Viewfinity Application Control
Strengths: Nicely integrated application control.
Weaknesses: Can be costly.
Verdict: A good product, but a high price tag for larger organizations.
Application Control from Viewfinity offers full-scale application policy that can be deployed right from a group policy within Active Directory. This product allows administrators to establish a list of known good applications that can run within the environment along with the ability to block applications that may be prohibited. Beyond simple application control, Viewfinity also includes application monitoring and forensic capability.
We found this solution to be quite easy to install and we had it up and running in just a few minutes. The initial installation is done by running the installation executable which launches a setup wizard. At the completion of the short setup wizard we were able to launch the administration console application and connect to the domain. Once we integrated Application Control into our test domain we were able to view all of the configuration options directly in group policy editor. We found this to be a comfortable way of managing policy as it feels just like creating group policy objects. On the client side, each machine that will be managed needs to have an agent installed. These small agent applications can be easily deployed via group policy on all Windows endpoints and servers throughout the enterprise.
Overall, we found this tool to be not only easy to use but quite configurable. We had no trouble at all creating custom application policies and assigning them using group policy editor. We also found the reporting capabilities to be quite efficient as well. We were able to easily create reports based on a multitude of criteria including most used policies and what applications were running in the environment. On top of the reports there is also a lucid dashboard view which gives a quick overview of various organization statistics.
Documentation included a PDF user manual and a few other supplemental pieces. The user manual covered the product from installation through advanced configuration and use of the product features. We found this to be well-organized and to include an excellent amount of detail with step-by-step instructions and procedures and many screen shots, diagrams and configuration examples.
Viewfinity offers only paid technical support options to customers. Customers can purchase eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week or 24/7 phone- and email-based technical support through a support and maintenance subscription. Additionally, Viewfinity offers on-site support services if necessary, though this comes at a premium price. Customers can also access a small, web-based portal which includes product documentation downloads and a user forum. Viewfinity does not offer an online knowledge base at the current time.
At a price starting at $50 per endpoint and $225 per server, this product can become expensive quite fast for some environments. With that said, there are some solid features that make this product a good value for the money. We found that the real value of this offering is its ability to directly integrate with the Active Directory structure to make deploying application control policy seamless to both the administrator and the end-user. That, combined with its solid reporting capability, make this product a solid buy.