Juniper SRX Review

Simple to implement and handles MBPN traffic well

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for MPBN, where we provide a firewall for our mobile data customers. As an ISP, we protect the 2G, 3G, and 4G customers.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the virtualization because it can be used for customers who are using the mobile data network to request a private connection to a remote site.

There are also standard security features such as NTP groups and firewalling features and these are also good. 

What needs improvement?

The Juniper product has to improve in terms of innovation.

It only has standard reports, such as memory capacity and data traffic. By comparison, the Check Point solution comes with great reports. Check Point tracks the logs, then analyses the logs and can tell you when you are under attack. Then, you can prevent it. With Juniper today, what you have in terms of log analysis is not so good. I think that they have another solution for this, but it is not embedded, and you have to purchase it separately.

For how long have I used the solution?

Approximately four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since we have deployed, there have been maybe two or three minor issues. Our local support helped us to clear these.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I cannot really tell if it is scalable because we are managing twenty gigabytes of traffic on the node. They say that it can scale up to almost one terabyte, but we don't have the capacity so I can't really tell.

This solution is used for all of our mobile customers, which is approximately twelve million. All of our 4G customers use it. This includes standard users who want internet access on their phone, as well as those who want a VPN connected to a private server.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate their support seven out of ten.

The technical support directly from Juniper is too expensive, so we receive support from our local reseller instead. This can take between one and three hours, which at times is not up to our company standards.

While the Juniper support staff is skilled, is it too expensive, which is why I rate it seven.

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

At one point we tried to move the mobile data firewall from our Juniper SRX56 to the Cisco ASA 5585. What we found out is that Cisco was not performing well at all. I was very disappointed by the Cisco solution. There were more issues for the same amount of traffic. With Juniper, you just have to upgrade to handle additional clients, but when we tried with Cisco, definitely the result was not good at all.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, especially compared to that of Cisco. It was very simple with the help of our local provider.

From the design phase up to the implementation stage took approximately one month per site. This included the time to validate the design documents and then validate and approve the changes. We needed to slot a window of time for the change, consider whether there is any impact on the customer, and then monitor what happens during the change. For both of our sites, it took approximately three months.

For the design and clarification, we had one person for four nodes. In terms of operations, we have two engineers.

What about the implementation team?

Our local provider assisted us with the implementation of the final solution. In Cameroon, we had Erikson, and they knew what they had to do so it was really straightforward.

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

While the price of support is expensive, the price of the solution, itself, is not.

The problem came about when we tried switching to Cisco and discontinued our support. In order to subscribe again later, we had to pay a reinstatement fee. We found out that if you have not used the product for a certain period of time, you have to pay for this period before paying for a new year of support. Say, for example, that you don't pay for support for one year. That year must be paid for, first, before getting support. That is why I am saying that support is expensive, in my opinion.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate vendors other than Juniper and Cisco because in the enterprise we have a set of approved vendors for each sector and these are two only two in this group.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to make sure that you have local support because it is very important. Juniper does have some good options in terms of support.

This is not a perfect solution because I think that there is still room for improvement, but I think it is the best solution that I have tested for MBPN.

I would rate this solution an eight and a half out of ten. 

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