Portnox CORE Review

Provides us a good view of what's happening on the network and enables us to take action proactively


What is our primary use case?

For our use case we can check on syndication issues while using it for NAC (Network Access Control). It helps us to allow users access to the network according to the policy that the organization provides.

How has it helped my organization?

The product has helped improve our organization in a number of different ways. The most important of all is that we are aware of situations the minute anyone on the network has issues. We can see what is happening right away. It has a very good graphical interface and we see exactly where the issue is, what ports the issue is occurring at and that makes it a lot easier for us to troubleshoot network issues. That ability helps with uptime and productivity.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the product in our case is the network visibility. The product gives us a very good view of what's happening on the network and we can take action proactively. It also provides security. Our network isn't open to everyone in the organization. It's open only to people who have a real need to work on the network. The product helps us control that access.

It also helps that the product is self-sufficient. We don't need to allocate employee resources to the maintenance and monitoring unless something goes wrong. It is all automated. We get alerts and we react according to the alerts we receive without a dedicated team that monitors the solution. We're a team and we work together on other things while the product monitors the system. When we get alerts, that's when we deal with it.

What needs improvement?

In our case, the product does what it's meant to do. I don't see any real need for improvement here, at least not for our needs. The interface is very convenient and provides very good security for exactly what we need the product for. It's a simple solution and we haven't had any problems with it for the past six or seven years. I don't know that we really have any pain points with the product or I'd be aware of them.

There are a certain number of false positives on occasion where we get an alert and really nothing is wrong, but generally, those issues have to do with computer configuration. It isn't really the fault of the product. I don't have anything bad to say about the product. We are very happy with it.

I guess one of the problems with the tool is our own fault. We could use a lot more of its features than we do now. But we have been using the parts of the product that we need for years now. If we had problems with it and it didn't do what we needed it to anymore, we wouldn't continue buying the support for it and we'd look for another solution.

I guess the only thing that might really make a difference is a change in the pricing structure. They charge us by the number of ports that we have on our switches. The more ports we have on the switch, the more we have to pay — even if we're not using all of the ports. From the point of view of licensing, there could be some kind of improvement. I think it would be better if we were paying for actual usage.

If there were additional features to add, I might suggest better options for integration with the firewall. I know that the product has this feature already, but it's something we haven't explored more deeply because it isn't the reason we use the solution. If there were better integration with our firewall, we might be able to do additional things like creating policies that would block ports that are under attack or other things like that which could be beneficial.

Portnox has the integration capability, but as far as I know, it's not something that's really built into the solution. It involves some scripting. I think that if they made that easier to deploy, we would definitely use it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product for more than six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable and it just works. We don't ever have any problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have any issues with scalability. Whenever we grow, the only question about scalability is determining how many licenses to add and then just adding the licenses. As the company grows and we expand, the usage grows as well.

Right now, we're licensed for about 800 ports. That means that up to 800 devices can be connected. It's easy to add the licenses. It just gets more expensive when you do.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience with customer support is pretty limited. We haven't contacted them for a long time. But, generally, when we do have to contact them — for whatever reason — we get good support from them.

How was the initial setup?

It has been a while since the initial setup, but I recall that it was pretty simple. It might have only taken a day to deploy. Then it might have taken a couple of days running checks on the system. In all, it only took a couple of days.

What about the implementation team?

When we did the deployment we used an integrator that we use regularly from time-to-time for implementing our security products. Our experience with the integrator is always good and everything works fine. We are very pleased with the integrator's services.

What was our ROI?

One return on the investment is that we don't need to dedicate employee time to monitoring the system. We just pay for the product.

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

As far as pricing, we only pay for support on a yearly basis. There are no other costs after you initially pay for the licenses. The only exception to that is if you need to add devices to the system. If you add to the system you need to license more ports. You need to pay for the additional licensing. Other than that it essentially works by itself so it is like having another employee for the cost of support.

I don't know the exact prices but I know the product is not cheap.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before we decided on Portnox CORE as a solution, we did try other solutions to compare. I'm talking around six years back, so remembering the reasons for everything isn't that easy. In the end, we decided this was the solution we needed. Today there may be other solutions in the market that do the same thing — maybe in a better way, I don't know — but this solution satisfied us at the time, and since then we're happy with it. There's no reason to explore other options until the solution isn't providing what we need. Even then, it may be an opportunity to explore more of the existing product's capabilities.

One of the products we did evaluate was SportScout. It was more complicated and we found it was more complex to implement at the time. I don't know how it is today. It may be better and improved by simplifying some of the processes involved in the deployment. At the time it was obvious that it would be more complex and take a lot more time to integrate it into the company. It had a false-positive issue.

What other advice do I have?

We really like the solution and it does what we need it to, so in rating it let's say we give it a nine out of ten. It's just hard for me to give anything a ten because that means it is perfect. But truly, I have nothing bad to say about the product. It's a good product and it helped us tremendously in the years in locating all kinds of issues that we had on the network. It does that very quickly and reliably and I recommend it.

The product is something we use on a daily basis. It's something that's always working away in the background. We get reports, we get alerts, we assess what the alerts are telling us and then we take action as necessary. If that's what an organization needs, then this is a very good solution.

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