Strengths: Easy-to-use management console and intuitive job creation
Weaknesses: Did not perform very well under test
Verdict: Needs a bit of maturing, but shows a lot of promise
Lumension Security's PatchLink is a fairly robust vulnerability scanner. It enables administrators to identify and scan all network-attached assets for vulnerabilities in operating systems, software and configurations. This comprehensive scanning gives a complete picture of a network's overall security situation.
The version of this product we received was an already installed VMware image, so unfortunately we were missing some big pieces on which we base our ease-of-use score as we cannot rate installation. What we did find is that after it is installed this product is quite easy to use. The management console itself is well organised and intuitive to navigate, and scans can be setup quickly and easily.
Furthermore, the tool's performance was hindered by being a virtual machine because of its need for resources on the machine on which it was running. We had a terrible time performing scans, and even when we boosted the memory to the virtual machine itself, we found we still spent more time waiting for things to load rather than doing actual tests. We are fairly certain that this would not be the case on the production version, but we must score the product as we received it.
The only documentation we had were several PDF guides on using the update feature and one evaluation guide. While the latter was quite thorough, it was strictly text-based, without any screenshots or diagrams.
Lumension provides onsite installation and continued support for as long as you use the product. This includes phone and email technical assistance as well as an online knowledge base.
Pricing is based on a one-time charge for the console plus an annual subscription depending on the number of nodes. That means the enterprise console with 100 nodes would come in at £1,956.71 per year, the standard console with 100 nodes would be £726.31 per year.
Based on our experience with this evaluation, we find this product to be average value for the money. It does have some nice features, but we cannot assume its ease of installation or performance.