The InstaGate PRO Firewall and VPN appliance is designed to support between 100 and 1,000 users and can be configured with a selection of modular add-ons, which eSoft calls SoftPaks.
These optional extra plug-ins beef up the platform's functionality by adding anti-virus, central VPN management, vulnerability scanning, content filtering and spam filtering elements.
On the hardware side of things, the InstaGate PRO sports an Intel Celeron processor clocked at 850 Mhz, together with 256MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive in a 1U rack-mountable unit. Multiple boxes can be networked together to improve scalability.
Connectivity options include Ethernet WAN and LAN ports; a pair of USB and serial ports, and one parallel port. In the event that it should be necessary, further option port connectivity can be supplied to support a DMZ to link to a hub or switch or internet connectivity via an external analog modem or ISDN connection.
Setup could hardly have been easier. After its initial boot, the device automatically scans for a DHCP server, from which it takes its IP and network settings. If it cannot find one, the unit assigns itself default settings that can be changed using the front panel keypad.
The setup wizard automatically controls the device configuration process, while subsequent management is achieved via a very well-designed console using a standard browser over an SSL link.
A thoughtful option allows the appliance to be configured with separate device and system administrators, which gives the former local administration rights and the latter super-user authority to make global system modifications.
In terms of the basic firewall, stateful inspection filtering of all data through the unit is augmented by SMTP and transparent HTTP proxy support.
The device has remote authentication support allowing integration with databases using Radius and the provision of a simple network management protocol agent simplifies monitoring.