ClearOS: Linux gets easy

What are the IT needs of most small Italian businesses? A reliable email server offering functional and ample mailboxes, one or more on-premises shares to share files and backups, a firewall/gateway for external connections with VPNs, a good level of protection against viruses, a backup system (online too) and basic collaboration tools for the employees.

Sure this brief introduction brought to your minds many software and appliances capable of satisfying one or more of these needs, but you’ll probably experience some difficulties in finding a single product that does all of that. ClearOS is an Open Source project based on Linux that offers almost all of these features and can be managed by a well organized, functional and handy Web interface without using a command line. Even if it’s an Open Source project, fortunately ClearOS has a company behind it (ClearCenter) that is not limited in the development and updating process, but also offers a wide marketplace with maintenance services, antivirus updates and additional features available exclusively through commercial packages.

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EdgeRouter X: tiny but full of resources

Ubiquiti Networks is a well-known American producer famous for being the worldwide leader in wireless consumer solutions (20 milion devices sold since 2005). The product line also covers other sector of the telcom world: it’s the case of our reviews’ device, the EdgeRouter X, the basic model of a series of devices dedicated to Routing and Switching that share the EdgeMAX® commercial brand.
EdgeRouter X is an entry-level router aimed to the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) market with a very aggressive price - price list is 49,99$. Ubiquiti classifies it as a carrier-class product with an advantageous price-performances ratio, and on top of that, a compact metal case.

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ZeroTier: Software Defined Network with a click

As it’s been happening from a long time for servers and clients virtualization, the Software Defined approach to networks has the goal of creating networks that are completely transparent to the underlying hardware. ZeroTier is a recent platform but still very promising to realize Software-Defined Networks (SDN) into the Cloud.

The basic idea in ZeroTier is quite simple: realizing virtual local networks with unlimited geographic extension using the Internet as a means of communication, all of that protected by ciphering and manageable from an account dashboard. The whole project is Open Source, the usage is free up to 10 clients for private networks, the upgrade is 4$/month; public networks are free and without host limits.

Using ZeroTier requires two steps: creating an account on and installing the software client.

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An L2 and L3 stackable switch by HP: 2920-24G

Ethernet managed switches of the 2920 lines are part of the broad family of switches developed by HP Enterprise. In particular they are part of the offer of non modular devices with stacking, routing and POE capabilities dedicated to the SMB market.

4 different 2920 models are available differing by the number of Ethernet ports (24 or 48) and PoE (Power over Ethernet) capability.

The model we have tried is the 2920-24G (J9726A) that, as the name suggests, offers 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports (the last 4 are Dual Personality Ethernet/SFP) coupled with four 10GbE uplink ports (that can be configured in SFP+ mode or 10GBase-T).
Regarding scalability, the switch also features a Plug&Play stacking system with up to 4 units with automated failover. This configuration is reached by installing an additional 2-port module with a transfer speed up to 40Gbps into the dedicated slot on the back.

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Kerio Control: simplified threats management

Kerio Control is an integrated solution for perimetral control of the network that falls in the category of UTMs (Unified Threat Management). It’s a system capable of managing threats in a unified way with a single interface for the configuration of the various settings.

Kerio Control, version 8.6.2 at the moment we write these lines, is a stateful inspection firewall, an IPS/IDS system, a traffic balancement gateway, a DHCP server, a DNS forwarder, a Web content filtering system and a VPN server for secure connections with remote users. The list of the features found in Kerio Control is long, and you might want to consult it at the official Kerio site here:

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Word of the Day

The term Edge Computing refers, when used in the cloud-based infrastructure sphere, the set of devices and technologies that allows...


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