The Proventia IPS GX6116 could be considered the high-end sports carof IPS appliances. Not only does this device include several protectionand analysis features — such as protocol analysis for more than 140different network and application protocols, heuristics and patternmatching — but it is built for speed. This device includes a high-endnetwork processing unit, as well as eight 64-bit multi-core processors,and dual XEON x86 processors examine traffic across all seven OSIlayers. This beast of a box can handle almost any amount of trafficthrown its way and still have resources to spare.
We found this appliance to be surprisingly simple to set up andmanage. We did hit a few snags in the set-up process though. Since thisappliance is built for massive speed, the ports are all straightgigabit and will not talk to anything less. The other problem we raninto was that the Java interface tends to freeze when implementing alarge policy change unless your console PC has a lot of memory. Otherthan that this appliance is solid.
This device has no trouble with computing performance, but theprotection performance sits right about in the middle of what we wouldexpect. On the scanning portions of our tests the appliance caught mostof the attacks, and on the penetration attack it blocked everythingfrom getting through.
Interestingly, this appliance did not come with the famous IBM-ISSbig quick start card. Instead, it came with an entire getting startedguide. This guide is presented in their standard layout with limitedvisuals. However, the guide is fairly easy to follow and understand.The other documentation for this product is a user guide that detailsconfiguration in more depth, as well as describing how to deploy thisappliance with SiteProtector (IBM-ISS centralized management console).
IBM-ISS has many comprehensive support plans that are available witha support contract. These plans include levels of phone technicalsupport, updates and upgrades, training and many other services.
This product is at the highest end of the price spectrum. At a costjust shy of $200,000, this product is a significant investment. Thoughthis product does have some very nice features, as well as highcapability, the price is only justified as part of a large Proventiadeployment. This is the ultimate sports car with all the toys, butintended for the large enterprise.