Net Integrator...Nitix? Does anyone know of this company?

I currently started consulting with a school district and they have these Net Integrator machines everywhere.  All they use them for is router/firewall and hosting email.  I am not familiar with them and I am uneasy about putting them out without them being tested for stability and security.

Let me know if anyone has any ideas about them.  They have 3 out and they have been out for about 2 years and seem to be fine.  The users havent used them 100%, but this year will be the first.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I've evaluated their OS briefly before (~1-1.5 yr ago) for a client who was thinking of trying this product, & wasn't too impressed with the functionality - a few of the services were a bit buggy, or seemed so.
Nitix systems strive to be an "everything-and-the-kitchen-sink" solution in a single box: router, firewall, Samba server, DNS, DHCP, print server, etc.  To me, the real danger lies in using a box that has all these potentially vulnerable services as the organization's border router/firewall.  
  It's supposed to be managed by a web interface, with the theory that the local office manger should be able to start/stop & reconfigure most services.
  I sincerely hope your client doesn't have email enabled on the border firewall/router boxes! I don't recall, but is the email service provided by Sendmail?  That would be a possible concern, particularly if it's on the border device.  Another item to check is what kernel these are running and what distribution they're based on.  If kernel is <2.4 I'd be very concerned about security issues.
  I'd also check as to whether the firewall code is either ipchains or iptables.  A newer version of iptables is *much* preferred.  Also to check is how much control do you have over the firewall scripts/rules? Can you SSH to the box & configure/tweak manually?
  I know it sounds like I'm very much against these boxes, but actually Nitix software running on their hardware seems to have at least one nice feature (dunno if it really delivers on their claims): the system backup/recovery option.  They claim the boxes can quickly recover from serious failures.  If these boxes are being used strictly as file/print/DHCP/DNS servers internally, I'd expect they could do an alright job of it.

Hope this helps.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
jpalazziAuthor Commented:
No i believe they want to use them as email and www hosting as well as router and firewall.  

I am not sure how to check the kernel version it is running nor do i know how to check what email service it is?  I dont think it is sendmail, but i am not sure.  

I will try to check it out and post back.
If the product documentation doesn't tell you, if you can get command-line access (either locally, or via SSH or such), run at the command line:
uname -a
  (this will output what kernel version it is, among other info)

ps -ax | grep postfix
  (should tell you if postfix is running - as long as you get output other than "grep postfix", that is)

or, if the web "control interface" doesn't give a clue what type of mail daemon is running, & you've got access to the command-line, please post the results of these 2 commands:
ls /etc/rc.d/rc3.d | grep sendmail
ls /etc/rc.d/rc3.d | grep postfix
jpalazzi, any luck getting CLI access - either locally or via SSH/telnet?

I forgot to mention, are you familiar with accessing secondary consoles on a Linux box?  (ie, typing ALT-F2 or ALT-F3 when sitting at the keyboard/console of the box?)
jpalazziAuthor Commented:
havent tried yet calvin....just got back from out of town.  I will let you know after the weekend.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Linux Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.