Calculating costs

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2003-12-15 Print this article Print

No matter what the architecture, costs for these appliances can escalate quickly. Although the starting price for the Symantec Gateway 5400 series is about $3,500 for a low-end firewall-only model, beefing up the hardware and layering on additional security services can increase the price to upward of $60,000 for a redundant pair.

While these integrated appliances show promise, eWEEK Labs recommends getting your house in order before purchasing a multifunction appliance. Such an investment crosses into the purview of several IT entities: The network group, the security group and the corporate messaging group all need to be onboard for the implementation.

The multifunction appliance should be deployed in conjunction with some existing services; administrators should continue to maintain their internal anti-virus and network-based intrusion detection/intrusion prevention architectures. However, content and network filtering devices will be replaced outright, which may be a battle if a particular device is already working well.

An interesting compromise to this dilemma is the open-source community. Astaro AG, for example, offers Astaro Security Linux, an inexpensive, preconfigured open-source solution that can be installed on standard hardware without the headaches of trying to harden and tune the operating system.

Case study: See how one company made use of Astaros Security Linux appliance.

Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum Technical Analyst Andrew Garcia can be reached at

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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