Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Review

Easy to set up, powerful IDS and IPS functionality, and helpful policy compliance reporting

What is our primary use case?

Palo Alto VM Series is a firewall that makes up part of our security solution, handing IPS, IDS, and other security measures.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are web control and IPS/IDS.

The work from home features, VPN and SSL VPN, are useful and part of the GlobalProtect functionality.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have automatic daily reporting, such as how many users have connected via SSL VPN. As it is now, we have to manually look at the logs, which is tedious. There are no ready-made reports on that level and the information is not easily available.

I really need more advanced features that support the correlation of log files.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have years of experience with the Palo Alto VM Series.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This firewall is quite stable and we haven't faced any kinds of issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable but I cannot really comment on how much because we have not taken it to that level. We have between 450 and 500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with the technical support. However, they regularly provide training on the system so we have rarely opened a support case. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and easy. 

The deployment will take a couple of hours at the max and will depend on the configuration that you are looking for. Palo Alto will give you a report that recommends policies that are based on industry standards. For example, if you have approved Telnet access then you will be warned because it is not recommended and you should be using SSH instead. They will give you lots of recommendations to warn that the configuration does not follow the standard practice and if allowed to remain then it will explain what vulnerabilities you might face in the future. This kind of report is really valuable.

What other advice do I have?

I highly recommend this service compared to other vendors. It has everything included in one platform including IPS, IDS, and antivirus. By using the Palo Alto initial configuration, it is going to block many threats from day one and it is pretty easy to do. You don't have to have an in-house technical team that is capable of doing that. You don't require that kind of knowledge, which is important because many people don't understand IDS, IPS, or file blocking. They need experience. With Palo Alto, a normal person with perhaps a year of technical experience will understand how to configure the firewall and generate reports.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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