Alcatel-Lucent Firewall Brick 1200
Strengths: Incredibly feature-rich
Weaknesses: Documentation is severely lacking
Verdict: Lots of features, but with a stiff learning curve
The VPN Firewall Brick is a selective but major upgrade of the similar inspection firewall commonly deployed in the late 1990s. The Brick is an appliance offering many interfaces and its core is a stateful inspection engine.
In addition to the stateful inspection engine, the Brick boasts some of the top speeds for network firewall devices. Another unique feature is the central management software, aptly named the Security Management Server (SMS).
In addition to centralised management provided with the SMS software package, SMS provides real-time monitoring, logging and reporting. The Brick has far too many features to list in the space allotted, but some of the highlights include:
- Bridging and/or routing on all interfaces
- All features supported with bridging
- IP routing with static routes
- 802.1Q VLAN tagging supported inbound and outbound on any combination of ports
- Layer 2 VLAN bridging
- Network Address Translation (NAT)
- Port Address Translation (PAT)
- Supports virtual IP address for both address translation and VPN tunnel endpoints
- PPPoE and DHCP-assignable interface/VLAN addresses
Documentation for the Brick is brief at best. The start guide takes you through the process of unpacking the box, mounting the Brick in a rack, plugging in the electrical cable and plugging through the network cables. From this point, the user is basically left to their own devices to determine how to configure the Brick. The website only offered product sheets as documentation.
Support is offered through phone, email and a website. For the first 90 days, software is covered by warranty; and the hardware is covered for the first year. Ranges for premium support options are reasonable and range in price from £377 to £698.
Additional support options are available and perhaps most important is the unit return - where a unit is shipped as soon as the call is made. This eliminates the wait period for return shipment of the broken unit.
The Brick is priced at £17,500, making it a mid-range solution.