Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Review

Reliable with a straightforward setup and good security features

What is our primary use case?

The solution is typically used for antivirus and antimalware purposes, to help protect an organization against attacks.

What is most valuable?

The solution offers many different capabilities.

It's one of the best products I've worked with. It's typically a market leader on Gartner. It's a very respected brand.

The solution offers very good security, especially in relation to antivirus activities.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The product is extremely reliable.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the solution is quite high. It's one of the most expensive firewall solutions on the market.

Clients are typically looking for a solution that's more aggressive in the market.

For example, with Fortinet, they have an SD-WAN that really has many capabilities. For example, it can inject a GSL SIM card along with the MPLS connection. It connects the system within one product. Palo Alto doesn't offer this. This is one area that will need to improve. In Indonesia, the market is growing strategically. Palo Alto has this one product, however, with the limitation of the GSM sim card they are getting left behind. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using the solution around 2012 or 2013. It may have been eight years or so. Sometimes I am doing a POC or implementing the solution, so it has been on and off.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While the solution itself is okay in terms of stability, there could be issues if the hardware is affected. We have hardware that gets affected by humidity, for example, which can end up affecting a wide range of infrastructure. If the environment is good, the solution will be okay. If we talking about Palo Alto's series starting from the 3,000 to 5,000 or 7,000, Palo Alto has a really stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We set up this solution for companies of all sizes, from small to large enterprises. One of our clients is a telecom, which is quite sizable. They have the most complex configuration. The solution, however, is able to work for any company, no matter what the size. In that sense, it's a scalable option.

That said, the NG firewall is not a typical product that we can scale up on a whim. If we want to scale up in this product, we need to buy a higher series. We have to replace it. If we want to scale out this product, we can do a roll out in another location. Therefore, you can expand it out, however, you do need to change the sizing, which means getting a size or two up.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't contacted technical support recently. The last time I spoke to the tech support team was five years ago or maybe as an Operation Engineer three or five years ago. Generally, I found that they were really good at understanding the product. In my experience, they were really helpful. I'd say I was satisfied with their support.

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

I've also used Juniper, however, that may have been three or four years ago or so.

How was the initial setup?

In my case, I have a lot of experience with Palo Alto and the implementation process. Therefore, I don't find it too complex. It's rather straightforward for me. However, I have a long history with the solution. I find the hierarchy of the configuration fairly easy to understand, especially if you compare it to a solution such as Juniper. Juniper is a bit more complex to set up. Whereas, Palo Alto is a bit more straightforward.

How long deployment takes can vary. It really depends on the complexity of the configuration and the environment.

If a client only buys the implementation, they will have to handle the maintenance of the product. It's a good idea to have that type of person in-house.

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

We find the cost of the solution to be very high. It's quite expensive, and one of the most expensive on the market.

The pricing is related to the complexity of the environment. The more complex the company's requirements, the more it will cost.

What other advice do I have?

We have a partnership with Palo Alto.

I am in pre-sales and often do POCs or do some aspect of evaluating the solution for clients to help them understand the usefulness.

Overall, I really do prefer Palo Alto to other options. I'm the most comfortable with it and I understand it the best out of other solutions such as Juniper or Fortinet.

I'd suggest organizations consider the solution. Yes, it is quite expensive. However, it is also very reliable and is always marked highly in Gartner due to its feature set and usability. It's easy to configure and it's very easy to add more features into your roadmap if you need to. It can easily integrate into a larger holistic security system to help keep a company safe.

In general, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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