How we tested the firewalls

For this test, we used the same firewalls and configurations that had been submitted by all vendors that had participated in our UTM firewall test. In that test, we asked vendors to submit devices that could handle approximately 1Gbps of performance, and we warned them that sending “overpowered” devices would not necessarily be to their advantage (because of pricing and other considerations).

For this test, we configured the firewalls into high-availability pairs, with network address translation, dynamic routing (using Open Shortest Path First), and logging enabled in what we believe would be a typical enterprise configuration.

To test for this higher level of performance, we used Spirent’s WebAvalanche and WebReflector tools to generate HTTP traffic across the firewalls. We set up a profile using a typical Internet mix of traffic, ranging in size from 1K to 1.5MB objects, and ran HTTP transactions through the firewalls at a rate designed to bring the load on the firewalls up to a level of 2.8Gbps, the maximum speed of our WebAvalanche and WebReflector equipment given the traffic load and topology we used.

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