Indicate your level of priority for each shaper function using the buttons at right. Lowest priority is 1 at the far left. Highest is 5 at the far right. Click on "Details" with the down arrow following each term for an explanation of that shaper feature.
- Identify application signatures Details
Classification refers to the depth and breadth of the vendor's signature database, frequency of signature updates and--based on lab comparisons--amount of unclassified, unknown or default traffic. Additionally, classification refers to the other attributes of traffic on which the appliance can identify and enforce policy: ports, protocols, schedules, VLAN IDs, MPLS tags, properties (i.e., URL, server name, common name, user-agent), DSCP, Mac address and heuristics / behavior.
Users & Hosts
- Integrate with authentication servers Details
Users & Hosts refers to the ability of an appliance to integrate with authentication servers (i.e., Active Directory, LDAP, e-Directory, Network Access Controllers, etc.) to monitor and apply policy based on individual users, regardless of physical location or number of devices. Users & Hosts also refers to the appliance's ability to resolve hosts by DNS name, NetBIOS, IP address or user-defined network object.
- Retrieve historical records Details
Traffic Patterns refers to the ability of the appliance to provide data for analyzing behavior over time. The data may be used to inform policy changes and / or troubleshoot performance problems. Traffic Patterns also refers to the ability to retrieve traffic data from a particular time frame.
- Report metrics on latency, etc. Details
Network Health indicates the appliance's ability to provide metrics on transaction delay, packet loss, retransmissions, latency and jitter. The rating includes each appliance's capacity to set parameters for acceptable performance based on such metrics.
- Set minimum bandwidth per application Details
Guarantee signifies the appliance's ability to assure a minimum level of bandwidth to particular applications, users or any of the above "classification" objects.
- Set maximum bandwidth per application Details
Limit refers to the appliance's ability to cap a maximum allowable limit of bandwidth consumed by particular applications, users or any of the above "classification" objects.
- Give right-of-way to an application or user Details
Prioritization relates to the appliance's ability to assign relative importance to one chosen application's traffic over others. Priority comes into play when there is competition for the same available bandwidth (i.e., bandwidth not otherwise assigned to other traffic).
- control packets based on application or user Details
Filter represents the appliance's ability to reject, drop, ignore, redirect or capture packets based on particular applications, users or any of the above "classification" objects.
Refresh traffic views frequently Details
Real Time refers to the frequency with which the appliance refreshes its live or "real-time" view of traffic passing through the appliance. It also indicates how recently the displayed traffic actually occurred on the network.
- Access metrics quickly and easily Details
Historical denotes the depth and breadth of collected metrics and statistics on throughput, applications, users and any of the sub-categories in the above "Visibility" and "Control" categories. The rating incorporates the way those metrics and statistics are organized and the relative ease of navigation through that data.
- Receive threshold notifications in choice of formats Details
Alerts refers to the appliance's ability to trigger or send notifications to administrators. It also involves the extensiveness of alerts that can be sent (i.e., system alerts, network events, etc.). It also refers to the flexibility of delivery of notifications (i.e., SNMP traps, email, syslogs, etc.).
- Easily access shaper controls Details
User Interface means both the type of interface (i.e., web, client) and the options for access (i.e., CLI, GUI). It also applies to the breadth of configuration that can be achieved in the different access options.
Low End Shaping
- Get appropriate licensing, scalability Details
Low End Shaping refers to the smaller half of the appliance product lines available from each manufacturer. Scores take into consideration what software (shaping) licenses are available by bandwidth, as well as flexibility in upgrade paths on these appliances.
High End Shaping
- Get appropriate licensing, scalability Details
High End Shaping represents the larger, higher capacity half of the appliance line available from each manufacturer. Scores take into consideration what software (shaping) licenses are available by bandwidth and include flexibility in upgrade paths on each appliance.
Low End NICs
- Get ample choices in interface cards Details
Low End NICs indicates the variety of interface cards available in the smaller capacity half of appliance lines from each of the manufacturers. It also refers to the maximum number of interfaces / bridge pairs / channels that can be installed in the appliances.
High End NICs-
Get ample choices in interface cards Details
High End NICs speaks to the variety of interface cards available in the larger capacity half of appliance lines from each of the manufacturers. The score includes the maximum number of interfaces / bridge pairs / channels that can be installed in the appliances.