Novell Endpoint Protection Suite v11.x
Strengths: Mature product
Weaknesses: Product cost coupled with maintenance is a bit high
Verdict: Good product, though a bit expensive to comparable products
Novell Endpoint Protection Suite is a compilation of three software products: Novell Zenworks Endpoint Security Management, Novell Zenworks Full Disk Encryption and an optional subscription to Novell Zenworks Patch Management.
Collectively, these share a common agent that runs on the endpoint and provides dynamic, user-aware policies for encryption (safe harbour/folder, as well as whole-/full-disk encryption), personal firewall, device/port controls, wireless control settings, application controls and more. In addition, it centralises all relevant reporting and automates the process of software patching, including threat assessment, testing and remediation.
Documentation came on a USB device and consisted of 11 PDF files, including items from a quick-start guide to server installation, policy management and best practices guidance. Installation options for the central management solution ranged from an ESXi VMware virtual appliance to a standalone Windows 2008 R2 x64 server solution. In addition, the system requires a database. According to Novell, the most commonly used database solution is the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 database, but users are not limited to just these options.
Novell Endpoint Protection Suite is administered from a browser. This is commonly done with either Microsoft IE 9 or the Mozilla Firefox browser. Note that Firefox versions 16 through to 18 are currently supported. For this evaluation, Novell provided a USB device that contained a number of mountable Zip and ISO files used to install the product. Overall, the installation and configuration was easy to perform.
Using the tool was as simple as going to a target system, opening the browser and then going to the system URL and installing the agent. Other methods to enrol a system were to push an agent, run a script or use Active Directory Policy. There is a solid list of devices that are supported in the Zenworks Control Center. The central dashboard is clean and simple to navigate. Applying policies is easy. Once a policy is created (or implemented by using built-in policies), applying it to a folder gives all of the devices in the folder the applied policies. The management of mobile devices is just as easy with the addition of the agent security feature. Administrators can determine if they want to allow end-users the ability to uninstall the Zenworks Adaptive Agent.
The Endpoint Security and Full Disk Encryption are just as easy to define, deploy and manage. Endpoint Security has a drop-down list of policy types, including application control, communication hardware, data encryption, firewall, location assignment, scripting, security settings, storage device control, VPN enforcement and WiFi.
Novell offers two fee-based support solutions: standard or priority maintenance. Phone and email assistance is available, as well as aid through its website, along with a knowledgebase and FAQs list.
Value for the money spent is fair.