What is most valuable?
Firewall auditing is very important. We also use the solution for rule traffic analysis, traffic flow discovery and hidden/shadow rules within over 100 firewalls spanning five different brands. These features are valuable as firewall rules are constantly added but its tough to determine what can get cleaned up over time. Knowing how frequently a rule is used, where redundant rules exist and documenting changes are important.
How has it helped my organization?
Since our network is large, someone new like myself has a challenge when we need to make changes to permit certain traffic. Often this traffic will traverse multiple firewalls and FireMon can help demystify where needed rules need to be implemented.
What needs improvement?
We just went from the v7.x to their latest web based v8.x which was a welcome change. One area for 7.x customers that needs improvement is the migration. It is an involved process so get ready to spend some time getting your environment back to the way it was. Another area that could use improvement is the traffic path analysis. FireMon uses learned zone data against interfaces to help determine traffic pathways. The catch here is in v8.x, you now have to specify a source or destination network which may throw off the results sending you to the incorrect firewall. Since we just upgraded last week, there aren't many other items that we can see as improvements as we are just getting familiar with this version.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've used this solution for a little over one year.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
The migration from v7 to v8 needs to be improved but we had no issues in the initial deployment.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have a centralized server with data collector appliances placed between two data centers. We were losing change data because one of the collectors had too much load on it but we never knew. Support had to dig deep when we had our 7.x install and help balance out our firewall to collector ratio to ensure we weren't flooding any one collector.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's been able to scale for our needs.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their support is very good. They are generally responsive and I have needed to escalate only a couple of times.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had no solution in place prior to this. FireMon was the best choice as they really specialize in this niche market.
How was the initial setup?
Like anything new, we needed help from support to get our initial setup moving along. However once you learn the basics, it's not hard moving around the system.
What about the implementation team?
We did get FireMon's assistance during our initial implementation. I encourage this as every environment is different and for me it was worth the investment to get that initial startup help to get things going.
What other advice do I have?
Like any implementation, take time and plan. Engage users and stakeholders letting them know what this system can do and get it integrated within the organizational ecosystem. Like any solution, if it isn't used you simply don't get that potential dividend.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?
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