Setting up the right IT infrastructure is a tedious task for IT managers. The stage of exploring, evaluation and comparing different IT hardware products is time consuming. And the lack of clarity about important features of IT hardware products like next-generation firewalls, wireless access points and Ethernet switches lead to faulty buying decisions. Here we address frequently asked questions about firewalls, Ethernet switches and wireless access points to help IT managers make a well-informed buying decision.
1) How many total Ethernet ports the UTM/Firewall has?
One should know how many total Ethernet ports a firewall has (Copper/Fiber), as it helps in connecting and securing different segments of network with a single firewall.
2) Does the UTM/Firewall provides SSL VPN support? If yes, how many concurrent users can connect?
Most of the firewalls support IPSEC VPN, which needs to be evaluated. The IPSEC VPN gives higher flexibility for VPN connectivity.
3) Which all UTM features does that firewall support? Antivirus, Spyware, Malware, Web Filtering etc.?
One should check what all UTM features a firewall supports like network intrusion detection/prevention (IDS/IPS), gateway antivirus (AV), gateway anti-spam, content filtering, load balancing, data loss prevention, etc.
4) If we enable all the UTM features, what would be the throughput of the UTM/Firewall?
UTM features often lead to a compromise on overall throughput supported by firewall. So, one should ensure that if all the features are enabled what would be the throughput delivered.
1) An Ethernet switch comes with how many fiber uplink ports?
While selecting the Ethernet switch, one should verify how many fiber uplink ports of 1G and 10G are available for unlinking.
2) Is Ethernet switch non-blocking in nature? What is its throughput?
For low latency traffic flow, one should always try to procure an Ethernet switch with the non-blocking architecture. An Ethernet switch requires GBPS throughput and MPPS packet forwarding rate.
3) Does an Ethernet switch support stacking? If yes, how many units can be stacked together?
Stacking is a great feature which helps in connecting multiple switches together with dedicated stacking ports. With the help of stacking, all these switches can be managed virtually as a single switch.
4) Does an Ethernet switch has L3 features like static L3 routing, Inter-VLAN routing?
While evaluating L2 switches for access layer networking, one should check if a static L3 routing feature is provided. This can help in the instances of inter-valn routing on the same switch.
5) What are the compressive security features provided by Ethernet switch for the effectiveness of QOS and ACLs?
By understanding the level of QOS and ACL an Ethernet switch supports, you will be benefitted in long run with security features enabled on the access switch itself. So, do evaluate compressive security features.
Wireless Access Point
Does the wireless access point support standalone configuration or it require a controller to manage?
One should check if the access point supports standalone configuration, because in small networks this configuration can help by managing APs individually.
2) Does the wireless access point support intrusion detection security features?
Wireless access points with WIDP (wireless intrusion detection) feature helps in securing the wireless traffic. So, one needs to evaluate what all security feature an access point supports.
3) What is the maximum gain (radio power) for the access point?
Different access points have different radio gain, which define the maximum distance of wireless signal. One should verify the maximum gain in DBM an AP supports to ensure better coverage.
4) Does the access point provide inbuilt Captive Portal?
Inbuilt captive portal is a kind of web page, which we see when we connect to wireless network in hotels. With an inbuilt captive portal, it can provide options of web page for different kinds of used cases, like what we see in hotels, airports and other WI-FI zones.
5) How many simultaneous clients can be connected on wireless radio?
While a wireless access point is said to support 802.1n/ac kind of protocols for better bandwidth, we should also verify how many simultaneous clients/user machines can be connected per radio.
To explore different options available for firewalls, wireless access points and Ethernet switches, you can visit the listed vendors at this portal. With detailed specifications and comparisons of different models, you can make the right choice for any IT hardware product.