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Guardicore Centra OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Guardicore Centra is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Microsegmentation Software tools. It is most often compared to Cisco Secure Workload: Guardicore Centra vs Cisco Secure Workload

What is Guardicore Centra?

Guardicore Centra is a comprehensive data center and cloud security solution that delivers the simplest way to apply micro-segmentation controls to reduce the attack surface and detect and control breaches within east-west traffic. It provides deep visibility into application dependencies and enforces network and process-level policies to protect critical applications.

Guardicore Centra is also known as GuardiCore.

Guardicore Centra Buyer's Guide

Download the Guardicore Centra Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Guardicore Centra Customers

Santander, Frontier Airlines, OpenLink, Intermountain Healthcare, Cellcom, BancoBASE

Guardicore Centra Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Guardicore Centra pricing:
  • "Compared to the pricing we were seeing from both Illumio and Edgewise, Guardicore was very competitive."
  • "This is not a cheap solution but you have to consider the bigger picture, which is what it is giving you."
  • "Guardicore Centra provides better value for money than NSX, was the other solution that we looked at, which was too expensive for what it does."

Guardicore Centra Reviews

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Joshua Turner
Manager Network & Security Engineering at Teleflora
Real User
Top 20
Allowed us to build out a data center topology without worrying about placement of physical or virtual firewalls that can create bottlenecks

Pros and Cons

  • "The real bonus is the fact that we can secure applications, all the way down to the individual services, on each host. It's actually more granular security than we can get out of a traditional firewall."
  • "The long-term management of the security policies could be improved with some kind of automation platform, something like Chef or Puppet or Ansible, to help you manage the policies after day-one... to then manage the policies and changes to those policies, going forward, through some type of automation process is not turning out to be really easy."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it to segregate all of our different environments: staging, production, QA, as well as our applications. We are essentially replacing our traditional, internal firewalls and depending completely on Guardicore to secure all of our applications.

How has it helped my organization?

We've been able to secure older applications in a way that we really couldn't before, which has been a nice benefit. 

It's also allowed us to build out an entire new data center topology without having to worry so much about where we place physical or virtual firewalls that can create bottlenecks. We can focus more on building a really fast and responsive network topology. Security devices, things like a traditional firewall, can often be a bandwidth or throughput bottleneck. But with Guardicore, since the firewall is running on every single server individually, and they're working together, you can just build a really big, fast, redundant network and not have to worry so much about those security bottlenecks.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the fact that it's pretty much agnostic to location. Right now we have an on-prem data center that we manage, but if we start to migrate into different cloud locations or multiple different clouds, we can manage all the security between all of the servers and applications, through one platform. That's a future, forward-looking bonus of it.

And right now, the real bonus is the fact that we can secure applications, all the way down to the individual services, on each host. It's actually more granular security than we can get out of a traditional firewall.

What needs improvement?

They're really good at getting into the environment. But the long-term management of the security policies could be improved with some kind of automation platform, something like Chef or Puppet or Ansible, to help you manage the policies after day-one. Setting it up initially is really simple and getting going is really easy, but to then manage the policies and changes to those policies, going forward, through some type of automation process is not turning out to be really easy. It would help if they could either provide some guidance there or adjust the way that the API handles that a little bit, to make that simpler. 

Their API is clear. It's just proving difficult, from a code perspective, to manage the rule sets. You can build out a rule set really easily. You can deploy agents really easily. You can apply the rules, initially. The issue is then going back and adding a new rule to an old rule set or pulling one out and doing maintenance on it with code. It seems to take a lot of extra logical checks such as making sure we're not duplicating a rule or the like. That's really the only place where, although we're not stuck, we're having to put in more time than we anticipated. Everything else has been super-easy, but the maintenance and management of the rule sets with our automation tools has not proved to be as simple as we would've liked.

It seems like it would have been really easy to put it in if we didn't have a lot of changes. But it seems that the long-term maintenance of it is a little bit difficult and could use some improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've had the Guardicore solution since May, so that would be about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall the stability has been really good but there have been a couple of little bugs we've run into. Nothing has been negatively impactful to our traffic, it's mostly been a couple of cosmetic things.

