. Additional years of support can be purchased at standard and premium levels, priced at 20 and 30 percent of the software license fee, respectively.