What is our primary use case?
Cisco ASA is born as an hardware firewall. The user case is security check on company's external connections (Internet and VPN access).
Most recent versions include antivirus and intrusion prevention to add security layers (including the above scenarios and the internal network)
How has it helped my organization?
Cisco ASA have been the main security device for many years, slowly replaced with Check Point on the main datacentre.
What is most valuable?
ASA is stable and with a low level of work required on the maintenance side. It is a dedicated firewall, so you do not have to manage additional topics like spam, web sites filtering and so on.The routing part is high level as usual with Cisco products.
What needs improvement?
You have to know the ASA command line very well because not all operations are available in the graphical interface (or let's say that sometimes it is better to operate with the ASA CLI).If you are searching for an "all in one product" it is not for you
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
No, stability is a really strong point with ASA.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No, an assessment about the workload is important to select the right device.
How is customer service and technical support?
Over many year, the only kind of support we needed directly from Cisco was (really seldom) for parts replacement
Which solutions did we use previously?
The previous solution was based on software firewalls that where not able to perform as the Cisco ASA
How was the initial setup?
Setup of a firewall, on a medium / large deployment is always a complex work.
Cisco ASA (more than other vendors' solutions) require a lot of know-how and real world expertise to be configured properly.
What about the implementation team?
More than one external team (Cisco partners) has been involved over time.
All of them were outstanding in their work.
What was our ROI?
Positive. The devices serves thousands of users for many years, outliving other vendors solutions.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Cisco devices are for sure costly and budget could be an important constrain on selecting them as our security solution.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
When the choice was made, some comparison was made with other market leaders but integration with the existing Cisco network was a really important positive side in the final decision.
What other advice do I have?
ASA is one of the the state-of-the-art firewall devices for security.
It is affordable and not too complicated to use if you are doing standard operations (modifying ACLs, natting and so on) on an existing deployment.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Dec 11 2017
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