ServGate Safeguards Midsize Networks

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2004-03-01 Print this article Print

EdgeForce Accel provides strong firewall security, but it has rough edges.

The EdgeForce Accel, ServGate Technologies Inc.s first Gigabit Ethernet firewall, provides content-aware firewall capabilities, robust performance and adequate management tools. However, the product is a little rough around the edges.

The EdgeForce Accel started shipping in January; the companys SGOS (ServGate Operating System) 3.2 software became available last month.

eWEEK Labs tested the EdgeForce Accel preloaded with SGOS 3.2 and configured with a full complement of optional Performance, Professional, McAfee Virus Scanning and McAfee Spam Filtering modules—priced at $16,975. A base configuration costs $5,995 and features the stateful inspection firewall engine with layered proxies for common applications such as e-mail and FTP traffic, built atop a hardened Linux operating system.

The basic EdgeForce Accel includes a VPN concentrator with 50 client licenses. The $1,995 Performance Module accommodates additional VPN client licenses and increases throughput and encryption performance.

ServGate leveraged its partnership with Network Associates Technology Inc. to offer McAfee anti-virus and anti-spam modules to its perimeter security appliances. The Full Context Inspection engine, with these modules enabled, defends against network-, application- and file-level scourges.

The EdgeForce Accel uses network-based anti-virus scans. Integrated appliances from companies such as Symantec Corp. also scan for viruses at the network level, but they cost more.

The EdgeForce Accels 1U (1.75-inch) chassis features three copper Gigabit Ethernet ports for internal, external and DMZ networks. However, the device has only one power supply, making it a single point of failure unless two units are deployed in tandem—effectively doubling the price for a reliable solution.

Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at for security news, views and analysis. The $995 Professional Module activates the DMZ Ethernet port and the integrated hard drive, which is necessary for anti-virus and anti-spam services. SGOS 3.2 optionally provides the latest release of the McAfee network anti-virus scanning engine, at $3,995 for a one-year subscription. The anti-virus scanner performed admirably, finding viruses in compressed files and quarantining them on the firewall itself. However, the anti-virus module cannot scan HTTP traffic, leaving Web mail highly exploitable. The in-line spam-filtering option, at $3,995 for a one-year subscription, uses McAfees SpamAssassin.

We used the Web-based management console to configure a site-to-site VPN tunnel to a third-party device (SonicWall Inc.s Pro 330), and another for remote users.

Global Management 1.0, ServGates Windows-based central management application, handles VPN tunnel creation and a few other management functions. It was released to ServGate customers last month but acted like beta software in our tests.

For example, although creating VPNs among EdgeForce appliances was a snap with the Global Management tool, policy deployment was flaky, occasionally wiping out existing configurations without overwriting the new policy.

A full-featured (and more functional) Global Management 2.0 will be available late next quarter, officials said.

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

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel