The potential for UTM may be greatly exaggerated. Think about it for a minute. The UTM mission is to defend the entire network (including increasingly complex patchworks of devices) from all possible attacks and permutations of attacks; usually by weaving together layers of various solutions/architectures into the promise of power, cohesion and control.
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That kind of scenario is more likely to produce a confusing mix of vendor amalgams (of various strengths and weaknesses, tradeoffs and surprises). It really begs the question if UTM is ready for prime time. Now that I’ve read Joel Snyder’s Network World Review my reality distortion meter is pointing even further away from vendor UTM literature:
We found that most products have dangerously variable performance characteristics when such UTM features as antivirus and IPS are turned on. We also found that the IPS and antivirus coverage in most products is not particularly strong. We had a few outstanding products in those tests, but not enough consistent winners to say that every enterprise should jump onto the UTM bus.
– Joel Snyder, Network World Nov 2007