SonicWall SSL-VPN 2000

Good first effort, but needs some work.

Summary of Clear Choice Test of SonicWall SSL-VPN 2000.

Data sheet for SonicWall SSL-VPN 2000
Starting price: $2,295
Overall score: 2.5

SonicWall has just recently (this fall) thrown its hat in the ring with the introduction of its SSL-VPN 2000 appliance but the company's got some feature development distance to go and some bugs to fix in the 1.0.0 version we tested before it can be a serious contender.

SonicWall appliances historically have had fairly weak remote-access VPN support for anything other than tiny deployments. Its SSL-VPN 2000 product immediately solves that problem - network extension for remote access is one of the things that works just fine in the shipping product (see results of interoperability testing). Because this product has easy integration to external authentication servers (see results of authentication tests), such as Active Directory, it will fit well with midtier remote-access deployments that focus on network extension. Generally, however, testing showed issues with both features, such as lack of support for port-forwarded applications such as Citrix, multiple groups per user, access control on file servers and Web servers running on non-standard ports; and implementation, such as interoperability failure with our RADIUS server and small-to-midsize business-based file server in many areas of the product that mark this as "not entirely baked."

While SonicWall's engineering team has the chops to build whatever it wants based on years of successful hardware and software releases, carving out its own niche from the monsters of the SSL VPN world is going to require more than clever programmers. Last month, SonicWall acquired enKoo, an SSL VPN product vendor. SonicWall's chance to make it in the SSL VPN market depends on how quickly it incorporates enKoo's technology into its product. Although enKoo has always aimed at the very low end of the market, the technology built into its products should give SonicWall an enormous boost in interoperability and feature set, potentially adding enKoo's remote desktop, remote meeting and HTML rewriting capabilities.

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.