Palo Alto Threat Prevention Review

Enables us to control the amount of bandwidth an application is allowed to consume and is extremely scalable


What is our primary use case?

We are resellers of this solution so we facilitate technical services to our clients. We maintain Palo Alto for what we are responsible for maintaining, on the latest version of the software.

What is most valuable?

It's a monster, it's got so many beautiful features. We do deal with other firewalls and we've got a better idea of what other firewalls' capabilities are. In any comparison with the Palo Alto, I liked the quality of service on the applications that you can control the amount of bandwidth an application is allowed to consume. The best feature is the quality of the application quality of service.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any stability problems. Maybe once or twice the cache was released fairly quickly. There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There isn't a firewall on earth available at the moment that's more scalable than Palo Alto. It's in the tens of thousands. We are servicing clients and we tally all the users from those clients together and it's in the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands. We are a reseller, so I can only speak in terms of our clients. We have at least tens of thousands of users. Palo Alto is the most scalable firewall out there by far.

How are customer service and technical support?

In Africa, the technical support is probably not as good as in Europe and the USA because it's a specific premium support, partner-enabled premium support and all of that. But it's really good, I don't really have any complaints, it's fairly good. I'll give them 80%.

How was the initial setup?

One of the reasons we chose the Palo Alto firewall is because it's probably one of the simplest firewalls to set up, it's very intuitive. We've done probably around 50 deployments and depending on the size and scope it takes around five hours but sometimes an implementation could take five months. It's very difficult to say how long it takes, but if you compare it with other firewalls, the implementation cycles of Palo Alto beat them hands down.

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

The pricing and the licensing are pretty competitive at this stage. As a reseller, I would like to see the price come down a little bit so I can compete better against other firewalls because we do that all the time. Especially on these smaller firewalls and so on, we need to be a bit more competitive. Palo Alto is a company that focuses more on the high endS, high-speed class type of massive organizations and firewalls and so on, which is why they are the most scalable firewall. In Africa, the organizations tend to be smaller than you would get in Europe, the USA, China and those types of places so we tend to sell more of the smaller firewalls. Palo Alto's smallest firewall at this stage is very expensive which makes it difficult, but then again it's just not the area that they're really playing in. It still outperforms any of the other firewalls.

What other advice do I have?

It's a brilliant product, we periodically look at several other firewalls to stay on top of their capabilities and so on, and it's the best bang for your buck that you can get. Some of the other firewalls are starting to catch up. I implemented a baby, which could be regarded as a baby Palo Alto firewall. We pushed through in a single day with everything switched on, all the capabilities switched on, we pushed through 4.3 terabytes of data per day. Which is phenomenal for such a baby, little firewall, with all the capabilities switched on, it's absolutely mind-boggling that it handled that, and it did. It was at a university that we implemented it. 

The advice that I would give is to partner with somebody that has the necessary skills to implement it. Buy from somebody that has proven skills to implement the product because if you don't have a partner to implement the product, that knows the product, and is qualified, it's pretty useless buying the product.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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