2014: The Year in Reviews

Looking for 2014’s best in enterprise network monitoring, security, and cloud backup and collaboration? Here’s what’s new with our picks.

By Frank Ohlhorst | Posted Dec 31, 2014
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2014 brought a wealth of new and updated network monitoring, security, and cloud backup and collaboration products to the market. In the tech world, however, nothing stays the same for long, and many of our picks for the year have already undergone changes since we initially reviewed them. Here’s what’s new with the products we reviewed this year.

Review: Zetta DataProtect Simplifies Enterprise Cloud Backup

What we said: The Zetta DataProtect cloud backup service infuses enterprise-grade backup capabilities with SaaS simplicity. Frank Ohlhorst reviews.

What’s New:

Probably the biggest news out of Zetta.net is that the company has launched a migration program for users of Symantec’s Backup Exec Appliance, which Symantec is discontinuing.  The program allows Backup Exec Appliance customers to sign up for Zetta.net’s cloud backup and disaster recovery service and receive up to 6 months free, as well as up to 20 percent off the cost of an annual contract. Previously, the company offered a migration promotion for Symantec Backup Exec Cloud customers following that service’s announced shutdown.

Zetta.net provides customers a SaaS-based cloud backup and disaster recovery solution with built-in WAN acceleration, designed to rapidly move large datasets over the Internet. The company claims its customers have achieved transfer speeds of up to 5TB in 24 hours. Additionally, the service requires no appliance or other new hardware, allowing users to easily deploy and manage their backups, as well as avoiding the potentially costly recovery delay of waiting for a replacement appliance after a disaster.

Review: PRTG Network Monitor v14 Simplifies Network Management

What we said: Version 14 of Paessler's PRTG Network Monitor eschews complexity for simplicity and almost makes network management fun.

What’s New:

The company has added push notifications to its network management and monitoring solution, allowing users to receive notices on any mobile device the PRTG app is installed on, giving them visibility into any warnings, alerts or outages with just one touch. The push notifications are easier to set up than SMS notifications and delivered much faster. Paessler processes the notifications through its own cloud infrastructure, which routs them to the mobile devices through Apple and Google. It is recommended that users still receive SMS or email alerts as a failsafe, in the event of an issue with a mobile service provider.

In addition to push notifications, Paessler has announced a variety of updates to PRTG Network Monitor, including:

  • Improved Web interface with responsive design that eliminates redundant white space and enhances usability, especially on larger screens
  • Enhanced discovery features that will recommend sensors for newly added devices
  • A variety of new sensor types focused on supporting the latest versions of some of the most popular technologies

WatchGuard Brings Advanced Persistent Threat Protection (APT) to the Masses

What we said: WatchGuard's latest Unified Threat Management OS incorporates cloud-based Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) protection.

What’s New:

The company has refreshed their appliance offerings to bring a dramatic increase in security horsepower. WatchGuard's new Firebox® M400 and M500 firewalls improve performance by as much as 149 percent in encrypted traffic inspection and up to 61 percent in overall performance. All WatchGuard NGFW and UTM appliances run on WatchGuard's Fireware OS, which is built on the latest Intel® Pentium™ and Intel® Celeron™ Processors, allowing WatchGuard's firewall performance to continually scale.

The WatchGuard Firebox M400 and M500 now also provide the flexibility of two SFP (small form-factor pluggable) ports that can feature either 1 Gb copper or 1 Gb fiber connections, ensuring that firewalls can adapt to end-user environments. SFP transceivers are available as optional accessories. Both models feature the WatchGuard Fireware OS, v.11.9.4. This software version includes new features to simplify deep inspection of HTTPS traffic, allowing users to include names instead of numbers in their policy definitions.

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