Review: AEP Networks Netilla Security Platform

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Review: AEP Networks Netilla Security Platform

The AEP Networks offering is an appliance. The Netilla Security Platform (NSP) offers several choices for authentication of SSL VPN clients, including NT Domain, Active Directory, LDAP, RADIUS, Vasco, Kerberos and local database.

The unit includes a firewall and network address translation feature. The device tested shipped with two interfaces which were separately IP addressed and used in a way to make the NSP a router. The NSP provides support for most common applications and includes most thin client applications, such as X-Windows and 3270 mainframe access.

The installation of the NSP was exceedingly difficult because the interface was not logical and the administration application was buggy. It took several tries and a call to tech support to change the system’s IP address and default route. It was never clear which pane or tab the administrator should be working under in order to configure the correct part of the device.

The only part of the administration which made logical sense was the initial network system configuration. Several times we received an internal server error page when trying to configure the device. At over two hours to allow for a remote user login, using the interface effectively took us the longest time of all products tested.

The NSP arrives with a printed quick start guide, which attempts to walk the administrator through the entire installation process from start to finish. However, the document is different from the interface and adds as much confusion as help in the initial setup of the device. We recommend that the administrator read the document from start to finish before beginning the configuration. Additional manuals, such as the administration guide, are included as PDFs on the accompanying CD.

AEP offers 24/7 telephone, email and web-based support. Web-based support includes an extensive knowledge base; a technical documentation library containing administrator manuals, application notes and video-based how-to guides; and software downloads.

The price is US$2,670. However, when features in the NSP are considered, it is a better than average value.

For: A decent feature set

Against: Tough to administrate

Verdict: For an organisation that is already familiar with AEP products and willing to learn the Netilla Security Platform's interface, the product is a good buy


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