The Proventia G400 might look like a standard rack-mount Intel-based server, but it's a lot more than that. The hardware was specifically chosen, drivers written for it and a network agent pre-installed. As a result, it can cope with up to 400Mbps of throughput and monitor up to four network segments using its four copper and four fiber Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Documentation was also available on CD. The steps were laid out and neatly organized. Pictures of an actual installation were included for reference and there were even instructions for rack-mounting the IPS server. The content was easy to understand and did not assume a high level of expertise.
Two quick-reference cards were provided making it easy for operators to bypass all the major settings and quickly configure a running system. For those wishing to read in detail, the complete actual manual has over 300 pages distributed among 14 chapters. Compared to the other IPS products we tested, ISS's documentation appeared to be very thorough and complete.
Technical support was not required and a test call resulted in a satisfactory response.
There were no difficulties with the basic installation of the IPS. However, it did require third-party software and hardware, specifically, a Windows 2000 Server and Microsoft SQL2000. We see no problem with the option of using an external third-party database, but believe that all required software should be supplied.
We reluctantly rank the ISS Proventia at three stars due to its requirement for third-party software and an additional server. The ISS device is not the most expensive product we tested, but its value for money rating is impacted severely by the requirement for third-party software and hardware.
Proventia G Series is a new range of turnkey intrusion prevention appliances from ISS. They are designed to proactively block malicious attacks from entering the network, including denial-of-service (DoS), intrusions and malicious code, backdoors and hybrid threats like MS Blaster or SQL Slammer. Proventia G Series blocks attacks in real-time, minimizing the need for active administrator involvement in most security events.