What is our primary use case?
The statistics show you a full brief of every user, every type of connection used, and the total bandwidth used. We control our VPNs through it and our actual line of defense for our security is the Cisco firewall. We have four different fiber connections and two satellite connections connected to our offices. They all load balance through Cisco and another analytics device. It integrates very well into our network and we find it to be extremely robust and durable.
How has it helped my organization?
It has provided us a more secure environment, especially the firewall. We've had multiple attempts of network intrusion which have been defeated because of the firewall rules in place.
What needs improvement?
Their support has room for improvement. The regional agents are not that great.
The devices can be a bit of an energy hog. We would like to see a more durable power supply system because being in a third world country we have frequent power outages and it takes a bit of time for our generators and stuff to kick in which then leads to power surges and whatnot. Even with the proper power management system, it can also affect the devices themselves.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We're extremely satisfied with the stability. We've had around two or three outages in the last 18 years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We are very limited in terms of scalability. We're a small firm, we hardly have 30 people.
Our entire company uses it. We're all on the network. We have 152 users right now and we support about another 135 mobile devices. They're all financial institutions.
How are customer service and technical support?
Cisco support itself is excellent. Some of the resellers are very good but some aren't.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was quite easy. Our employees are Cisco certified so they are familiar with the setup and activities of the products. The very initial setup was in 2001. After that, we just swapped it for the updated rules of the devices. That's all we had to do. It's been a seamless integration and a seamless upgrade with very minimal downtime.
Our implementation strategy was that we had to open an office in 30 days. It took us about two weeks to wire the entire office up and put the hardware in place. It was a total initial build so we had no issues at all. Everything was covered. We did have serious problems where we had the wiring issues and whatnot, but otherwise, it was business as usual.
We have three people in our network department who oversee the devices, maintenance and whatever needs to be done. We have two technicians and one Cisco certified tech.
What about the implementation team?
Our initial setup was done by a Cisco reseller. We had a good experience with them and we had normal issues. We had issues with one of our appliances that had gone down and we couldn't get a replacement but that was an issue on their part.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Our issues are basically currency related. The licensing is in dollars and the dollar is steadily rising. We've had an increase in the licensing fee due to the simple reason that the exchange rate is almost over 40%. That creates a major issue. If the currency devaluation doesn't stabilize, we may have to look at another solution.
What other advice do I have?
I would advise someone outside the US to consider the issues that we're facing right now, the currency devaluation and licensing fees.
I would rate it a nine out of ten because we haven't had any major issues with it.