SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) E7500
Strengths: Very powerful, highly configurable UTM.
Weaknesses: Support costs are a little pricey.
Verdict: This one is a brute. If you need to address a very large, complicated requirement, don’t let the price put you off. You won’t be disappointed.
The SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance is a high performance, highly configurable, super UTM. This product features the tools necessary to protect even the largest, most complex network environments. This powerful appliance includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, IPS and application intelligence and control at a blazing speed of 1.7 Gbps which greatly reduces latency through the gateway. This appliance also uses the intelligence from SonicWALL Labs and the SonicWALL GRID Network to inspect for malware families at the gateway, ensuring that new variants of malware are caught before coming into the network.
We found setup and deployment of this product to be quite simple. Once the appliance is connected to the network, the web GUI can be launched from a network computer. The first time the web GUI is run, it launches a setup wizard, which pretty much gets the product going with solid protection out of the box. At the completion of the setup wizard, the main management interface can be accessed. This web GUI is well organized and quite intuitive to navigate.
The main focus of this appliance is flexibility. With several deployment scenarios and many configurable options, the Network Security Appliance can be set up for even the most complex needs of the environment. Policies can be configured to be as granular or broad as needed, and this product can integrate quite well with many other devices, including SonicPoint wireless access points.
Documentation includes a detailed getting-started guide that provided in a well organized format all the steps to not only get the product up and running, but also some more advanced configuration steps. Other documentation included an administrator guide that provided a continuation of the advanced configuration of the product features with more in-depth information. Both guides also featured many screen shots and configuration examples along with clear step-by-step instructions.
SonicWALL offers high level 24/7 phone and email support, as well as firmware updates, as part of a support contract at an additional cost of $5,345 per year. Customers also have access to a large support area on the website that includes a knowledge base and many other useful resources.
At a price just over $43,000, this product absolutely is not for everyone. However, we do find it an excellent value for the money for the very large enterprise with complex and high security needs.