Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Review

Ability to log each and every application provides valuable control

What is our primary use case?

I'm a network security engineer and we are platinum partners with Palo Alto. 

What is most valuable?

Initially, there were no application controls offered in the legacy firewall. Now you can log each and every application. It provides valuable control and is the main feature in addition to the security features they're currently offering. All the firewalls - Fortinet, Cisco, Palo Alto -  provide complete visibility and control over your network which you didn't previously have. Now you have user ID and you can implement URL filtering as well, there is control over your network. End user logging is far better with Palo Alto than Fortinet or Cisco, and it helps you to troubleshoot. I'd rate Palo Alto on top. It's comfortable and that's my experience. Cisco and Fortinet provide good services, but Palo Alto offers a very good product.

What needs improvement?

There will always be room for improvement. On a daily basis you get patches for everything. They build new features, apply new technologies and new applications which need to be integrated and with that you get bugs. There are always issues, whether it's hardware or software. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is generally stable but with each new update you need to get the OS bug fix. Any security device has a vulnerability which a hacker can exploit and you have to keep on patching.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I work on the system integrator side and work with multiple customers, and this is a scalable solution. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The support level is good, but it depends on the region you're working from. In some countries, the support flexibility is very good. For others, you have different strategies. I'm in Pakistan and Palo Alto has a different strategy here in that they don't directly provide support. You have to add another vendor in between and open a case with them and if they can't resolve your query they activate to Palo Alto. In some countries, Palo Alto directly provides support and in others they can't be contacted directly. In a couple of scenarios, we got involved with an R&D team and told them there was a bug for our end users. Palo Alto escalated that case to an R&D team and they got it fixed in the following patches.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a very smooth process integrated with initial configuration. It's very easy. 

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

You could say that the cost is higher for Palo Alto, but they are a better product compared to the other principals. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I work with Fortinet as well as Palo Alto. Palo Alto has very extensive logging that Fortinet doesn't offer. To get that with Fortinet you need to purchase FortiAnalyzer for reporting. The logging is so extensive in Palo Alto that you can generate a report and get an analysis on the same firewall. You don't need to procure anything else. The documentation of both Fortinet and Palo Alto is up to standard. They both have very extensive documentation for their products. Both of them offer the same level of knowledge base for their customers and are up to the mark. In terms of support, Fortinet and Cisco allow you to directly open a case and get an engineer on the line. Cisco follows the same model. I'm unable to do that with Palo Alto from Pakistan. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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