Strengths: The appliance includes identity management features
Weaknesses: Fewer SSL-based VPN features than similar products
Verdict: A solution with some interesting features, but missing a few where it counts the most
Stonesoft's offering is a heavy-duty appliance. The unit we tested was a 3U-rack-mountable unit that shipped with three (two of them redundant) power supplies. The unit itself was quite heavy and moving it was a two-person job.
The SSL-6000 came with two Ethernet interfaces. One is for management, the other is the terminator for the SSL-VPN traffic. The StoneGate device includes many components of identity management, including self password reset, single sign-on and federation.
While the identity management features are nice, the SSL-VPN features are reduced when compared to other products in this category. The solution offers access to web resources and tunnel resources.
The installation was pretty straightforward during the initial setup. Changing the IP addresses was a breeze, and all configuration takes place through a web browser. The primary initial configuration interface is laid out well and is easy to follow.
This initial setup configured the interfaces and basic network interfaces. Once this is finished, the administrator needs to point to a new port to perform secondary configuration, which includes the SSL-VPN configuration. This interface is confusing and cumbersome. Many of the options inside the interface are not explained to the administrator in the interface's help option or the documentation.
The provided StoneGate SSL-6000 documentation consists of a printed application installation guide, similar to most getting started guides. We were able to follow the steps through the well-written guide to perform the first level of configuration.
Additional documentation is available through the web configuration interface. This information is not quite as well written as the application installation guide, but is still effective. The help guide is indexed, which makes finding each topic easier.
Stonesoft offers support by phone or web submission of trouble tickets, on two levels: basic and premium. The basic option is 8am to 5pm, the premium version is 24/7 with a two-hour response time. Both include software updates.
The pricing for the SSL-6000 is £16,941 and the product offers identity management. Overall it would seem that the product offers a lot for the price. However, we found that many of the features we would expect in an SSL VPN product were missing.