Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Review

A good solution with great stability and very good Policy Optimizer feature

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use it for perimeter protection between the internet and the local network. We are using it for application control. We exploit the applications with some policies about how the network traffic is going to be from the local LAN to the external network and vice versa. We are protecting our network from outsiders and stopping them from getting into the network.

What is most valuable?

I love the Policy Optimizer feature. I am also completely happy with its stability.

What needs improvement?

Its reporting can definitely be improved. I would like to have better graphical dashboards and more widgets for more clarity in the reporting area. In a third-generation firewall, you can generate some dashboards. It provides the information that we need, but from the C-level or a higher-level perspective, it is kind of rough and incomplete.

Its data loss prevention (DLP) feature is not good enough. Currently, this feature is very basic and not suitable for enterprises. It would be nice if they can include a better DLP feature like Fortinet.

We would like to have a local depot of Palo Alto in Latin America. Competitors such as Cisco and Check Point have a local depot here. If there is an issue with their hardware, you can go to the depot, and in about four hours, you can get a replacement device, but that's not the case with Palo Alto Networks because we need to import from Miami. It takes about two to three weeks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am completely happy with its stability. I have no issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't need more scalability. I can use the new features without changing the hardware. The features are completely inside the hardware, so I have no issue with the scalability. Most of our customers are big businesses.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't have a very complex call with their technical support.

How was the initial setup?

It depends. It can be complex when we are replacing a solution with Palo Alto Networks and the customer doesn't know how the policy is going to be implemented in the solution. If that is not the case and it is a clean installation, it is very straightforward. It is not at all complex.

The deployment generally takes a whole week. This includes the planning stage and doing the initial setup. It takes about two days to set up a device, power it on, and turn on the policies.

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

It is an expensive solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our clients compare it with Check Point. Palo Alto Network has the application granularity. It enables you to handle the applications, policies, and Policy Optimizer. There is no need for splitting the management plane and the processing plane. In Check Point, you need two devices. You need one device for the management and one for the gateway. Palo Alto has both in one, which is a good feature.

Check Point is a kind of cheaper solution, and we can deploy that application on open servers. The open servers option in Check Point has a huge cost-saving. In terms of performance, I will always choose Palo Alto Network because its IPS feature is superior to Check Point. It is much better than Check Point.

What other advice do I have?

First of all, I would say that the engineer who is going to deploy the solution has to know how the network policy is going to be introduced into the firewall. It is very important for deployment because it is a new concept that Palo Alto introduced in the market. The second thing is to know the policies, not on the layer-4 basis, but in terms of policies, such as SMB, DSTP, and other such things.

I would rate Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls a nine out of ten.

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Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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