Novell Endpoint Protection Suite
Strengths: Full endpoint protection with many features and policy options.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: Full of the Novell legacy of strong network performance and centralized management.
The Novell Endpoint Protection Suite features two modules from the much larger ZENworks Suite of products. Making up the Endpoint Protection Suite are ZENworks Endpoint Security Management and ZENworks Full Disk Encryption. Optionally, ZENworks Patch Management can be added on for system patching and remediation capabilities. The Endpoint Security Management piece of this product features VPN enforcement, personal firewall, wireless security enforcement, USB and device and application control, along with removable storage device and file and folder encryption. Further enhancing security, Full Disk Encryption ensures that all endpoints have fully encrypted hard drives.
Installation and deployment was straightforward and did not require much effort from the administrator. The server software was installed in both Windows and Linux platforms providing deployment flexibility. We chose to do a Windows-based installation for our review and found we had the server installed and up and running in no time. After the server was installed, all further management was done via a well-organized management console. We found this to be simple to use and intuitive to navigate. After spending just a few minutes configuring policies, we were deploying agents and policies with no trouble at all.
Overall, this suite offered a lot of functionality and control over endpoints. The Endpoint Protection Suite can leverage already existing Microsoft Active Directory or Novell eDirectory structures to manage policies based on users or computers, thus offering full integration throughout the environment. Policy also showed a lot of flexibility with policy control being either granular or as broad as needed to fit the needs of specific situations or environments.
Documentation included a quick-start guide along with a full administrator guide and a few other supplemental pieces. The quick-start guide focused on an overview of the product and its features along with a few steps to getting a base configuration in place and becoming familiar with the product itself. The administrator guide focused on the ZENworks Suite as a whole with sections for managing and configuring individual components. We found all documentation to be easy-to-follow and well-organized.
The majority of support offered by Novell must be purchased as part of the maintenance fee that is included in the cost of the product. Novell offers customers two support levels that have a range of options, including 12/5 or 24/7 phone- and email-based technical assistance, along with varying response times ranging from one to four hours. Customers also can access a large support area via the website. This area includes a knowledge base, user forum, documentation downloads and many other help items.
With prices starting around $55 per seat, plus $22 per seat for maintenance, we find this solution to be a good value for the money. Overall, the Novell Endpoint Protection Suite offers a lot of features and functionality with solid granular policy controls that can integrate well into almost any environment. This suite also allows for scalability in terms of functionality, as more features from the rest of the ZENworks Suite can easily be deployed right alongside of these components and managed directly from the same administration console.