First of all, could I just say I've found this site to be an excellent resource over the past few years that I've been using ISA, however it's now time to ask my first question!
We have been using an NS6300 (ISA2004) firewall for a couple of years now, however we've now been informed that the hardware is now End-Of-Life and no longer supported, so we're investigating replacement applicances.
Our NS box is our internal firewall, we currently have approximately 150 users behind the NS box, with another 50 connecting through it from branch offices (VPN is handled separately). The NS box has performed excellently and we've had an extremely good experience with it.
Our vendor has suggested replacing the unit with a Celestix ISA 2006 box, which would have been my choice until I saw the review of the HP applicance. One of the things i've liked about the NS is the interface, and from what I can tell the HP offering is just a standard Windows Server 2003 box that comes bundled with ISA, could someone confirm this?
Given a choice now what would be your prefered ISA 2006 applicance?
A quick follow up question, do you have any experience with the content filtering solutions on the Celestix box, as they appear to offer two different solutions, SurfControl and Websense? Or perhaps I should be looking for a separate applicance entirely?
From: United Kingdom
The benefit to the Celestix solution is that they are vendor agnostic and support the use of many third party products including various web filters. Based upon industry marketshare, they provide solutions using either SurfControl or WebSense to simplify the options for customers and provide a 'one-stop shop' for people looking for web filtering solutions. At then end of they day though, one the appliance is up and running both of these products function just as if the installation was on a standard server.
We are historically a SurfControl partner, so have more experience in this area. Web Filter is a very good solution irrespeictive of usage on an appliance or standard server usage.
It may be intersting to note that the SurfControl Web Filter appliance is actually a re-branded Celestix unit
SurfControl was recently aquired by WebSense, so this makes things a little unknown but I am hearing that WebSense will adopt the Celestix platform for their own appliance. They have also talked about supporting SurfControl producst until 2011, so you have an optiont to buy now and migrate later is you get the correct licensing.
Personally, I would go with the Celestix ISA appliance and then add your required third parties apps on top. A lot of the time, the third party apps are simply pre-installed and include a little integration with the Celestix UI to "gel" them together. The combination of ISA with SurfControl Web Filter provides a very good solution for many customers IMHO/