SonicWall E-Class NSA E6500
Strengths: High-powered device with a great feature set
Weaknesses: Expensive for most environments
Verdict: A solid product for the larger enterprise
SonicWall comes back this year with a new appliance which we have not seen before. The E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) E6500 is designed with the large enterprise in mind. This product features not only an advanced application firewall and a VPN, it also includes a full threat-protection suite.
The suite brings together features such as gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware and an IPS that protects against viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans, software vulnerabilities and other malicious code, as well as a web URL and content filter.
This appliance was quite simple to use straight from the box. Once the device was in place, we just had to go to the web-based GUI and complete a short setup wizard and the SonicWall E-Class Network Security Appliance was up and running. The GUI itself has a new look and is well organised and easy to navigate.
We found this product to be a strong performer both against attacks and in terms of policy configuration. Policies can be configured quickly and easily with a high amount of granularity, with most policies requiring just a check in a box. The SonicWall E-Class Network Security Appliance also has a nice security dashboard that gives various statistics and charts at a glance.
Documentation for this SonicWall offering is quite comprehensive and in-depth. In addition to the usual initial configuration instructions, the getting-started guide features some advance setup advice as well. Also provided on a CD are various PDF guides that focus on certain features or configurations. All documentation is easy to follow and well illustrated with plenty of screenshots and diagrams.
SonicWall offers support contracts for this appliance at an additional annual cost. Customers can also access the support area of the website for documentation, FAQs, technical notes, forums and their own customised support portal.
At a price just over £9,500 before a support contract, the SonicWall E-Class Network Security Appliance sits at the high end of the price scale. However, it does offer a lot of power and is designed for the larger enterprise environment. We therefore find this product to be good value for money for the large enterprise.