SolSoft Policy Server
Strengths: Makes life easier for the busy security administrator
Weaknesses: Only supports a few popular devices
Verdict: In a big organisation, this product will pay for itself with reduced effort and time spent administrating firewalls and VPNs
Solsoft Policy Server is a program I wish I had had when I was performing daily firewall, router and VPN installs. Now that I have not been installing firewalls for a few years, a product that would have made my life easier is finally released. For many administrators this might be the best product that you are not using if you administrate Cisco devices with the firewall IOS, NetScreen/Juniper devices, or Check Point devices. However, the product is especially effective if you manage a mixed environment that includes two or more of the aforementioned vendors.
Perhaps the server's best feature is the ability to establish multi-vendor VPNs easily using a drag-and-drop mechanism. I have seen other vendor's configuration utilities do this, but definitely not as easily as Solsoft Policy Server. The other feature that I was most impressed with was the ability to convert an imported configuration from one vendor and migrate it to another vendor. This feature allows an enterprise to have a standard firewall and VPN configuration across multiple platforms.
The installation was straightforward, with the exception of the missing MySQL installation. It would seem to be a logical fit to bundle the MySQL database into the installation application instead of requiring the installer to lock down the product separately and then start the installation of Policy Server all over again. In addition, the version of MySQL was slightly outdated and took some effort to track down. Once we had the correct version on the system, it took a bit of work to get the installation to recognise it.
The product had PDFs for documentation that included an install guide as well as a user guide. Both were complete and well written, with good screen shots to follow when installing the product.
Solsoft Policy Server includes free 30-day support, and assistance beyond the 30 day period is available in several options, including email and online.
This product is good, but it is pricey. For small organisations with a few devices, the price might be too high, but for large companies, the time and effort saved by security administrators will make the cost less of an issue.