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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Smoothwall Network Guardian Negatives? in Technical; Originally Posted by ICTNUT I would agree, if you buy into a 3 year contract I would expect to get ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTNUT View Post
    I would agree, if you buy into a 3 year contract I would expect to get 3 years of support also.

    BLOXX did do this but then, just like websense, you REALLY did need it.

    I think knowing what you are getting right from the start is a good thing, a clear pricing policy can only be a winner.
    Exactly. It would be good to know from the off what the cost of support is going to be for our second and third year. Or of course, Smoothwall could just offer the same support deal as Websense / Bloxx for educational customers

  2. #32


    tom_newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssiruuk2 View Post
    Sorry guys but heres another negative, well I think so anyway ...

    We bought a 3 yr subscription to Smoothwall School Guardian but only get 12 months support.

    When I was a Websense customer (boooooo!) if you buy a subscription for however many years you get support for the entire length of the subscription. (And you bloody well needed it with the amount of time the logging engine would stop for no reason!)
    We don't do 3 year support contracts because:
    a) you might decide you want to downgrade or upgrade your level after one year
    b) support costs fluctuate, as do our offerings (ie. longer hours etc.)

    I will make sure the sales folk make this clear. I suppose if you *really* wanted to do support for 3 years as well we could manage to put something together.

  3. #33
    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    We don't do 3 year support contracts because:
    a) you might decide you want to downgrade or upgrade your level after one year
    b) support costs fluctuate, as do our offerings (ie. longer hours etc.)

    I will make sure the sales folk make this clear. I suppose if you *really* wanted to do support for 3 years as well we could manage to put something together.

    Tom please don't take this as a bad negative, if such a thing exisits.

    I have/will by into an annual contract with Smoothwall but the only reason for this is due to the royal shafting I got with the other filter.

    However I can apreciate that some people may want to buy into a longer term contract and they may have the need to set budgets for the next [x] number of years so at least they will know exactly what to expect in years 2, 3 and so on.

  4. #34
    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Slightly naughty of me to bump this thread to the top again, but a lot of you were very helpful when I posted the thread, so I thought I'd post an update for those that are interested.

    I'd arranged to evaluate Network Guardian when the new release was available, and after asking various questions about appropriate hardware spec and what would be needed + making a firewall change with our ISP (to make sure the Smoothwall client itself wasn't getting a filtered connection) I was ready to go.
    Today was day one of our evaluation.....

    Unfortunately I'm no further forward than I was this morning (in fact technically further behind than I was this morning!)

    I was told that all I needed was a client with a decent dual core processor, decent amount of RAM and decent Hard drive - so this morning proceeded to unpacking a brand new Acer Veriton (I have a couple in the office ready for replacements / swap-outs!)

    1st problem - installation could detect USB storage device (turned out to be front USB + card reader - so whipped the side of and unplugged it!)

    2nd problem - Couldn't find storage interface - rang support - very helpful (as all previously said here) and found it might be an EHCI issue - asked to search BIOS for relating settings and disable.

    3rd problem - Not really any EHCI settings, but a few SATA related settings, so proceeded to change some settings on a trial and error basis - nothing working so called support again.
    It was suggested that chipset may be issue and that SATA wasn't helping, so proceeded to put an IDE drive in there!

    4th problem- Get past the stage where installation said a storage device wasn't there, but not have CD drive not present, and the message also says a NIC driver can't be found! (I assume the CD issue is because that is SATA too - Not got as far as the NIC). Ring support again. Suggested that I download Fedora and run from CD on this station to give some output/technical detail.

    5th problem - Fedora won't run! Get the boot screen, but then go to a completely black screen with no activity. Get bored after about 30min and try again. Same happens, so phone support. Suggested that I try an experimental install from a USB key. Proceed to download iso and app to do this

    6th problem - can't mount the image to the disk. It's either permissions based (running Vista which hasn't been tested) or something else. Try a different computer and find the USB device is now dead!
    Reformat the USB device, but then suggested I run Fedora on my workstation (not the one we've previously tried and failed).

    7th problem - Fedora won't run on my workstation (completley different hardware to the evaluation server I chose - Stone Computer, Intel Motherboard, about 1-2yrs old)

    Ending advice = find new hardware.
    Well... I've picked two reasonable bits of kit within my enviroment and neither will work. If I buy anything newer is it going to work?

    This post is not really a dig at support - the guy on support who dealt with me all today was very professional and understanding - always called me back when he said he would, always there when I picked up the phone - just ultimately not actually able to help me get anything working here today.

