NSA 240, A Closer Look:By Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-10-17 Email Print
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The NSA 240 UTM Appliance promises to bring enterprise-class security to small and midsize business via the channel by combining all major security technologies into an easily managed device.
On the front, the unit offers LEDs for the status of each port, giving critical information at a glance. A nice addition would be an LCD status panel that would show alerts, loads and status. Otherwise, the metal construction of the unit and the diminutive power-brick give an indication of overall high quality.
For processing oomph, the NSA 240 relies on a dual core architecture, when combined with the firmware’s "proxy-less" deep packet inspection offers impressive throughput speeds that should not introduce latency and jitter into network and VOIP communications.
Worth noting is SonicWall’s RFDPI technology, which is able to deep scan packets in real-time, without introducing the need to disassemble and reassemble a packet for analysis. For high volume networks, that style of packet inspection offers many advantages over the traditional proxy-based packet disassembly packet scans, which add milliseconds to packet transmissions.
SonicWall puts no limits on the number of users attached to the NSA 240 and although the unit is designed for the SMB and branch office markets, the unit has the power to serve dozens of users without breaking a sweat.
Out of the box, the NSA 240 supports as many as 25 concurrent VPN sessions and is upgradable to 50 site-to-site VPN connections. Other options include Content Filtering Services, Gateway AV/SPY/IPS & Application Firewall, Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite and a Stateful HA & Expansion Upgrade. Most buyers will want to go with the Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite and bundle all of the options together for the best out-of-the-box protection. SonicWall offers a "Total Secure" version of the unit, which includes a year’s worth of Gateway Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Intrusion Prevention Service, Content Filtering Service (Premium Edition) and 24x7 Support. The "Total Secure" bundle may prove to be the most economical choice for most sites.
Administrators have the ability to define policies, both comprehensive and individual, for the security services offered by the unit. Policy definition is made very simple by the intuitive interface and wizard based administration tools. The NSA 240 is priced at $1,195 and the NSA 240 Total Secure is priced $1,770.
Solution providers will appreciate the integration opportunities offered by the NSA 240 and the product's ability to make the new world of Web-based applications much safer for small businesses. The product's VPN support is a big plus for branch office deployments, where dedicated site-to-site VPNs can be set up to incorporate a branch office back into a corporate headquarters.