Winfrasoft Gateway Appliance 9500-DE review

Winfrasoft provides Microsoft powered security appliances with a difference as it uses Tier-1 hardware platforms. Is this enough to make them the best choice for running Forefront TMG 2010? Read this review of the 9500-DE Gateway Appliance to find out.

A barrage of virus scanning engines is available as the subscription includes those from Kaspersky, Authentium, Norman, VirusBuster and Microsoft. These can be applied to inbound and outbound traffic and you can choose which ones you want active.

Optional anti-spam measures are supplied by Microsoft's ForeFront Protection for Exchange (FPE) which doesn't support third party mail servers. However, it snaps neatly into the TMG console and provides wizards to help with specifying Exchange servers and mail domains.

FPE applies a spam confidence level scoring system to email and offers three actions where you can delete, reject or quarantine messages. File attachment filters can be applied to inbound and outbound traffic and message bodies scanned for specific keywords and phrases.

With mainstream support for ISA Server 2006 ending less than a year from now, it makes sense for existing users of that product to think about upgrading to TMG 2010. However, this can't be done in place as the two products are not compatible with each other. The most cost effective method is to deploy TMG as an appliance rather than install it all yourself and the 9500-DE is a good choice for larger businesses. It comes with everything ready to go straight from the box, Winfrasofts extra software adds a lot of value and its quality hardware means you're not locked into a proprietary solution.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

Businesses planning on deploying Microsoft’s Forefront TMG 2010 will find Winfrasoft’s appliances a far easier way of doing so than sourcing their own hardware and installing it all themselves. There are a lot of choices on the market, but the 9500-DE stands out with its classy hardware platform and superior warranty. Winfrasoft’s open-box policy means you can upgrade as required and the extra backup and VPN software makes it even better value.

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 2 x Xeon E5640 2.66GHz Memory: 16GB RDIMM DDR3 Storage: 4 x 146GB 10K SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers RAID: Dell PERC H700 with 512MB cache Array support: RAID-10 Expansion: 4 x PCI Express slots Network: 4 x embedded Gigabit Ethernet Power: 2 x hot-plug supplies Management: iDRAC6 Enterprise with 10/100 Software: Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (64-bit), Forefront TMG 2010 Workgroup Edition, Paragon Drive Backup Server 10 and VPN-Q 2010 5-user

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