Cisco Defense Orchestrator Review

This efficient, time-saving, centralized device manager is easy to deploy and requires minimal administrative IT resources


What is our primary use case?

As an IT person for Egypt Foods Group company, we primarily rely on Cisco Defense Orchestrator as centralized management for our Cisco devices (e.g., firewalls and other security devices).

How has it helped my organization?

Implementing the solution improves our company's performance. It does this by providing timely reporting, saving money, advising our IT personnel and improving the defense of our servers and internal network. It helps us to make sure our customers' information and practices are secure when using our company.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the centralization of device control. This helps to ensure that transactions between us and other companies are all secure. After we installed the firewalls we get reports for a safety check on a daily basis. Executive reports, custom reports, and penetration testing reports are all very valuable.

What needs improvement?

While I think it's a good product right now and does everything we need it to, everything has some room for improvement. I'm sure Cisco would definitely be looking for ways that they can make its product better. My suggestion would be for Cisco to add third-party devices to the management family. Third-party integration would allow more flexibility and I think that would be a feature that would satisfy the business needs of other potential clients today. Some companies may want flexibility in the products they choose and others may already have legacy equipment that they are not ready to get rid of.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for about a year

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far we find the solution to be quite stable. We do not experience interruptions and down-time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good for a company. We do not have immediate plans to scale much, though we probably will in the future. We work with three firewalls currently. One external firewall and two for the circuits. We have about 800 employees using the system across our organization and scaling from here will be incremental. When we need to we are confident we can scale easily. For example, firewall configuration in the cloud seems like a good idea, so we may take advantage of that — though that may be flexibility rather than scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service is helping us out and giving us great support when we need it. The Cisco team is helpful and knowledgeable when we put in queries or tickets. They consistently respond very fast to our issues and that helps us maintain productivity.

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

This product was the first firewall security manager that we installed at our organization, and we didn't really consider anything else because we were already very dedicated to Cisco products.

How was the initial setup?

The product was easy to implement. We are using the Cisco Defense Orchestrator on-prem solution. It only took about two weeks to have it on board. I'm not the one in charge of security as we have a team for security. The team is happy with the solution and doing well with it.

What about the implementation team?

To implement the product originally we used a consultant from outside our company. It was 
SIGMA IT. They had a small team of two come to do the deployment. We keep a security team of three to monitor and maintain the system.

What was our ROI?

We do experience a return on investment in time savings, security and device management. It would be hard to quantify.

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

As I'm in higher management, I was involved in the product selection but not the pricing negotiations. Security and finance officers would know more about the pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Because of our environment, Cisco was the only vendor that we looked into. The product did what we needed it to, so we went with it.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco Defense Orchestrator is a very great solution to centralizing device management and security. I would want to give it a nine out of ten. It is not a ten because everything can be improved — such as the integration of third-party options, as I mentioned.

As far as advice for those considering this solution, it will save a lot of time. It actually saves our organization about 40% or 60% of the time we used to take to do things manually. That is about three days of labor a week. Now those resources can be used in different and better ways to benefit productivity and the organization.

We have obviously also realized security improvements.

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