Cisco Tetration Review

Saves time, resists attacks, and allocates resources properly


What is our primary use case?

The product is primarily used for automating micro-segmentation.

How has it helped my organization?

Cisco Tetration provides visibility into networks and additional security. This improves the entire organization by saving time, resisting attacks, and allocating resources properly.

What is most valuable?

While automated micro-segmentation is in itself valuable, application dependency mapping is time-saving and efficient. 

What needs improvement?

While the product does its job and more than any organization currently needs, the entire interface could be improved. It's ugly and uninviting. The biggest competitor has a very nice, modern-looking GUI. Tetration tends to be a lot more cumbersome and it's not very intuitive. It is a good thing for consultants, but not for a typical end user.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable. We have never had an issue after an implementation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco Tetration has scaling capabilities that surpass the realistic needs of any organization. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We augment Cisco customer service and support for the product, so we generally do not require support. However, Cisco support is excellent and we never have any issues. We will always get the support that we need, whether it be from the business unit that developed it directly, or from the Cisco TAC.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the setup depends on the version being installed. The cloud version can be up and running in a couple of hours. The other version could take a couple of weeks. Customers who do not already know the product shouldn't really be deploying it on their own. Once it's up and running, a single person can manage and grow the entire environment in a fraction of the time it would take to do manually. Some organizations will allow as little as 2-3 hours a week and some will have to spend a lot more time on it. The resource allocation really just depends on what it is being used for.

What about the implementation team?

We do all our own deployments so there is no need for a vendor team. However, it is not recommended that end-users install this without prior knowledge and consultancy.

What was our ROI?

There is an immediate ROI when deploying this product. While it is hard to count in dollars, an organization will experience functionality that they never had before. The product creates cost savings in the allocation of resources but that goes much further than that. As an example, it is possible to recreate a database server that had no documentation and no backup. If that database were to go down, it would cost a company millions. Tetration can gather enough information to be able to rebuild that same database server and have immediate tell over and avoid that type of disaster.

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

The cost depends on the size and the implementation. The larger the implementation the more cost effective it becomes. There are two different types of licenses. If you want to add enforcement there's an extra cost to turn it on. You can just go with the network visibility it provides without the enforcement. That's the basic difference between the two license types. The price is nominal between the two packages and it is possible to negotiate with Cisco to make the pricing almost equal between the two as Cisco will prefer organizations to have the enhanced utility.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The only other product we considered before deciding on Cisco Tetration is Illumio, which is a direct competitor. It is possible to string together multiple tools from the VMware side that can create similar functionality.

What other advice do I have?

This product does everything that you need it to do and more. I would definitely rate it a 10 out of 10. It does a lot to provide visibility in a network environment, save time and money, and makes the organization IT operate in much more of a streamlined fashion. We could have chosen other products, but this is the horse that we picked to go in the race.

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