This solution has some unusual features. Although all the configuration and access control data is stored in the device, its management functions are divided between the device and a designated Windows workstation that runs the Access Control Manager application. This slightly unusual arrangement does enable routine management and monitoring functions to run from any networked client, while changes to the security system can only be carried out from a specific workstation.
In practice this arrangement works well, and allows the more sensitive administration tasks to be carried out from a secure location. The other unusual feature is the use of USB devices called iKeys. These security tokens can be used to identify users using a Personal Identification Number and can replace the normal user name and password authentication procedures. The tokens identify users and not their access rights, which are stored and managed at the appliance, so it is easy to change a user's settings or to remove their access rights without needing to reprogram the token.
Setting up the device was a matter of following the printed Quick Start guide and using the Network and Protected site configuration wizards, and we were able to have a working installation in a matter of minutes. Configuring and managing the device is simple, although the need to switch between the browser based interface and the Windows application was confusing to begin with.
Both interfaces are clean and well laid out, and provide on-line help and feedback in ample quantities. One thing that disturbed us was that although the administration interface offered an option to run diagnostics on the device these features were not implemented, and an apologetic message directed us to use the command line interface instead. (The vendor informs us that improvements to the next version of the iGate software take care of this problem). Although this did not compromise the system's operation in any way, it made things feel a little unfinished.