Remote Access VPN Buyer's Guide: SonicWALL
E-Class SRA appliances offer flexible-yet-secure mobile access, governed by unified policies.
As workforces have grown more mobile, VPNs have become a best practice for controlling remote access to corporate resources while ensuring in-transit data confidentiality and integrity. In this edition of EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet's buyer's guide, we examine capabilities and features offered by SonicWALL's Aventail E-Class SRA appliances.
Laying a Foundation
According to product manager Matt Dieckman, SonicWALL offers three Aventail E-Class Secure Remote Access (SRA) products: an E-Class SRA Virtual Appliance (10 to 50 users), the EX6000 4-port Appliance (25 to 250 concurrent users), and the EX7000 6-port Appliance (50 to 5000 concurrent users).
E-Class SRA appliances differ physically but not functionally, letting customers choose the right-sized platform for each environment. "Deployments are based on number of concurrent users, which could translate into how many telecommuters you have or how many workers need after-hours access," said Dieckman. "For example, an insurance company would probably deploy the bigger EX7000 because most agents are located throughout the world, not at the home office."
Both appliances can be deployed in internally-load-balanced active/active pairs for high-availability with stateful failover, meaning that authenticated sessions are maintained without disruption. The EX7000 also includes hot-swappable dual power supplies and support for external load balancers. Alternatively, companies that would rather "go virtual" can run instances of the E-Class SRA VA under a VMware ESX hypervisor.
Licensing is based on number of concurrent users per appliance or HA pair. "Larger customers might set up [appliances] in US, Asia, and Europe, with one serving as primary for each region, the others as back-up to prevent outages or deal with usage spikes," explained Dieckman. "In an emergency, when people can't get to work, we sell a Spike License Pack to let customers go to max capacity immediately."