SonicWALL Aventail EX-1600
Strengths: High-powered performance with many great features.
Weaknesses: High cost for smaller environments.
Verdict: If you can afford it, this one is worth a good look. SonicWALL apparently has dispensed with some of the quirks of older Aventail products.
SummaryThe Aventail EX-1600 is a high-end SSL VPN designed for the needs of medium to large enterprises. The Aventail Workplace feature provides quick access to web- and client server-based applications, as well as files shared via a web browser, without the need for a VPN client application. This product also features Aventail Connect Mobile, which allows Windows Mobile users to connect.
We found this product quite easy to work with. The initial setup and configuration is guided by a short and easy-to-follow wizard. After the wizard is complete, further configuration is done via a web-based GUI. This GUI has a clean look and is well organized and intuitive to navigate.
This appliance can tie-in directly with Active Directory for user authentication or it can be configured for local users or to work with RADIUS servers. There is also a great deal of flexibility built in so customized portals can be setup to be as granular as needed. Also built into this product are access control rules so requirements have to be met before users can access the network resources.
There are a couple of PDF documents provided. One of these is a lengthy getting started guide, which details considerations and deployment scenarios for the appliance. There is also an administration and installation guide that provides a great amount of detail about installation and setup procedure, as well as advanced configuration of the product features. Both these guides include detailed step-by-step instructions, as well as many screen shots, diagrams and tables to provide further illustration.
All SonicWALL Aventail E-Class SSL VPNs have 24/7 support available both by phone and email. This support must be purchased as part of a support contract at $1,699 for 25 concurrent users. There is also a support area available on the website, which includes product guides, technical notes, FAQs, user forums and a knowledge base.
We find this product to be a good value for the money. At a price of about $10,000, this is quite a hefty investment. However, it does offer some robust features and a great amount of flexibility.