Novell BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3.5
This security suite running in NetWare has a range of components that cover all aspects of network protection

Novell BorderManager 
Enterprise Edition 3.5

Network security software suite.
Price: Rs158,200 (50 users); Rs 237,402 (100 users); Rs 475,002 (250 users)

Features: VPN services; firewall; proxy with caching; remote access.

Pros: Very good access control; efficient caching services.

Cons: Requires sound NetWare skills for configuration at all stages. 

Source: Onward Novell India
 62 MIDC, 13th Street
Andheri (East)
Mumbai 400093. 
Tel: 22-8342244 
Fax: 8342223 
E-mail: apanjwani@novell.com  Website:
www.novell.com  

As the name suggests, this
network security suite from Novell protects the border between your company’s
intranet and the Internet. It can also be used to implement security between
intranets. BorderManager has a wide range of components that cover various
aspects of network protection. It has a firewall service that allows
packet-level filtering for all popular protocols. It has proxy services with
access-level control. There’s a VPN service for secure access to your
server over the Internet. It also has some remote access features.

If you don’t need all the
services of BorderManager, you can choose the components you want. For
example, you can purchase the proxy services if you want to share Web access
among users. Larger organizations can go for VPN services if they have
intranets in multiple locations, and want to connect them over the Internet.
Firewall services can be used to prevent unauthorized access to your company’s
network.

Though the product can also
be installed on a NetWare 4.x server, we checked it out on NetWare 5.
Interestingly, the installation is no longer done using the erstwhile dull
command line interface. It’s done through the graphical user interface of
NetWare 5, and is completely wizard-driven. The wizard allows a customized
installation, where you can click on the components to install, and
configure various other parameters as well. The server must be rebooted
after installation.Installation is quite
straightforward, but the setup and configuration is typical of Novell, and
requires sound NetWare skills. Most of the configuration information is
stored in the NDS (Novell Directory Services) database. Configuration can be
done through the NetWare Administrator utility or a server-based utility
called BRDCFG. Components have their own server-side utilities that have to
be configured. You’ll also need some of the native NetWare utilities like
INETCFG for configuration.

Like other Novell products,
this one too has extensive documentation that covers everything—planning,
installation, configuration, advanced setup options, etc. The documentation
is also available at Novell’s Website—www.novell.com/documentation/lg/bmee3.5/docui/index.html.
There’s separate documentation for each BorderManager component.

BorderManager’s caching
capabilities are pretty good. It requires about 500 MB of free hard drive
space for caching, and works very efficiently. You can define rights as to
who’ll be able to use the BorderManager services—right down to the user
level. Proxy services don’t require the BorderManager server to be
directly connected to an ISP. If you already have another Internet gateway,
an ISDN router for example, it can route all the client requests it receives
to that gateway.

VPN services can be
configured for site to site or client to site. For the former, you’ll need
BorderManager VPN services installed at both the locations you want to
connect. For example, if you have offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, you’ll
need to set up VPN services at both ends. This can then be used for
transferring sensitive information safely over the Internet. It encrypts and
encapsulates information before transmitting it. You’ll need a permanent
connection to the Internet for this service to work properly. For the client
to site setup, BorderManager comes with a separate client software that can
be used to connect to the BorderManager VPN server.

Firewall services can be used
to filter out traffic at packet level. So, you can deny access to specific
protocols like TCP/IP, NetBIOS, and IPX. The default configuration for this
disables all flow of traffic. We found this to be a little troublesome,
because all the clients using the server were denied access.

The software has extensive
logging capabilities. You can view the users who access the Internet through
BorderManager, as well as the sites being visited. You can also see which
service is being accessed at which port number.

Overall, the software is very
powerful and useful, but requires a lot of advanced planning and sound
NetWare skills, as configuration needs to be done in various places.

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