Cisco NAC Appliance
Cisco, along with Microsoft, essentially defined the network access control (NAC) market several years ago with the introduction of its Network Admission Control architecture. Since then, the market has become overpopulated with smaller appliance and software vendors, but our readers put Cisco's NAC Appliance head and shoulders above the competition.
Formerly known as Clean Access, the NAC Appliance is designed to be the first point of contact for users entering a corporate network, and enables administrators to authenticate and authorize users and enforce organizational security policies before network access is granted. The system enables the enforcement of a number of different policies, depending on device type, user and role. Machines that are out of compliance can be directed to remediation servers for delivery of patches and other updates.
The NAC Appliance scored highly in virtually every category in our readers' assessment, but was especially strong in its ability to integrate with customers' existing infrastructures and its scalability. Readers also praised the appliance's variety of enforcement options and gave Cisco high marks for its service and support.