Palo Alto NG Firewalls Review

I found it more intuitive compared to other products. Scalability is a big problem if you don't plan in advance for network traffic usage


What is our primary use case?

Our solution is now based on clustering and load balancing. We can add more nodes to our environment to accommodate the new load within our company.

We have about 2,000 to 2,300 users on Palo Alto NG firewall support.

Palo Alto has a line of products for different customers. If you do the sizing it from the beginning, considering that you are a growing company, it is fine.

You need to plan for the future, which means that you have to pay in advance through investment. With Palo Alto NG Firewalls, the cost will be higher.

How has it helped my organization?

We would like to have the processing power to be enhanced with every new CPU so that we are getting more cores. Palo Alto is incorporating this. 

We are requesting now a new firewall that will come in with higher power, i.e. the 5220.

What is most valuable?

I found Palo Alto NG firewalls more intuitive compared to other products. I value the capability to identify a cloud solution.

What needs improvement?

Palo Alto has a good product and end-user experience. It's great. They can maybe add more processing power to their hardware. That's it. 

Sometimes it's stuck and you need to restart it. They have been adding a lot of things, so we need to upgrade for the new features.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Palo Alto firewalls for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Palo Alto NG is a stable product as long as it's working. It does what it expected to do. But sometimes for some reason the hardware resources spike, so it stops responding. 

The only fix is to restart the firewall,i.e. a  hardware restart. This is one of the issues. It's not related to the software because of the troubleshooting that we did. 

It's about resource consumption. Some hardware and software issues Palo Alto needs to work on. They released their Palo Alto Operating System which enhanced their product suite.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability compared to other products is not good. You need to change the box whenever you want your number of connection sessions to increase. 

You can't just upgrade the parts with a software key or with adding additional hardware. You need to replace the entire box. It's not scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support is responsive. They are good.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We previously used a different solution that was Fortinet. I'm still using it. There's another area in the network where we use Fortinet.

How was the initial setup?

We shifted from Fortinet to Palo Alto. It's just mapping the network from the available firewall to another firewall. It wasn't complex. 

Between deployment and stabilization, the product was completed in two weeks, i.e. 10 working days.

What about the implementation team?

One of my team did the installation under my supervision.

What other advice do I have?

You have to do proper network design from the beginning. You have to look into future expansion. Otherwise, after a year, you have to replace the entire box.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate this product a seven because the point of scalability within their product is a big issue. 

If you have to put a huge investment in front to accommodate future expansion, it is fine. 

It requires forecasting. If your forecast is not correct and you are not growing to that point, then all your investments will be a waste. 

If you're adding a block so that it can accommodate your user traffic demand, then that would be perfect. 

I buy one block at a time now. I can't buy two blocks at the same time. That's a waste of money with Palo Alto NG firewalls.

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