Review: Caymas 318

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Review: Caymas 318

Designed for use on the Java platform, Caymas Systems' offering in this category has a web interface called the Launchpad. This is intuitive, easy to navigate and well organised. We had no trouble at all setting up users and creating user access policies. Generally, this appliance boasts the types of features that administrators like. It is easy to set up and maintain and requires little ongoing maintenance once it is in operation.

This box uses several ways to control user access. Policies can be set up so that users can only access what their identity, authentication method, client, location and time of day will allow them to access. Also included are various access modes, such as web, file or client/server applications in either clientless, thin client (SSL tunnel) or thick client (full network connection) mode.

We found this device to have many options for authentication, which really add to its flexibility. It supports Radius, LDAP, Active Directory, PKI Certificates (with CRL checking) and local authentication. It also incorporates two-factor authentication such as SafeWord and ActiveCard.

An easy-to-follow quickstart guide gets the Caymas appliance going in no time. This guide shows how to set up the device using a serial console and gaining access to the web interface. Also included is an in-depth PDF manual that's easy to navigate.

We were prepared to hate the support for this product. The first appliance we received for testing failed, and the disk replacement containing a newer version of the application didn't work, either. We were about to suggest that Caymas might want to give this group test a miss.

That's when the excellent support team went into action and shipped us a fully working second appliance overnight to replace what turned out to be the result of shipping damage.

As for general support available, in addition to traditional email and phone assistance, there is a customer care program that allows customers to gain access to features such as web-based or on-site training, documentation and FAQs.

While the Caymas 318 system is flexible and versatile, the price tag is up at the high end for an SSL VPN appliance. We did like a lot of its features in both user access and security, and support is superb, but we are not impressed with the price tag.

For: This box is easy to manage and simple to deploy. Good authentication options, flexible, great support
Against: High purchase cost keeps it out of reach for most medium-sized organisations
Verdict: This is a solid product with excellent support at a rather high price


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