Looking Under the HoodBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2009-01-23 Email Print
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With the Launch of the TZ 210 Series, SonicWALL shows it can deliver enterprise-class performance for under a $1,000.
As designed, the SonicWALL TZ 210 series offers a UTM security engine that boasts speeds of 50 Mbps, a fivefold speed increase over previous generation products. The throughput improvements should prove beneficial to businesses that are using high-speed broadband services.
The SonicWALL TZ 210 Wireless-N offers Gigabit-speed Ethernet WAN and LAN ports and 802.11n to maximize throughput to wired and wireless users. The unit also features four 10/100 Ethernet ports that can be used for local access or defined to work as DMZ ports. A nice touch would be to upgrade those four ports to gigabit Ethernet – after all, many consumer level routers are now sporting gigabit ports and gigabit speeds are becoming common on the LAN.
Solution providers can manage the unit via a browser or choose to use SonicWALL’s Global Management System (GMS), which provides comprehensive global management and reporting tools for simplified configuration, enforcement and management from a central location.
Installation of the unit requires creating an account with SonicWALL using the company’s "MySonicWALL" Web-based service. Administrators will register the unit there and download additional software, activate advanced services and manage licenses. MySonicWALL is integrated quite well with the physical device and administrators will find it easy to add optional features. MySonicWALL offers simple point and click feature activation, which makes easy work of adding advanced gateway services, such as antivirus or content filtering.
The unit runs SonicWALL’s own operating system, SonicOS, which controls all features of the device. The features under SonicOS can be controlled via a browser in most cases, and also from a command line interface. With security appliances, the devil is usually in the details – SonicWALL masters that devil by offering extensive drill downs into the various features of the device, administrators can have absolute control over port assignments, access rules and most any other element.
The unit’s wireless features follow the same pattern. Administrators can define zones, provisioning profiles and detailed security settings for the integrated wireless radio and also setup security for wireless access points that are plugged into any of the Ethernet ports.
Solution providers will find the inclusion of high availability a welcome option. High availability elevates the unit to an enterprise-class device and creates additional opportunities for solution providers servicing businesses that must have reliable access 24/7. High availability is relatively straight forward to setup and simply ties two SonicWALL devices together. Administrators will find extensive built-in reporting capabilities. Reports can be generated to show usage or for troubleshooting.
Solution providers will find the company’s channel program quite friendly – several support options are offers and solution providers are kept in the mix when it comes to subscriptions and upgrades. Decent margins and training opportunities round out the channel program, which also offers marketing support, along with sales assistance.