Review: Array Networks Universal Access Controller

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Review: Array Networks Universal Access Controller

The Array Networks SPX Series Universal Access Controller is an appliance that provides a number of features through a browser-based SSL VPN approach. The SPX allows remote file access through SMB, browsing internal websites, access to internal mail servers and standard TCP-based services.

The product supports many different mechanisms for web browser authentication, which include Secure-ID, RADIUS, LDAP, Active Directory, as well as an easy to configure local database. The product is based on a concept of virtual sites, which allows users to gain access to different resources based on which virtual site is accessed.

The installation is a two-part process. The initial configuration takes place via a serial (DB9) connection and a program, such as HyperTerminal. As the initial configuration is similar to the common Cisco command, some familiarity with the Cisco command set simplifies the process.

This phase of the configuration sets the system’s true IP addresses and net masks on the inside and outside interface, as well as the web interface IP address and port for the second phase of the configuration.

Once the initial configuration is done, the real setup occurs via the web interface. The web interface is necessary to configure the initial virtual sites to allow for client connectivity.

The configuration of a simple virtual site is quick, but the user interface offers so many options that it can be confusing at the beginning. It is a good idea to attend a quick training session to get acquainted with the options of the interface.

The SPX Universal Access Controller arrives with a pseudo quick start guide, which walks the user through the configuration via the serial connection. Additional guides come int he form of PDF documents.

Support is offered through phone and a password-protected web portal, and comes in three different tiers.

The pricing for SPX Universal Access Controller is US$7,995. With strong pricing, a considerable feature set and good support, this product is an excellent value.

For: Immensely feature-rich product

Against: User interface can be a bit confusing at the beginning

Verdict: Documentation and ease of use are average, but the rest of the product is superior. This appliance is our Recommended product


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