SonicWall Global Management System
Strengths: Makes life easier for an administrator with a large SonicWall install base
Weaknesses: Only supports SonicWall products
Verdict: A good product for a specialised marker. It is easy to see this product performing well in a managed firewall service provider environment
The SonicWall Global Management System (GMS) is a Java-based application that is used for managing large numbers of installed SonicWall firewalls, SSL VPN devices and wireless access points. The system offers a few key features that make the product worthwhile to SonicWall enterprises.
The first is the ability to push SonicWall SonicOS software upgrades to large numbers of devices at once. This is quite a time saver when an administrator does not have to upgrade each device individually. The second handy feature is the opportunity to push configuration updates to multiple SonicWall devices at the same time.
The third attraction is the ease of creating SonicWall VPNs through the SGMS interface. While creating a VPN with SonicWall devices is easier than with many other manufacturers there is a time saving here which can be realised as well.
As with other applications, the installation of the SGMS product hung up when looking for a database installation. Somehow, we had missed that SQL was needed for this product. The installation other than the SQL error was very straightforward, and the utility installed the version of Java that was needed for the application to operate.
The documentation for the SGMS was superior to other products in this category. The SGMS product had the standard indexed and searchable PDF user guide, but SonicWall also provides live action tutorials on the SGMS product that can be used in a split screen set-up to configure the system along with the guide in the video.
SonicWall provides support through phone and online resources. The purchase of one of the company's products includes support for a period of time and additional help is available for purchase. There is an online knowledge base, accessible to the public, which includes white papers and documents for downloads.
The SGMS is priced based on the number of SonicWall units that will be managed through the product. The cost per unit at the smaller number of units is a bit on the high side for this review, but if your organisation has a larger number of units, the time savings will make the cost more manageable.