Tumbleweed Communications Corp.s SecureTransport appliance is a useful tool for implementing secure file transfers to business partners and customers.
Designed to replace VPNs and leased-line networks, the SecureTransport appliance controls and manages file transport over protocols such as S-HTTP (Secure HTTP), SFTP (Secure FTP) and AS2 (Applicability Statement 2).
eWEEK Labs tests show SecureTransports file transfer capabilities are ideal for any businesses that require secure communications to transfer sensitive information.
The appliance began shipping last month. Priced at $6,500 and supporting 25 users, SecureTransport can offer significant cost savings compared with leased lines. (For companies that dont want to buy the appliance, Tumbleweed also sells SecureTransport as a software package that runs on Windows, Solaris, AIX and Red Hat Linux.)
Compared with a VPN, we believe this solution will be simpler to manage because the SecureTransport appliance controls and monitors storage resources and traffic.
We easily implemented SecureTransport on our test network. In the single-tier implementation we used in the Labs, SecureTransport sat in front of our file servers (the appliance should be located in a firewall DMZ) and processed the file requests that came over a WAN link. SecureTransport has a small built-in storage repository where files can be stored.
The built-in Repository Encryption feature ensures that the data stored on the SecureTransport appliance is protected from internal and external attacks. However, because the repository itself is fairly small (only a few hundred gigabytes), midsize and large companies will likely keep most of their storage on the network and mount shares from NFS (Network File System) servers.
SecureTransport doesnt support CIFS (Common Internet File System) file shares, so Windows shops will have to install NFS on their file servers to link up with the appliance. Once files have been uploaded and shares have been mounted, clients can access data on the appliance via a Web browser or by using Tumbleweeds SecureTransport Client software.
Checkpoint/restart capabilities ensure that files are transported even if external network links are inconsistent. This is important for companies that have branch offices still using dial-up connections or that are in remote foreign locations.
The SecureTransport appliances capable reporting tools keep close track of file transfer activity. Using these tools, we could easily see which users and groups were transferring the most data—a valuable tool that IT managers can use to bill back clients and departments that utilize the appliance heavily.
The SecureTransport appliance supports administrative roles that allow IT managers to set up department-level administrator accounts so managers can have better control of their data.
Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at email@example.com.
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