Juniper SRX Review

The throughput is fine but the CLI is verbose, especially when configuring

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is security. The performance has been okay. It's a bit of a change from the Ciscos in terms of the configuration syntax, from the CLI perspective. We use it just as a firewall. We don't use it for routing functionality.

How has it helped my organization?

The Juniper was a later model, later technology than we had, more horsepower than we had before. The performance is better, but it could have been any firewall in its peer group. The improvement was because our old firewalls were, well, old. So the performance has been an improvement. And the IDS, perhaps, is a little better than what the older firewalls had.

What is most valuable?

I'm not sure what the most valuable features are. I'm not really that impressed with the technical support. I'm not really that impressed with the product, to be honest with you. Throughput seems to be okay.

What needs improvement?

The CLI is verbose. You have to say a lot to do a little. I don't like that part of it. Cisco's command syntax seems to be a good bit more concise. When you're trying to get something done, you don't want to have to type a bunch. I wish there was a quicker way to configure through the CLI. I know all the tricks of hitting spacebar etc. to finish the command, and the context tricks of going further in. But it just reminds me of an older operating system, like VAX/VMS. It's just very verbose.

Maybe this is where the Space Security Director product comes in, but we aren't quite using the Security Director in Space to its fullest yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems stable. We haven't had too many failures. We have had some but, by and large, it's been pretty stable. It's not taxed, the way we're using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The model we have is very scalable. It's a fairly large firewall.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have spoken with technical support 30 or 50 times. On a scale of one to 10, I would evaluate Juniper technical support at five. It's never resolved in one call. It's always a couple of calls. We're not being passed from one department to another, it's just that they don't seem to be answering the question you give them. It's very frustrating.

How was the initial setup?

I migrated it from an ASA to the Juniper. It was a fairly straightforward process. There are things that are required on the Juniper that weren't required on the Cisco, like the global address book. Things have to be on there before you can do a lot of net and the like.

What other advice do I have?

You need to know what your company's strategic vision is, and then map the security part of that. I don't just mean cost-related, but the strategy for profit-related future ventures. You need to know why you want a particular firewall. Don't ignore the functions and future growth and products on the horizon from each of the vendors.

What you go with has to meet your current needs but, more importantly, is the company a going concern - meaning if they're going to get better - then how do they complement your particular industry's growth? Are they going to be there to make remote access and extranets and research easier to deliver? The product has to be configurable, with lots of options should you need to subscribe to those options.

The most important criterion, for me, when selecting a vendor is that they have to rank high in industry ratings. Juniper has just not been there. I haven't seen the 2018 reports, but year after year Juniper is not only the least visionary but one of the least in terms of performance. I also don't like the fact that they spun off their VPN to Pulse Secure. I know that's a subsidiary, but I don't necessarily want to have a separate appliance for a light-duty VPN.

I would rate Juniper at seven out of 10. It's a little harder to configure from a VPN perspective, VPN Tunnels. Their tech support is the big problem for me. I don't want to be bounced around. I don't want to get half an answer when I ask a whole question. I would take an inferior product with better tech support, without question. If I have a responsive engineering team that will fix problems when they come in, with firmware releases, etc., I'd clearly take an inferior product with that better support. It's all about function.

I probably wouldn't have chosen the Juniper in this environment. We just don't need yet another knowledge base to learn. And it doesn't fold into some of our Cisco services. For example, the assets control doesn't integrate well with the Radius servers. Something like that could be downloadable ACLs, for instance.

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