Everything, so far, has turned out to be a really simple fix where they were able to get back to us within a day. We had an issue installing an agent on a newer version of Red Hat, but they had a solution already in place; it just wasn't rolled in. But they had it fixed for us within a few hours, and they actually had that fix in production within about a week. We've had a couple of what seemed to be visual bugs with the SaaS interface, with the web UI, but no service impacts. 

Everything has been really stable. It's just that there have been times where you'll click on something and you would expect to see something there and it's not there, or it's listing more information than you would expect. Those have all turned out to be bugs, but I don't really fault them for that. 

They've upgraded. We've only had it for six months and we've upgraded our aggregators and our SaaS instance two or three times. They're very proactive on updating and the platform is really stable. They just occasionally have a few little cosmetic bugs. I would prefer that than a company that either doesn't advance and make good changes or one where bugs have performance impact. The performance always seems really good; it's just a few cosmetic things once in a while.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, scalability has been no issue at all for us. We did the proof of concept with a small group of servers, some 20 to 25. Within the first couple of days we'd deployed it to about 75 to 100. Now we're up to 200 servers. It seems to scale as fast as we can add agents to it and we haven't noticed any negative impact from going from one server to 200. And we don't expect any going from 200 to 1,200. 

I think it would only be limited by the power of the SaaS instance and they scale that for you automatically on the backend as you take on more agents. If the SaaS instance requires more resources, they just provide that for you seamlessly without you having to do anything.

How are customer service and technical support?

I cannot not talk enough about their support staff. Their Professional Services team that we worked with for the first several months of the initial setup, are just absolutely wonderful; some of the best I've ever worked with. We've recently been handed off to their customer success team, which is the long-term support, once you're onboarded with the platform, although we haven't even been cut off from our Professional Services team. I still talk to both: the original engineer who helped us set it up and now I have this new customer success staff. They are amazingly wonderful, so far. 

I've never had to wait more than half an hour for some response, and usually have a solution to any problem I have by the end of the day. For every issue we've had, if we start in the morning with an issue, it's really been almost same-day service. We haven't had a ton of issues, but their responsiveness and their attitude and their willingness to help have been greatly appreciated. We deal with a lot of vendors and some are better than others. Guardicore is really top-tier in their customer support. I can't say enough good about them.

How was the initial setup?

They provide really good documentation on agent deployment. They told me through the setup that the thing that most organizations usually struggle with the most is getting the agents deployed. But we found that—probably because we were already doing some automation—was really quite simple.

Overall, it was really easy to get up and going. We installed the on-prem aggregator that bridges the agents on the servers to the SaaS instance, and then you just install the agents. We were actually able to deploy 50 to 100 agents within a day. And once we could deploy 10, since we are already automating a lot of our package management on our servers, we could've done 1,000 or 2,000 in a day. We could have done it on as many servers as we have. 

They provide you all the tools. If you're already automating your servers, it's a super-easy solution to implement. If you aren't doing automation and are still manually managing all your servers, one at a time, I can see that it wouldn't be quite as easy as it was for us.

We are still in the process of deploying it across our company, but to get it up and running, it took less than a couple of days. Right now we're at about 200 servers, but we expect to grow to around 1,200.

To initially get it up and running and have everything working, took only me, in my role as a manager of network and security engineering, and one member of the server team. You could really do this with one or two people, as long as you have a network guy and a server guy. But now that we're deploying it more widely, there are six or seven main players in our company who are involved in writing the scripts and doing the automation work to get it deployed and to manage it.

My team was in charge of the initial setup and getting the policies built and the rule sets created. And the server engineering team is handling the agent installs and making sure they're checking in with the SaaS instance, and they are also putting the Guardicore labels on the agents. They say, "This is a Windows Server, this is an application server." And then we maintain the rule set that controls traffic, based on those labels. It's a two-prong management solution.

What was our ROI?

