Array SPX3000 Series
Strengths: Highly customisable VPN and portal system
Weaknesses: Quite difficult to install and manage
Verdict: Lots of features, but they come at the cost of ease of use
The SPX3000 Universal Access Controller appliance from Array Networks combines many good features for making network resources easily accessible to users outside the network without sacrificing security. It allows users to get direct access to desktops and applications as well as files.
The SPX3000 includes modules such as WebDirect, which enables administrators to build customised web portals, and AppDirect, which allows for use of both client-server and thin-client applications.
This device is fairly easy to use, although we feel the installation could be more straightforward as there are two separate pieces to set up. For the first you connect via hyperterminal and enter a few commands to set network information. The second piece is done through the web GUI and is wizard-based. However, once the initial setup is complete, there are still many other configuration and customisation steps to be completed to get this product up and fully running. The web GUI itself also is a little confusing and awkward to navigate.
With the ability to handle up to 2,500 consecutive users and 256 different virtual portals, the SPX3000 offers solid performance. It allows for highly granular customised access that can cover almost any environment's needs.
The only documentation provided with this product was a small binder with a short installation and setup guide and warranty information. The setup guide consists of a mere couple of sheets that include a diagram of the product and a brief description of lights and ports. This guide also contains a short set of step-by-step instructions for the command-line piece of the installation. We did not receive any other documentation.
Array Networks offers several support options for customers, including free phone support during business hours and 24/7 web-based support, all the way up to a gold support program that extends to round-the-clock phone support.
At a starting price of just over £1,700 we find this product to be good value for money. While it does offer a comprehensive feature set, we found implementation of this product to be quite a process, and it can be difficult to manage.