Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Review

Easy to launch, scalable, and stable

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use it for threat protection. Currently, I'm working on virtual solutions, and it is deployed on the cloud. We have three people who work with this solution.

I have previously worked on the shared firewall as well as dedicated firewall solutions, where we deployed it on-premises as well as on the cloud. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that you can launch it in a very short time. You don't have to wait for the hardware to arrive and get it staged and installed. From that perspective, it is easy to launch. It is also scalable.

What needs improvement?

It would be good if the common features work consistently in physical and virtual environments. There was an integration issue in the virtual deployment where it didn't report the interface counters, and we had to upgrade to the latest version, whereas the same thing has been working in the physical deployment for ages now. It seems that it was because of Azure. We were using VMware before, and we didn't have any such issues. We do see such small issues where we expect things to work, but they don't because of some incompatibilities. 

There also seems to be a limitation on how to do high availability in a virtualized environment. All features should be consistently available in physical and virtual environments. 

It is not always easy to integrate Palo Alto in the network management system. We would like to be able to compare two network management systems. They can maybe allow monitoring an interface through the GUI to create a reference or do a baseline check about whether your network monitoring system is actually giving you the correct traffic figures. You need traffic figures to be able to recognize the trends and plan the capacity.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Palo Alto Networks VM-Series since 2016. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I didn't see any issues with its stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I found them quite good.

How was the initial setup?

I found the initial setup okay. I have been using firewalls since 2014, so it is hard for me to say whether it is easy to install or not.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise getting very well prepared by defining the scope and testing it in advance. Make sure that you understand the performance implications and that the core features are supported on the VM, and they are tested before the implementation or migration.

I would rate Palo Alto Networks VM-Series a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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