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.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.