A lot of the datasheets for network security products have made it really hard for customers to conduct an apple-to-apple comparison. I’m not talking about the overall IT industry practices with datasheets. In the last 24 months, especially in the areas of firewall and IPS throughput, a number of companies have started listing uninspected port throughput as the rating for the appliance, or seemingly employing a random number generator.
This usually is a sign that the vendor has lost sight of their customers and gotten into a spiral with competitors. Their competitors may be scared for a day or two until they get their product into their lab, but then they have a legitimate criticism they can use in sales. And guess who is grumpiest – customers.
If a customer wants to buy 100mbps of firewall, they want to look at 100 mbps products. Anything else only leaves them disappointed.
Vendors – don’t apologize for specs, be tempted to nudge up some ratings, or list the port type as the throughput. Customers – reward honest specs, and push back if you are sold a box that underdelivers. And, Gartner customer, call us before you make a netsec buy and I can help make sure your short list has the right products and models on it.
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