The CertainT 100 provides certificate and key management facilities, as well as SSL acceleration, in a standard 1U rack mount unit. Network connections came through one 10/100 Base-TX and one 1000 Base-SX connector. The device is also available with additional connectivity options up to gigabit Ethernet over copper.
The initial set up is carried out using a command line interface over a serial connection but it can then be configured and administered using a secure browser-based GUI if required. Access to these interfaces is controlled by separate user/password combinations.
The whole machine is self-contained and quite small (1U in size). All the functions and documentation are contained within the unit, so that there is no need to install software or hardware on servers or admin computers. The system has comprehensive logging and monitoring facilities.
Each unit has a maximum licensed limit of 36,000 concurrent users, but the units can be used in clusters to provide increased capacity. It also supports DES, 3DES, DH, DSS, MD5, RC2, RC4, RSA and SHA-1 encryption algorithms.
The unit is normally used with Radware's Web Server Director, a controller and load-balancing device, but it can also be used as a standalone, linking the internet and the server. We tested it in stand-alone mode, configured as an SSL terminator so the communication between it and the web server was in clear http, with the device handling decryption from the client and encryption to it.
The device also provides http and https compression, which conserves bandwidth and also implements reverse caching, improving throughput. SSL attack prevention can also be implemented. Using the Configware Insite software provided, it is possible to observe and record real-time operation figures and historical performance data, allowing performance monitoring and identification of potential weak spots in the service. Since the unit is self-contained, there is no need to install software on the servers.
The CertainT 100 has high performance, and the clustering capability provides a good scalability option to cope with increased traffic. But the cost of licenses for the number of users supported increases its overall cost. The lack of any tamper-resistant or other kind of physical security might disqualify it from some high-security sites.