ArrayNetworks SP

This device is built into a rugged 3U height chassis and provides two copper Gigabit Ethernet ports for network connections (the vendor claims up to four Gigabit ports are available, but we only found two). The initial set up needs a serial connection, but subsequent configuration changes are made through a browser-based interface.

The command-line interface remains available via either the serial connection or an SSH connection. The web interface has a QuickStart facility that leads you through the set-up process, from setting addresses to creating a secure portal. At the end, we had a working system we could then modify using the more detailed facilities offered in the Array Pilot interface. As well as enabling detailed configuration of all aspects of the system, it provides a "real-time" graphical display of various system parameters, such as CPU use and network traffic statistics.

The VPN client is an ActiveX control that provides a Secure Desktop that looks and feels like a normal Windows desktop, but with access to networked resources through the ArraySP. As an ActiveX control, this feature is restricted to Windows client systems, but the web-based services are accessed through the secure portal, which can be used by any suitable browser. This gives a wide choice of client platforms.

Also, TCP-based applications such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes can be accessed from the portal using the Application Manager Java applet. The documentation only refers to Windows and Mac clients running the latest versions of Internet Explorer or Netscape, although other browsers and platforms should also work.

The system offers a further level of access control via its URL filter. An email alert can be sent when one or more requests are matched and dropped.

System logging is comprehensive, with facilities to generate email notifications.

Documentation is extensive, and ranges beyond the information needed to configure and manage the device, providing information on the structure and installation of Windows Active Directory Services, for example.

Product title
ArrayNetworks SP
Product info
Name: ArrayNetworks SP (SSL VPN group test) Description: Price: $24,995
Good system management integration with useful monitoring and alerting features.
The clients need to be running Windows to use all the available features.
A serious device with good security features in both software and hardware.

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