Because eTIPS is focused on NAC functionality, it's not just a simple RADIUS server. Instead, the Avenda team has added a ton of features specific to NAC deployments.

Although eTIPS takes some getting used to, the web-based GUI is focused on NAC tasks, making it relatively easy to use with only a couple of days practice. ETIPS is not a simple product, but it's about as simple as it can be and still covers all the important bases of a NAC deployment.

This means that if you are looking for a policy server in a RADIUS-based NAC deployment (802.1X authentication and media access control [MAC]-based authentication), eTIPS should be a prime candidate for NAC in your network.

Avenda is aware of the fear factor associated with 802.1X, so it also offers a cloud-based service called Quick1X that can be used to automate deployment of 802.1X across Windows, Mac and iPhone devices. With Quick1X, the network manager creates a deployment application based on their own network and relevant operating system settings, then downloads the application and distributes it to end users, who can use it to quickly and reliably set up their 802.1X configurations.

ETIPS also includes the ability to do posture checking by actively scanning devices as they come on the network, or by interpreting posture information from end-point security software. ETIPS supports its own system health agent, Microsoft’s NAP agent, and Cisco’s CTA agent. ETIPS also includes a very full-featured guest login and registration portal that integrates properly with network devices — an unusual feature.

Avenda even has a dedicated in-line appliance, called Edge, which can be used in environments such as simple wireless networks and VPNs where traditional 802.1X-style authentication might not fit in.

OUR VERDICT

As one of two vendors we found who are exclusively focused on NAC, Avenda has done a great job of bringing a policy server and all the associated pieces required to successfully deploy NAC in a typical enterprise network.