SonicWall NSV Review

Easy to use, stable, and the security features work well

What is our primary use case?

We use SonicWall NSV as the firewall component of our network and security solution.

What is most valuable?

The security of this system is fantastic, including the IPS and IDS.

The interface is wonderful and easy to use.

I primarily make use of reporting capabilities.

What needs improvement?

With eight branches, we are not a very big customer and find that the pricing is a little bit expensive. We are a large community bank that has been around for 100 years, but we only have eight branches. That said, the pricing is still much better than it was with Cisco.

I would like to see the reporting opened up and have several more opportunities for automatic reports. I have experience with building custom reports that I can use, but I don't have that kind of time anymore. Having more canned reports, which is what Firepower gave us, would be very beneficial.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SonicWall NSV for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been fantastic. There have been some minor hiccups and there are some nuances that Cisco does better.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This firewall is set up at eight different branches. There are eight people who use the reporting features and of a total of approximately 80 to 85 users.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were a complete Cisco shop for switches, firewalls, and everything, up until about three years ago. At that point, I switched from Cisco to SonicWall for my firewalls. At the time, they compared very well.

Cisco has a very good product in my opinion, you almost have to have a doctorate to work on one of their firewall solutions. They're really, really technical. Nonetheless, if Cisco was more affordable then we may still be with them.

FirePower was a slightly better product when it came to reporting and the things that I have to deal with. Part of my job is FDIC and FFIEC audits, and for this work, Cisco Firepower was better. At the same time, it was four times the price. You get what you pay for. At the same time, I think that SonicWall is continuously improving so they'll catch up.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty simple. All eight branches were in place well within a week to a week and a half, with just one person doing it. To me, that seemed very reasonable.

What about the implementation team?

I have a third-party network administrator who manages this solution for me. It's a small computer company that has all of the tools, they set up the parameters, network tunnels, and other applications such as Active Directory. Their name is Isinguard Technology Group, and they are a value-added dealer for a lot of different products.

At the time, I couldn't buy the product directly from them. Instead, I had to purchase it through a third-party. However, I think that they do now have a license to sell SonicWall.

The network specialist was very familiar with SonicWall and had been working with it for a long time. It took him about three days to make sure that the group policies were set on all eight of the firewalls.

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

Our initial purchase, which included a three-year term of support, was about $25,000 USD. After that, it was another $12,000 to $15,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I had considered Palo Alto. They have a fantastic product but they are so expensive that I couldn't even look at them.

What other advice do I have?

I have used FireEye in conjunction with this product and it was great.

My advice for anybody who is considering SonicWall NSV is to look at what environment they came from, especially if it was Cisco, and compare the two of them. They need to be prepared for what they may give up. For example, compared to Cisco, reporting is better than it is in SonicWall. Essentially, you have to find out what you're going to give up for the money you're going to save. Once that is determined and you weigh the pros and cons, including how important what you're giving up is, you can decide. It is important to remember that as far as security and stability go, you're not giving up anything.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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