The appliance concept is ideal for solving the deployment challenges of software-based solutions, such as the labor-intensive task of configuring and setting up dedicated servers and databases.
We had numerous challenges getting the appliance installed and running. It runs a Microsoft Server 2003 OS. The good news is the interface has a Windows look and feel to it, so it was easy to understand. We were unable to discover it through Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) right away. When attaching a local monitor and keyboard to the appliance, we witnessed boot errors with loading various dynamic-link library (DLLs). We did eventually discover the appliance. We were able to use an appliance discovery tool from our test workstation to find it and begin the process of configuring and managing devices.
The documentation was of absolutely no help as the company sent one manual that lacked details on configuring the appliance and troubleshooting. Also, we could not find any help or documentation online. We used what eEye calls its REM deployment tool to push the client to our workstation, but it failed. We found that sharing must be enabled on the desktop to allow this feature. We performed the manual load of the client. While the appliance did have options for AD and address resolution protocol (ARP) discovery of devices, neither seemed to work.
The client did load manually and provided a firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, systems protection in the form of application and registry monitoring and vulnerability scans. We ran updates and then ran a few scans from the local test workstation. Due to its limited performance, we did not get to test reporting, alerting or other management functionality. The product does support these functions and I believe that as the appliance matures, this will be a very nice solution on the network protection side.