This is where the EMBASSY Remote Administration Server, or ERAS, from Wave Systems shines the brightest. Administrators can use this product to quickly and easily manage many types of both hardware- and software-based encryption throughout the enterprise. The EMBASSY Remote Administration Server can directly interface with Opal-based self-encrypting drives and SafeNet ProtectDrive, as well as Microsoft BitLocker. This provides ultimate flexibility in encryption options both on the hardware front as well as software.
This product came to us already installed on a test server, so we cannot comment much on installation itself, but we can say that the server must have a connection to the Windows domain controller and a Microsoft SQL Server backend. After installation, all administration was done through a Microsoft Management Console snap-in. We found this to be an easy and effortless way to administer the system, as it felt quite natural to system administrators when working in Active Directory. Since this product interfaced directly with Active Directory, there was no need to scan the network for machines as they were already there in the directory tree and configurations were passed on with just a simple click of the mouse.
As for functionality, as we stated before, this product is pretty much focused on providing an easy way to deploy and manage hardware and software encryption across all of the endpoints in the environment. However, for those looking to step it up a bit, this tool can pair nicely with the Safend Data Protection Suite from Wave Systems. This suite adds a lot of functionality, including full security policy templates for International Bank Account Number (IBAN), payment card industry (PCI), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), among many others.
Documentation included a full administrator guide for the EMBASSY Remote Administration Server. We found this to be well-organized. It also included a high amount of detail and clear configuration instructions and examples along with many screen shots and diagrams. We would have liked to have seen some installation documentation, but none was provided.
Wave Systems offers customers a single level of 24/7 phone- and email-based technical support as part of an annual software maintenance agreement. Customers also have no-cost access to an online knowledge base, but that is really the extent of the web-based assistance.
At a price starting at around $65 per seat for the lowest volume level, we find this tool to be an average value for the money. While we do appreciate its ease of use and management through the native Microsoft Management Console snap-in, nevertheless, we find that this solution lacks quite a bit in functionality at this price level. With that said, this product does serve a purpose in being able to centrally manage device encryption across the board cleanly, quickly and easily.
A bit pricey for a point solution to a point challenge. However, if you need to deploy encryption across the enterprise, give this one a close look.