Filanet InterJak 200, $695
In a Nutshell
- Solid-state device is flash-upgradeable and is optimized for networking via its specialized ASIC chips
- Innovative modular design allows for many types of broadband and remote access configurations
- Supports a myriad of storage and connectivity devices through its integrated Firewire and USB ports
- Completely encrypted management sessions keep the hackers at bay
- Snappy and intuitive Web-based configuration
- No default e-mail service, though available as a future upgrade
- Filanet “Dino” ASIC based on ARM-9 CPU
- Dual 10/100BaseT Ethernet
- Dual USB
- Dual IEEE1394A (FireWire)
- Ethernet Plus
Over the last year in our Reviews section, we’ve shown you a lot of appliances. Many of them were good general-purpose units that focused on the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) and small business markets. All of these provide basic file and print sharing, DHCP servers, e-mail servers, and DNS and Internet connection sharing, but none of the devices seemed like they were terribly different from one another.
Denmark-based Filanet rises above its competitors with their InterJak 200. It focuses on providing Internet security and gateway services for medium to large businesses.
Unlike many of its Linux-based Net appliance brethren, the InterJak 200 is not just a scaled-down PC. Instead, it more resembles a smart router or a hardware firewall because it’s a solid-state device with no moving parts. The InterJak 200 is based on a specially designed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) architecture known as the Dino.
The base unit has two Ethernet ports, two FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports, and two USB ports. The InterJak also comes with a PCI expansion slot that can be preconfigured with an additional Ethernet adapter, an ISDN terminal adapter, a DSL modem, a T1 interface, or even a 802.11 wireless access port. This allows the InterJak to be sold in a variety of configurations to ISPs and Filanet Advantage Partners looking to deploy it as a turnkey Internet gateway solution.
For our testing, we chose the Ethernet Plus model, which adds yet another 10/100 Ethernet port. We wanted to create a DMZ outside of our firewall where we could place our Web and e-mail servers. We set up the box by plugging the unit’s Ethernet port 1 into our LAN, then connected the appropriate broadband device to the designated WAN port, and powered the unit up. The device ships with a Windows-based utility that can change the unit’s default internal IP address. However, the unit was completely configurable by our Web browser almost immediately, as it assigned all our workstations a dynamic IP address with its built-in DHCP server.
We did have one minor problem with the WAN IP address being automatically assigned. Working with Filanet’s attentive customer support, we determined the problem was due to the way our cable service provider was provisioning addresses. Filanet told us to boot the InterJak up first, wait 30 seconds, and then turn on our cable modem. This solved the problem.
Changing the InterJak’s configuration, as well as the enabling and disabling the services it provides, is done via a Web-based GUI that runs over an encrypted session. By default, the InterJak functions as an ipchains-based firewall, a file and print server, a DHCP server, a NAT gateway, an IP router, and a DMZ. Additional services may be purchased for the InterJak 200. These include site-to-site IPSec and client PPTP remote access Virtual Private Networking (VPN), Web content filtering, and network monitoring. Built-in e-mail services would have been nice, but most companies who would use the InterJak already have their own e-mail service, so this is not a major shortcoming.
With all of the “me-too” SOHO Linux appliances out there, the solid-state InterJak is a breath of fresh air that shows that Linux can be used for enterprise-class networking and security hardware.