    Summary - you could say today has been a pretty bad day.
    The only other actvities I've carried out today are point out to supposedly highly-educated members of staff common sense resolutions to silly jobs, or done the usual thing of doing their jobs for them!

    Not sure if i'll go any further with this evaluation. It went from extremely positive comments -> extremely good live demonstration -> most frustrating 7hrs i've had in quite some time!

    Maybe life will look rosier after a decent meal, some cocodomal (banging headache!) and a game of Fifa!

    Oh - I got a promotion today lol. That's good. (Maybe i'll just delegate this instead!)

  5. #35
    andyrite's Avatar
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    Download a copy of vmware server and install it as a vm. Work's just as well. LInux can be a right pain with some hardware. If you don'y want any issues with hardware, have a look at the utm.

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    mb2k01 (26th March 2009)

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    If you want to do this cheaply on a new physical box then just go buy yourself a HP Proliant ML110 server - 200, dual core AMD and 2gb RAM, thats what I have installed our Smoothwall on - works perfectly and ours takes an absolute pounding (1800 users)

    You do need to disable the top option under hardware when in the Setup for Smoothwall to get it to install correctly though (cant remember what its called now)

  8. Thanks to ssiruuk2 from:

    mb2k01 (26th March 2009)

  9. #37

    john's Avatar
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    Must admit this is the exact reason I went with the UTM appliance as I assume that Smoothwall have designed them to ensure 110% compatibility with there software and hope that as they will continue to accept maintenance cash from me in the coming years that they will ensure in the coming years that my investment in the appliance will continue to be fully supported by the updates in the software in the future.

  10. #38
    Danielbarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb2k01 View Post
    I was told that all I needed was a client with a decent dual core processor, decent amount of RAM and decent Hard drive - so this morning proceeded to unpacking a brand new Acer Veriton (I have a couple in the office ready for replacements / swap-outs!)
    Sorry you've had so many troubles.

    That machine sounds like a desktop PC? Generally one might have more success with servers with SmoothWall. Desktops tend to use the latest cheapest nic, controllers and so on. The amount of change in these type of devices makes it hard to keep up with drivers. We try to keep up with server hardware and main brands like Intel and generally do a good job but there is always a latest version that someone might find.

    SmoothWall uses Linux at its core and if no Linux drivers exist it makes it impossible to support.

    The other replies are good - using a UTM or VM removes hardware issues. Alternatively we could pick up your hardware, if you can lend it to us for a couple of weeks, and see if we can make a driver disk?

    (We means SmoothWall - I work for them.)

    I've not looked at your ticket but judging by the time of the post I assume all possible remote ideas have been attempted.

  11. #39

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    Have to say i had the same problem when i was on a trial trying to use a desktop pc. We where 95% sure we would go with SG even before the trial and i did the crazy thing of installing it over the old proxy (praying it was the solution to fit our needs) and well here we are 2 years later with it still on there. Although it did get reinstalled once when the HDD failed.

    Have to agree that the reporting can be a bit fiddly but looking forward to the new updates to see how it's improved. We never actually took out the support just used the 30 days that came with it when purchased, never needed support since but more than happy to pay if and when we do.

  12. #40
    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danielbarron View Post
    Sorry you've had so many troubles.
    That machine sounds like a desktop PC?
    Indeed.
    It exceeded the specification I was given, so didn't anticipate problems.
    I'm unlikely to purchase a server for the purposes of a 30 day evalutation.

  13. #41

    plexer's Avatar
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    What about installing vmware on that desktop and testing it within the vm, smoothie works great on server class hardware.

    Ben

  14. Thanks to plexer from:

    mb2k01 (27th March 2009)

  15. #42
    mb2k01's Avatar
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    That's my next step as a last ditch effort.
    Do you recommend VMware over Virtual PC? (I've never used VMWare)

  16. #43

    plexer's Avatar
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    vmware.

    Ben

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    contink's Avatar
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    I've found that the best boards to install any form of smoothwall on is one that's a few years old. Often the drivers are all available, incorporated in and will work fine.

    Getting a server at this point is overkill and tbh probably not even necessary...

  18. Thanks to contink from:

    mb2k01 (27th March 2009)

  19. #45


    tom_newton's Avatar
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    It is *possible* to run smoothie under other virtualisation environments than vmware, but vm is the only one actually supported. Believe we have a few successful hyper-v users about, never tried virtual PC.

    I would echo Dan's comment that desktop hardware is generally considered difficult to support - if you really are short of spare tin, it is usually possible to evaluate one of our appliances.

  20. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    mb2k01 (27th March 2009)

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