June 10, 2005
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
Fast; flexible management.
Additional features all have to be licensed separately.
A fast and flexible firewall, although many of its features have to be licensed separately.
Better known for its smaller appliances, SonicWall has pushed into the enterprise market with its Pro 5060f. Running SonicOS Enhanced 3.1, the 1U appliance houses a 2.4GHz Intel Xeon processor, 512MB of RAM and six Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. The 'f' in our model signifies that two of these ports are multimode fiber, but you can buy a 5060 with six copper ports.
Management can either be through the web interface or the company's Global Management System (GMS). As well as providing centralized management for global policy rollout, GMS also provides role-based administration, so different administrators can be given different permissions.
For this review, we stuck with web management to see what the firewall is capable of. Rather than create rules based on ports, SonicWall uses zones. Each port is a member of a zone, such as the default LAN and WAN. The main advantage to this high-level approach is that redefining which network a port is a member of does not break the security policy.
On top of this, you can create network objects, such as subnets, which can be used as the source and destination of any rule. It creates more work at the start, but the ability to reuse information is crucial when building rules. The firewall policy is easy to manage and you will want to create new rules immediately, as the default policy lets all traffic flow from the LAN to the WAN. High availability is provided by the failover settings, which requires dedicating one network port for communications to the backup firewall.
As well as basic security, SonicWall also provides anti-virus, anti-spam, content filtering and intrusion prevention. All can be activated with the purchase of an additional license, though some have a free trial available. The hardware-accelerated VPN comes fully unlocked, and can accept up to 500Mbps of 3DES traffic.
Logs entries can be sent via an SMTP mail server, viewed locally or saved in a separate file for analysis. SonicWall's ViewPoint software can be used to generate more meaningful reports.
A fast firewall with flexible management operations, the Pro 5060f will fit into most enterprises. But as none of the extra security features come with licenses, it is not the best value in the group.
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