Cisco ASA Firewall Review

Scalable and fast but the initial setup could be easier

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a firewall for our data centers. We have a medium-sized data center right now. It's about six or seven servers. We actually store the data for students and schools and need to protect it.

What is most valuable?

Overall, the solution works very well.

The solution is quite fast. We found that the speed was good and the throughput was good.

The stability has been very good.

The solution can scale as necessary.

The product is quite robust and durable. 

What needs improvement?

The solution lacks the abilities of an FTD type which are the abilities we need, and they are not in the firewall. We're looking for a next-generation firewall instead.

The graphical interface could be improved. From what I have seen, Fortinet, for example, has a nicer GUI.

The solution needs to be easier to use. Right now, it's overly complicated. 

The initial setup is a bit complex. 

The cost of the solution is very high.

The product should add free URL filtering. It's another product, or part of another product, however, it should be available as part of this offering as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about seven or eight years at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent and the performance is good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product can scale nicely. If a company would like to expand it, it can do so. 

We have about 10,000 schools use the solution in general, and 1,000 to 2,000 that use it simultaneously daily. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't directly deal with technical support. Typically, that's something that others on the team deal with. We have our own team within the company that, if I run into issues, I would reach out to first. I can't speak to how helpful or responsive they are. I've never had a chance to contact them. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have not used other firewalls.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not easy or straightforward. It's a bit complex and a little difficult.

We have three engineers on staff. They are capable of handling any maintenance.  

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

The solution is quite expensive. Fortinet and other competitors are about half the price. Cisco is very expensive in comparison. They need to work to be more competitive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're currently looking into a new firewall - something that is Next Generation. We don't know what it will be yet, however, we are considering Cisco, Fortinet, or Palo Alto.

It's my understanding that Fortinet is better in graphics and has a better user experience than Cisco, however, I haven't had a chance to test anything out.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user. 

We no longer have an SLA for this solution. We're potentially looking for something new.

I'd recommend the solution to others. It works well. It's durable and fast and you don't have to check up on it daily as it is rather reliable. That said, it is pricey.

In general, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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