NetIQ Sentinel Review

The query tool of the web UI is so cool.


What is most valuable?

The query tool of the web UI is so cool! (Lucene-based, filters-based on taxonomy). The web interface gives you the ability to design, at query time, a simple report on the fly.

Support from provider its great, good experience with helpdesk.

How has it helped my organization?

Sentinel can help our customers meet PCI, and other requirements based on the reporting and control of related components. Questions like "who has access to that asset" and "who had access in such and such moment" can be solved quickly.

What needs improvement?

The Java desktop tool and the WMI integration (WECS server architecture).

The integration UI and modules deployment can improve.
In my opinion, the web interface can manage all the functionalities and configurations; no Java desktop app is necessary.

The Java app functions can be migrated to the web interface.
On the other hand, WMI integration, can be improved by removing the WECS collector. Sentinel Node can include all the functions. If an escenary needs more power, just deploy another Sentinel node (all in one) that can help in multiples use cases, not just WECS.

RAM consumition... some JRE problems.. but nothing that cannot be fixed by IT (for example file descriptor limits for Java).

For how long have I used the solution?

As part of my work, I’m responsible for deployment, tuning, integrating, and using Sentinel for bank projects.
Reporting IDE environments and processes is hard to take responsibility for, but not impossible.
Some functions look great but, in practice, some key limitations turn the process into something opaque.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Java needs a lot of RAM!! Some queries (if you're not careful) can consume lots of memory and destabilize the instance of the product (or OS platform, including RHEL).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues. Storage retention policies and schema, online and offline, are very nice.
If Sentinel is integrated with Identity Manager and User Application Portal, the solution runs simply perfect!

How is customer service and technical support?

In my experience, support really rocks it! I had an opportunity to meet great people, very human and engineers.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Yes.. sure... Syslog!!
SIEM is not a simple logging tool. The big clients (banks, big industries, government, etc.) need a solution according their size.

How was the initial setup?

Just follow the manuals after reading them. Linux knowledge helps, be cause Linux opens your hard mind. It is complex for mortals, familiar for "Linuxers".

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Sentinel is not for home use. Others versions are available by the same vendor, like Sentinel Rapid Deployment or Reporting Module that are offered for different needs. In other words, if price is a problem, go open source, not world class tool like Sentinel. NetIQ offers nice licence packages that can adjust better for some clients.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

RSA Security Analytics was an option, but as part of NetIQ/Novell Identity Manager Deployment we prefer NetIQ SIEM Tools (integrations capabilities). It depends client needs whether another solution, like RSA Analytics, is the appropriate.

What other advice do I have?

Be careful with requirements, production resources are really needed. Be clear with objectives, and test it before use. Understanding SIEM concepts is basically the goal.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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