Review: idEngines Ignition

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Review: idEngines Ignition

The idEngines Ignition product provides middleware for 802.1x authentication. The product creates an environment where wireless access points, switches and firewalls can authenticate to the Ignition application, which can then relay the 802.1x authentication request to the correct back-end authentication server.

The Ignition application provides single sign-on to all applications that can use 802.1x authentication as the authentication mechanism. The product runs on a dedicated hardware appliance that is rack mountable.

The Ignition product is easy to install from the initial set-up of the hardware appliance through the front interface to the proprietary dashboard application that is used to configure the remainder of the application.

The installation is straightforward, especially for anyone who has ever deployed 802.1x authentication. Once the system is up, adding additional switches or access points is a breeze. In fact, it is so easy we added several devices here at the SC Lab just because we could.

Documentation for this product is in the form of several printed booklets as well as PDF files. The getting started guide and configuration guide are both very well done and provides the installer with just about everything that is needed to install and perform the configuration of the system. The printed manuals were very easy to read and succinct.

idEngines provides support though email, phone and self support through the idEngines website. A unique support option, self-help with online tracking, is available to registered users. We found the tracking feature to be very useful. Priced toward the middle of products tested this appliance is definitely targeted toward larger enterprises.

More important, however, is the fact that it has limited functionality and may be difficult to justify except in sensitive applications. An example, and the obvious target market for this product, is wireless access to sensitive servers. This product can provide extra protection.

For: A good 802.1x middleware package to allow WAPs and switches to authenticate to a variety of back-end servers.
Against: Limited functionality, and high price for the feature set.
Verdict: For 802.1x authentication this is a good product in a rapidly evolving space. A smaller, less expensive version for small organisations - such as branch offices - would be a great and innovative product.

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