Pearl Echo Suite
Strengths: Good feature set with an easy to use interface.
Weaknesses: Limited flexibility, no real extras, just a comprehensive web filter.
Verdict: Competent product, but missing some flexibility in policy management.
SummaryThe Pearl Echo Suite provides monitoring and control on many web-based fronts. This product features an expansive URL filter, email management (both Exchange and web-based), chat and IM blocking, and control of file transfers.
We found this product to be easy to install and deploy. The server can be installed anywhere on the network as long as the machine is a domain member and can communicate with other computers on the network. Once the server is installed, clients can be deployed as msi files throughout the domain via group policy. We found the management interface to be quite bare bones and simplistic. Navigation was simple as there is not much to the interface itself.
Where we started to find problems with this product was in policy configuration and management. This product can pull users and groups from Active Directory, which makes policy configuration easy. However, there is little granularity in the predefined categories. One thing we did find very nice about this product is that it can actually capture text from transmitted email, chat and instant messages. This text can easily be viewed with a couple of mouse clicks.
Documentation for this product is quite good. The provided quick start guide clearly presents step by step installation tasks for both the server and client machines. After installation, the user guide shows many advanced setup procedures and configurations. There is also a very detailed section with easy to follows steps on how to build and deploy clients via group policy. The user guide also has many screen shots and detailed examples.
Pearl offers both phone and email-based support to its customers. There is also phone support available at no charge for customers evaluating the product. Other support available via the website includes a knowledge base, tutorials, FAQs, user guides and help files.
We find this product to be a good value for the money. At a price of $20 per seat, it is perfect for smaller environments that do not require a massively expensive product, or slightly larger environments that want a product that has some nice features at a decent price.