EXCLUSIVE: Juniper Networks SSG 550 UTM appliance review

Price
£5,316

The SSG 550 offers a solid range of network security measures although some areas have a few rough edges. The level of reporting could be a lot better for the price so if you don't want anti-spam then take a closer look at Check Point's UTM-1 appliances (see IT Pro review of UTM-1 1050) as these offer a superior management and monitoring package courtesy of the bundled SmartCenter software. Multiple Juniper appliances can be centrally managed but you'll need to cough up for the optional NetScreen-Security Manager software. Note also that Check Point includes support for SSL VPNs as well as IPsec VPNs. It's also a shame that the user warning pages for viruses and web content filter actions can't be modified to look a lot more sophisticated. The SSG-550 can handle IM and P2P apps but at present it can only block or allow them but we have been advised that v6.0 of Juniper's ScreenOS will provide a more granular control where you could, for example, allow IM apps to run but block file transfers or video sessions.

Verdict

A few rough edges but Juniper's latest UTM appliance offers a complete security package which includes deep inspection in a well specified appliance with a very high port expansion potential.

2U rack mount chassis

3.4GHz Pentium 4 551

1GB 400MHz SDRAM memory

128MB CompactFlash

Cavium Nitrox CN1010 security processor

4 x Gigabit Ethernet

6 x port expansion slots

1 x 420W hot-plug power supply

Web browser management

1st year update subscriptions:

Kaspersky AV - £1,595

Anti-spam - £1,165

SurfControl - £1.165.

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