Strengths: A product with a lot of flexibility in deployment options
Weaknesses: We would have liked to see the initial deployment streamlined with a web-based wizard
Verdict: A flexible product that could be a bit easier to deploy
Enterasys Network Access Control appliance can be deployed inline or out of band, which allows for flexibility based on the network environment. It provides access control across wired, wireless or VPN connections and can use a variety of authentication options, including 802.1X, MAC, IP and hostname, as well as Radius.
You have to install both the NetSight appliance that includes the NAC Manager software and the actual NAC controller. Initial configuration of NetSight is done through a command line config wizard. This prepares the appliance with all the network and hostname settings. The installation of the controller is also done through the command line and takes just a few minutes. Management is done through various applications available via the NetSight appliance. We found management of the controller and the appliance to be fairly simple and straightforward.
The Enterasys system allows for centralised policy and guest-access control, with options to permit, deny, prioritise, rate-limit, tag, re-direct and audit traffic. These options can be assigned based on user identity, time, location and device type. We tested the inline system and found that even though it was based on the inline deployment it had a lot of nice flexibility of control and policies.
Documentation included installation guides for both the controller and the NetSight appliance, and a guide for the NetSight Policy Manager. These guides were well organised, with many step-by-step instructions and configuration examples, as well as screenshots and diagrams.
Enterasys offers 24/7, 365 days a year phone, email and web support, including self-service case-management tools. Customers can access a support website that includes features such as a knowledgebase, software download library, FAQs, product release notes, configuration and user guides, ask-an-expert premium service and technology whitepapers.
With a price starting at just over £6,800, this product is good value for the money.
While Enterasys can interface with many managed switches and other components, the inline approach with the included controller allows for a great amount of flexibility for different types of network environments.