Edge IP version 2.0 is going back in time and embracing WINS, thus broadening this DHCP/DNS appliances appeal in large organizations that use older NetBIOS Windows networks.
In eWeek Labs tests, Threshold Networks Inc.s turnkey appliance turned in admirable results when it came to handing out IP addresses and keeping track of Domain Name System entries in a network. With the addition of NetBIOS support, IT managers have a comprehensive Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol/DNS product that could considerably ease network configuration chores.
Edge IPs biggest advantage over the DHCP or DNS servers provided in devices from Cisco Systems Inc.s routers to Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 Server to Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris 8 is that it is simple to administer and provides for nearly every feature listed in the DHCP and DNS specs.
The Edge IP 2000 units $9,995 list price, plus $2 to $3 per node, will be an expensive proposition for some sites. However, Edge IP offers redundant, hot-swappable power supplies and drives that help keep the unit from becoming a single point of failure.
Price aside, the biggest drawback of the Edge IP 2000 is a weakness shared by many DHCP products—the database of IP address leases is not shared across multiple units, meaning at least two units are required for redundancy.
It was very easy to administer the product using the Java-based interface, so the other major weakness—that policies written for one Edge IP box cant easily be shared with another—wasnt that big of a deal. Based on tests, however, IT managers are advised to print lots of screen captures and keep them in a binder to track IP configurations.