I know the ROI is going to be there because I know what the future's going to look like. The only reason we haven't seen as much as we possibly could have is all on us moving slowly. It's not anything to do with Guardicore. I'm really hopeful for the future with them. But right now we've only really secured a handful of applications. That's all gone really well, but we definitely have not realized its full potential. We've got a lot of older applications and it takes time to get people to agree to rebuild the server and put the agent on it.

We're trying to shift all of our servers. Instead of applying it in place, we're actually trying to go through a process of rebuilding all of our servers. During that process we'll move an application from an old server to a new one, put the agent on it, put it in the new network, and then it will be a Guardicore protected area. That's a slow process that we have imposed on ourselves. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think it's going to be a great solution but we are far from the end of the road with realizing all the benefits. That's just a result of taking our time and the plan that we created for ourselves.

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

They worked with us really aggressively to get the business and we felt we got a pretty fair deal with them. They were really flexible with our limitations on currently available funding versus future funding. They were really nice about restructuring the purchasing contract.

We did a "step-in" model where we committed to a three-year deal, but we would pay a small amount in the first year, a little more in the second, and ramp up to full price, year-over-year, by year three. That had to do with money that was available and budgeted for at the time. They were really good at working with us on that.

They have been generous with the licensing. We were only supposed to be able to have 200 licenses in the first part of the first year, and then it would ramp up to 600 and then ramp up again to 1,200. But they've assured us, over and over, that they will not complain if we go over any of those limits before those dates. They're just glad to have us as a customer. We're already committed via contract to get up to that 1,200 number and to be paying full price. 

They've been really flexible with the licensing, with the contracts, and everything else. It was a good experience. And compared to the pricing we were seeing from both Illumio and Edgewise, Guardicore was very competitive.

There was a $19,000 upfront cost for the Professional Services engagement, in addition to the licensing, but that was the only extra cost that I'm aware of.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Illumio and we also looked at Edgewise Networks.

At the time, Illumio was manipulating the built-in firewall of either Windows or Linux. They were essentially just going into the OS and taking over the management of the local firewall, which was good in some regards but it seemed like an older way to do the same thing. Edgewise and Guardicore were more in step in that they actually have an agent that sits between the compute kernel and the networking layer and that manages which sockets are open and how the services are able to talk to one another. That seems like a better and more modern approach. That was one thing in their favor. 

We liked a lot of features of both Edgewise and Guardicore. It came down to cost, in the end. We got a better deal with Guardicore. There were a couple of features that I felt meant that Guardicore had more going for it. It seemed like a little bit more of a mature solution at the time. It had been around a little bit longer. It felt like it had some more depth of knowledge and stability, given some of the engineers we spoke with.

Edgewise was very new. Since we talked with them they've actually been acquired by NetScaler. We had a little bit of apprehension in investing in something that might get gobbled up or might fail, because it was a new company. They're both good solutions but we've been happy with the choice that we made.

What other advice do I have?

Think of all the possible scenarios that could apply to your network traffic and make sure you test those thoroughly in your PoC. Think about things like clustering, broadcast traffic, and all the different ways you want to be able to either restrict or group traffic. Run through the gambit of scenarios that you could imagine wanting when segmenting your network with a microsegmentation tool and test all of those as much as you can.

We haven't run into any issues, but there have definitely been some instances where we assumed the product worked one way and, as a result, we went down a path for a week or two writing rules in a certain style, or grouping things a certain way. But then we came to realize, "Oh, that's not really the way Guardicore is intended to work, and it works better if you do it this way." So test, test, test. Make sure that you're confident that it's going to meet your needs.

There's nothing that they've advertised or told me that it can do that it can't do. It's more my understanding of how to implement it. They're flexible, so it's almost like they give you enough rope to hang yourself with you. You might want to talk to them about your philosophy a lot, upfront, before you even start to really commit to a direction regarding how to build your rule sets. If they understand what you're trying to do, they can probably guide you on the best way to get there.

