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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Smoothwall Appliance advantages over software? in Technical; Are their any advantages to getting the Smoothwall rack appliance (with inline transparent proxy) - over just the standard network ...
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    Smoothwall Appliance advantages over software?

    Are their any advantages to getting the Smoothwall rack appliance (with inline transparent proxy) - over just the standard network gaurdian software, and running it on a suitable PC?

    Somebody told me that the dedicated hardware appliance web filters perform better, and would create less network load, but surely it is just simply doing exactly the same job?

    They also recommended Bloxx, over Smoothwall (for the sane reasins), but we currently have Smoothwall on Eval and have been impressed with it.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I have a UTM... the reason I went for that over just the software solution was for the value for money.

    The actual appliance is rather cheap compared to a comparatively specced server and you also have the garauntee that the software will have been tested on the hardware platform.

    As for BLOXX... it's expensive and runs on a ridiculously HUGE Dell server IIRC.

  3. 2 Thanks to Ric_:

    seanlaz (30th November 2009), tom_newton (29th November 2009)

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    I just run the software on a HP ML110 which I picked up for a couple of hundred quid, slapped in loads of Ram and it works fine.

    I think the UTM is better value the more you put into it, we only run the web proxy and filtering...if we were to go for the full package with the mail filtering, VPN etc we may look at getting a UTM but I doubt it.... we only have 400 users max so our hardware is adequate.

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    tom_newton (29th November 2009)

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    Another UTM User here, got it because it represented excellent value for money for us over buying a server and then setting it up, as its smoothwall designed they should support and know it inside out and guarentee that it will all work and sing well together, it has loads of interfaces on it which is great each one being 1GB interfaces so thats a lot of places to stick the internet to as it were, and it has the nice feature of being a 1U rack unit and just does as it says on the tin.

    We use it for VPN, Web Filtering, Publishing our external services, and hoping to add in the new financial year mail filtering so using a good few chunks of it

    I am very impressed with it and wouldn't be without it.

  7. 2 Thanks to john:

    seanlaz (30th November 2009), tom_newton (29th November 2009)

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    Thanks lads.

    There's *no* difference whatsoever in software. Hardware wise, it's still relatively standard x86 tackle. The NIC ports are nicely placed on the front, and you can get 7 on there. Which is quite a few. We make the square root of FA on hardware - its there for yuor covenience. You make your choice on what turns out to be good value for YOU! If you want more than a couple of NICs - its great. It looks nice. Its neat, small, and uses relatively little power. Its pretty nippy. We'll sell it as cheaply as we can afford - but if you can nail the price through dell or HP - go for it. Thats why we give folk choice

    Feel free to give me a bell if you want to talk it over.

    Tom

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    we get inundated with rubbish from bloxx, they dont understand we are happy with our ISA. If I could afford it, I would switch to the Smoothwall UTM.

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    I ran it on a HP rackmount server as when I bought it the utm wasn't available at the time. Just installed it on a dell rackmount from ict-direct. Better spec machine than the original.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    we get inundated with rubbish from bloxx, they dont understand we are happy with our ISA. If I could afford it, I would switch to the Smoothwall UTM.
    Bloxx never stopped ringing me for about 6 months.

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    Well, our Smoothwall has just tripped up and killed itself again this morning...

    Some error (to do with not completing the scan disk) and now isn't even booting up...

    Chris (fellow technician) just rang support, and all of the support staff are currently unavailable




    Still less than convinced at the moment, but I'm sure it should in theory be fine when so many people use it...

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    chris on phone to them now...

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    @andy_d - nasty - if it is not completing the hard disk scan, thats often a sign of h/w failure.. though it could be a handful of other things. I am just checking up with support as to why no-one is available to take your call (unfortunately support are in Southampton and I am in Leeds so it is tough to go walk into their lair!).

    Edit: looks like we might have issues on the 0800 number giving spurious busy signals - if you run into bother, try the leeds sales number (0113 3874161) and see if someone can transfer you. Support office is moving to a larger premises with more phone lines in a month or so, so we should see less of these issues.
    Last edited by tom_newton; 30th November 2009 at 10:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    @andy_d - nasty - if it is not completing the hard disk scan, thats often a sign of h/w failure.. though it could be a handful of other things. I am just checking up with support as to why no-one is available to take your call (unfortunately support are in Southampton and I am in Leeds so it is tough to go walk into their lair!).


    Hi Tom

    Chris has spoken to them now, it's being looked at as I type this

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    @andy_d - if you were the guy who emailed in a list of niggles (and I think you might be... but I am not sure) which I responded to, I *really* hope you are coming to BETT

    At BETT we will be talking to our friends in Education exclusively about the product roadmap, and hopefully there will be something for everyone there. There's always still chance to influence us in favour of anything you particularly want, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    @Edit: looks like we might have issues on the 0800 number giving spurious busy signals - if you run into bother, try the leeds sales number (0113 3874161) and see if someone can transfer you. Support office is moving to a larger premises with more phone lines in a month or so, so we should see less of these issues.
    I thought I had just dialed the wrong no, got through on the second attempt though.

    Thanks for the help Chris!

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