Appliance vs. Software

Why should you choose an Appliance vs Software security solution?

A server appliance is a specialized network-based hardware device that is designed to perform a specialized set of security functions.

It comes as a complete solution that works readily out of the box and has an easy-to-use web interface.

The Benefits of Using Appliance

Centralized point-and-click GUI administration.

High reliability that works out of the box.

Up and running in 10 minutes.

Minimal IT skills required from user.



Can be installed by non-technical staff.

Operating system and application software is pre-loaded and configured.

Disadvantages of Using Software Difficult to install.

Requires advanced IT skills.

Can require third party libraries, newer operating system version, and newer service packs in order to work.

Requires installation of the operating system on the servers.

Requires installation of the web server and database server.

Requires installation of the vendor's software-based solution.

Easy to Use

Benefits of Using Appliance OS-independent interface.

Easy configuration wizards.

Web interface access for spam quarantine users.

Disadvantages of Using Software Can be difficult to maintain.

Requires interact with other software.

More Capabilities

Benefits of Using Appliance Designed to work on the hardware it comes with.

Compatible with most software platforms. OS-independent interface.

Disadvantages of Using Software Frequent inter-operability problems between software and hardware Requires a special software version for your specific OS.

Maintenance Costs Benefits of Using Appliance

Updates itself automatically with no user intervention.

Disadvantages of Using Software Software updates can cause incapability issues with other software on the system.

Requires updating the server OS with the latest patches, as well as the monitoring and identification of all patches

Total Cost of Ownership Benefits of Using Appliance Therefor, the appliance has a lower cost of ownership since everything is included in one unit and there is no per-user license.

There is low support cost. There is only one vendor to contact.

Disadvantages of Using Software With the software you have to pay PER USER.

Costly IT support is required.

Multiple vendors must be contacted in case of problems.

Benefits of Using Appliance

Stable OS guarantees less downtime.

The appliance hardware is designed for the use. High reliability.

Disadvantages of Using Software Third party software can crash the system because the hardware is not tested with the specific software.

Multiple applications from many different vendors.

Poor reliability. Frequent service outages.

License Benefits of Using Appliance Workstations pay no licensing fees for Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, and Anti-Spam services. No Licenses.

You can add computers to the network for NO additional cost.

Disadvantages of Using Software Each workstation usually must be licensed for each application loaded.

Adding more computers to the network usually increases the cost of the server. 

Performance Benefits of Using Appliance Great and quick performance.

Server appliance software is configured to work well with the hardware provided, since it comes from the same vendor.

Software Disadvantages Less quality of performance.

Properly designed server appliances out-perform traditional file servers with similar memory and processors, at a much lower initial cost.