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-- by James E. Powell
Troubled by network slowdowns every day at 9 a.m.? Before you spend money expanding your network's Internet or intranet connections, look into Sequel Net Access Manager 2.02 (SNAM). SNAM offers effective reporting and management tools for making the best use of your resources.
SNAM works at the operating-system level; system-level hooks track IP addresses of outbound data packets. As a security administrator, you can allow or prohibit access to undefined protocols and specific sites. In addition, you can define groups of users and assign managers to each. Managers can add or remove users or subgroups and set permissions. Corporate permissions "trickle down" to groups, so, for example, a site administrator can block Internet access on weekends or prevent ftp access throughout the corporation, and a manager can track when users in his or her group exceed 100MB of traffic each day.
SNAM lets you accept or prohibit undefined protocols, thus making it flexible enough to handle new Internet technology. You can allow or prohibit sites in a user-defined list.
The program uses Sequel Naming Service to dynamically track users, so the usage rules apply no matter where a user logs on. SNAM can also assign an individual or server to a specific computer. Those who violate rules see a message, but you can't customize the warning to vary by user or reflect the reason why a particular site is blocked.
SNAM puts a wizard front end on its Crystal Reports report writer, which accesses a SQL database (a version for Oracle will be available soon). With the database, you can generate and rerun reports that display information on groups and users according to your security clearance. Standard reports list user and group activity, exceptions, permission profiles and setup information. You can specify sort order and filters for criteria such as date range and groups.
We were extremely impressed by SNAM's easy setup, straightforward management tools and excellent documentation. There are other products that offer some of SNAM's features-for instance, CyberPatrol can limit Internet access for individual users. But CyberPatrol is far less serviceable for corporate users, who need the monitoring and reporting features offered by SNAM.
SNAM's unique tracking and control capabilities make it an economical choice for getting the most out of your existing resources, which is why we've added the program to our WinList.