There are, of course, a handful of drawbacks. The biggest one at this time is the fact that this is a new product, still forming and working out some creases. Although the major components are done, it has room to grow. Given this package's price, I recommend you examine it closely in relation to your network's needs before you dive in to a purchase, but you probably will like this product.
The biggest drawback to the AstroFlowGuard's newness is the work flow within the application. The reporting interface is done well, and it allows you to drill down to various levels of detail. But, the configuration interface for adding bandwidth and firewall rules, for example, is in need of some maturity. The biggest complaint I had was figuring out the order in which various options should be configured—it's by adding classes and then specific rules.
One feature I found lacking is the IDS functionality. It seems to be a minimized feature in version 1.002; one that probably will receive an overhaul in the future. The configuration interface in this version was rather thin and didn't give much detail to the signatures within the IDS database, nor was there any way to configure new rules. When I enabled it on my home network, I received various alerts for traffic that didn't make much sense, but I didn't find the reporting interface for the IDS module very helpful either. I'd probably skip the IDS functionality at this point and hope it improves in future revisions.
Matt Olander, from Offmyserver, the company that distributes the AstroFlowGuard system, tells me that many of these issues will be addressed in the next revision of the software. The browser dependency will be removed. Secondly, the IDS functionality will be improved, allowing you to edit and escalate classes and events more significantly. And finally, the host management internals will be more automated, using automatic host detection on your local network. Combined, these new features significantly improve an already good product.
The AstroFlowGuard device certainly is a product worth looking at to bring a small network up to speed. Because it's an appliance, hardware and software configurations are kept at a minimum, meaning the staff can focus on other aspects and not have to worry about compatibility or installation issues. Currently at a 1.0 revision, some kinks need to be worked out, and not all of the features are mature at the time of this writing. Despite this, AstroFlowGuard compares favorably to other commercial offerings and beats them in terms of price.
José Nazario, PhD, works as a software engineer and security researcher for an unnamed Internet security company. He also develops on several open-source projects, has contributed to various Linux publications and likes to travel and give presentations.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide