Gateprotect GPZ 5000
Strengths: eGUI interface makes policy creation easy and granular
Weaknesses: Can be too expensive for many environments
Verdict: The strength here is in the policies – a solid, configurable product that can be fine-tuned for your requirements
Gateprotect GPZ 5000 is the ultimate multifunction security gateway appliance. It features: a full firewall with intrusion detection and prevention system; anti-malware at the gateway, including protection from viruses, worms and spyware; spam protection; web and URL content management; and application control.
This appliance is built for the large enterprise with high throughput and multiple VLAN capability, along with QoS and user-based controls.
A couple of years ago when we reviewed this product, we said that the management console was difficult to use and hard to understand. After some guidance and playing around with it more last year, we found that it was not as near as hard as it seemed. This year, after spending a little bit more time with the product, we can definitely say that this tool was actually quite easy to configure and use once we became more comfortable with the design of the gateprotect eGUI. The eGUI replaces the standard management interface with something a little more visual. Rules are created simply by creating a map of the network and assigning rules or policy based on connections or users or groups.
The initial configuration of the appliance is done by connecting it to the network and then installing the management application on a machine on the same network. Once the appliance is powered on, it can be seen from the application, and the eGUI interface can be accessed by logging in. There is a setup wizard available, but it is actually much easier to configure the appliance from scratch using the drag-and-drop method of the eGUI. Overall, we found this appliance to get easier and easier to use every time we see it.
Documentation included a one-page quick-start guide that provided the steps to access the appliance initially and a full administrator guide. The administrator guide covered the appliance from initial configuration all the way through advanced management and use of the appliance features. This also included many step-by-step instructions, configuration examples and screenshots. We found all documentation to be well-organised and to provide a good amount of detail.
Gateprotect offers no-cost phone and email technical support during evaluations and the first 30 days after purchase of the product. After this, customers can purchase additional assistance through a contract. The company offers both eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week and 24/7 support options, which include phone- and email-based technical help. Customers have no-cost access to an online support area that includes a knowledgebase, FAQ section, user forum, product downloads and other resources.
At a price from £25,000 including maintenance, this product is not inexpensive by any means. However, we find this solution to be excellent value for money. While the price may seem high at first, we find that it is balanced by the overall ease of use of this appliance. Not only is it easy to manage overall, it has a very high degree of flexibility in policy configuration with the help of the eGUI interface.