You could say that WatchGuard is accelerating its product development. Its software, firmware, features, functionality and hardware all show performance improvements over their earlier products.
While WatchGuard may be churning out new products at a decent rate of knots, they have maintained their reputation for consistency. The familiar red product, and the “golden screwdriver” concept, where clients can buy in at entry level price and functionality and then update/upgrade without replacing the hardware itself still remain. While the colour may simply be a branding exercise(and a good way to spot it in the datacenter), the soft upgrade path has surely saved many security administrators sleepless nights planning for a security device replacement or coping with an ever expanding business to protect.
The XTM 8 family has three models: the entry level 810, the mid-range 820 and the top -of-the-range 830. In the overall WatchGuard family the 8 Series is superior to the 2 and 5 Series, and inferior to the 10 Series. For those familiar with previous WatchGuard products, the XTM 5 series complements the core series and the XTM 8 series complements the peak series - so the XTM 810 is perfectly suited for medium sized enterprises.
Threat Management devices in general contain a plethora of security tools, the XTM 810 is no exception. It combines firewall, application proxies, threat protection (spyware, denial of service attacks, etc), VoIP security, content filtering, anti-spam, anti-virus and intrusion detection and prevention. Add to the mix the VPN and Network functionality and one can begin to build a picture of the criticality of these boxes. With redundancy and fail-over so critical, WatchGuard delivers with its “FireCluster” high availability, which supports active/active availability and even load balancing.
Some of the new features to note are the network traffic management system, which enables traffic with higher priority to be given committed bandwidth rates, and the multi-WAN support, with up to four wide area networks supported.
The 1RU unit has ten 1GBps Ethernet ports, two USB ports, a two line multifunction LCD display and four navigation buttons. It also has a DB9 serial port — yes, WatchGuard still enables serial access to a command line interface.
The installation and configuration is very straight forward, and the current version of the software WatchGuard provides integrated web browser support; so no more searching around for the WatchGuard disc to install the application and enable access to the devices. The initial setup runs directly from a web browser and guides the administrator through a series of basic questions. The licence/feature key can then be installed to complete the process of setting up the network.
This is probably the most straight forward web-based configuration console for a security device that Enex TestLab has tested to-date. It took less than seven minutes to have the box up and running in basic configuration with both internal and external (internet) network access.
Navigation through the monitoring and administration interface is straight forward and intuitive. WatchGuard has incorporated very granular controls over most facets of the product. Clear, concise and easy to understand assistance is also just a click away and management can also still be handled centrally for larger deployments using multiple WatchGuard products.
Overall, WatchGuard’s XTM 810 is a refined product, definitely worthy of evaluation. Any previous criticism of WatchGuard’s cumbersome initial activation and configuration/administration application system should be forgotten. This new web system is a joy to use. 10 out of 10 for usability!
Price: $20,099 (RRP inc GST) includes WatchGuard XTM 810 and 1-yr Security Bundle (bundles include LiveSecurity, WebBlocker, spamBlocker, Gateway Antivirus and Intrusion Prevention Service) Part Code: WG810031 Phone: 02 8413 3900 Web: http://www.watchguard.com/products/xtm-8/overview.asp