Hands-on Lab Study Compares Check Point, Juniper/NetScreen and Astaro Security Linux

Posted by jpike on Jul 7, 2004 7:25 PM EDT
www.astaro.com (Press release)
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Tolly report quantified management effort: 160% higher for multiple point producs versus integrated security software.

BURLINGTON, Mass. – July 8, 2004 – Premier independent IT benchmarking organization, The Tolly Group, today published the results of a study that measured the time to deploy and manage an integrated security solution compared with two suites of point products. Independent third-party engineers from The Tolly Group based their study on hands-on exercises conducted to understand the time and complexity of installing and supporting each type of solution.

The test exercises compared the effort required to deploy and manage a comprehensive perimeter security solution during a 12-month period for a company with 1,200 employees in a headquarters and three satellite offices.

The report, titled “Measuring the Value of Integrated Perimeter Security,” looked at common business security requirements such as firewall and packet filtering, VPN connectivity, and Internet content filtering -- including, anti-spam, anti-virus, and URL filtering.

“Systems administrators and IT managers need to tread carefully,” the report stated. “While they can roll their own suite of security offerings, the degree of complexity and pain – which ultimately translates into dollar cost – seems to far outstrip any perceived advantage. …Time and time again, the complexity created by manually integrating multiple products became strikingly evident.”

Specific test activities included installing and configuring security software packages, setting up administrative processes, updating and distributing software, and managing changes. The Tolly Group tested solutions offered by Astaro, Juniper Networks/NetScreen, and Check Point Software Technologies.

Both the Check Point and Juniper/NetScreen security offerings required the installation and management of Trend Micro and Websense second-party products – for anti-virus and URL blocking respectively – in order to be compared on equal footing with the all-in-one security package offered by Astaro.

The study determined that best-of-breed suites require at least 2.9 times more work than Astaro’s single integrated product to install and configure, and that ongoing support effort is at least 90% higher. “For a selected group of management tasks, Astaro Security Linux would require just about 71 hours of effort the first year,” the report stated. “Compare that to the 137 hours that would be required to cover the same support activities for the Juniper/NetScreen-anchored solution.”

“Our staffing evaluation of the Juniper/NetScreen- and Check Point-anchored solutions shows that users pay a prohibitive first-year penalty when they elect to integrate several products into a security suite for SMB or larger networks,” the report stated.

Other highlights of the report concluded:

**After measuring 13 implementation steps, The Tolly Group found Astaro required just under 10 hours to install, versus 28 hours for the Juniper/NetScreen/Trend Micro/Websense bundle and 39 hours for the Check Point/Trend Micro/Websense bundle.

**Definition of 45 server and host entries required Astaro 90 minutes; Juniper/NetScreen 225 minutes and Check Point 450 minutes.

**Monthly backup of the complete system configuration across 4 sites: Astaro 8 minutes; Juniper/NetScreen 60 minutes; Check Point 2 hours.

**Total implementation and support effort over the first year: Astaro 71 hours; Juniper/NetScreen 137 hours; Check Point 184 hours, or a 160% hike above Astaro.

“Tolly Group engineers experienced no problems from the Astaro Security Linux during the installation or the support stage. The product seems especially tailored for the needs of medium-sized businesses and other organizations with hard-pressed IT staffs. Astaro has done all of the integration work; users just deploy the product in minutes and avoid the mess that suite integrators are likely to face.”

For a copy of The Tolly Group test results, visit: [HYPERLINK@www.astaro.com] OR [HYPERLINK@www.tolly.com]

About The Tolly Group The Tolly Group, an independent testing and strategic consulting organization based in Boca Raton, FL., offers a full range of services designed to furnish both the vendor and end-user communities with authoritative and unbiased information. Additionally, The Tolly Group is recognized worldwide for its expertise in assessing leading-edge technologies. For more information on The Tolly Group’s services, visit its Web site at [HYPERLINK@www.tolly.com,] E-mail [e-mail:info@tolly.com], call (561) 391-5610, or fax (561) 391-5810.

About Astaro Astaro provides a network security solution that is complete, simple to manage, affordable and effective. Astaro selects and integrates the best of open source security software to provide the widest range of innovative security technology available in a single package: Astaro Security Linux. Astaro's software has won numerous awards, and is in use on over 20,000 networks in more than 60 countries. Astaro Security Linux is distributed by a worldwide network of solutions partners who offer local support and services. (www.astaro.com)

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U.S. Press Contact: Victor Cruz +1 508 785 1590 [e-mail:vcruz@astaro.com]

Germany Press Contact: Heiko Scholz +49 6451 715105 [e-mail:hscholz@astaro.com]

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