We just picked it up, thinking we're technical and smarter than we are, and ran down one road and when we got there found, "Oh we should have done it this way." And when we stepped back and looked we said, "Oh yeah, that makes a lot more sense." Then we had to go back and undo some of our work. 

So work really closely with the PS guys, explain what you're trying to accomplish and be open with them, and they will help guide you to the best way to implement the product.

I would give Guaridcore an eight out of 10. It's a really great product. There is probably room for them to make improvements. Obviously, they're always adding new stuff. The biggest hindrance we've had is a lack of resources to dedicate time to the project, and none of that is their fault.

It's more a matter of making sure you're pushing all of your projects forward with Guardicore in mind. If you're going to have it wrapped around all your applications, you need to make sure you're writing your apps in a way that is going to work well with Guardicore, or that you're building your network typologies in a way that it's going to work well with Guardicore. If you're going to go all-in and put it on all your servers, you have to factor it into all your decision-making. And I wouldn't say that's a negative, but that's the main takeaway, now that we've gone down this road. You really have to think about Guardicore's intended view of how the product should be used and make sure that you're building along with that, so that you don't come to a crossroads with the tool when you're trying to secure your application.

They're definitely keeping up with new technologies, their deployment is easy, and their customer support is great. I really don't have a lot of negative things to say about it.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Ehud Huminer
CTO at a consumer goods company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with no downtime, responsive and knowledgeable support, and it scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the visibility of processes and connections."
  • "In our version, when using the terminal server, we cannot exclude user tasks for each session."

What is our primary use case?

In our company, we have a data center that has approximately 200 servers running Nutanix. We wanted to protect these servers from both internal and external attacks. By implementing Guardicore Centra, it has given us defense against attacks from the outside, as well as those that originate from inside of the organization.

We protect Microsoft machines, as well as some that are running Linux. We also have an SAP HANA database that is protected by Guardicore.

How has it helped my organization?

We have no downtime when we use Guardicore Centra for segmentation. This is important to us because we're an industrial company and we operate 24/7. We cannot afford to have even one minute of downtime, which is one of the reasons that we chose this solution.

We bought this system several months before the trouble with COVID happened. During that time, a lot of people started to work from outside of the organization. With all of the staff starting to work from home, other companies started to think about how to protect their servers when the users are outside. Also, attacks against endpoints and the data center were on the rise, so it was important to better protect them. I felt safe knowing that I had this kind of defense for the data center.

One example of this happened a few months ago when we received a letter that said we needed to update the on-premises Exchange server. It was a problem from Microsoft and it required that our server be updated to be more secure. Guardicore called us to say that they have witnessed cases where people from other countries were trying to use this exploit to get into the data center, so we blocked it immediately.

All of our servers are now behind Guardicore. The clients are not. From my perspective, the endpoint clients are attackers and my intention is to protect the servers.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the visibility of processes and connections. In addition to the defense it provides, Guardicore gives us a view of each connection that exists on each server. Using this, we can identify things like unused connections, or processes that are using too much in terms of resources. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to block such connections and in turn, improve server performance.

Guardicore supports the operating systems that we require. Primarily, it covers our Microsoft platform, but we have some Linux systems as well. We also used it to protect our SAP HANA database.

I have not compared the range of operating systems that it supports to its competitors because of our use case. We are most interested in LAN segmentation, in particular between the data center and the users' network, so I compared it with other solutions in that context.

It is a benefit that Guardicore supports legacy operating systems, and I have used it with such servers. However, in the long term, it is more important that I have something protecting my data center and having the visibility of what endpoint is initiating connections.

We use the AI-powered segmentation functionality and it affects the time required to design by a lot. It gives us a large number of views and without that, you cannot design the system properly. The AI helps because it shows you what you need to do. Without the AI, either you will not be able to implement the system, or it will take a long time and be very difficult. For us, using this feature saved us a couple of months in implementation time.

What needs improvement?

In our version, when using the terminal server, we cannot exclude user tasks for each session. When we upgrade, I expect that we can exclude user tasks for each session from the terminal.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Guardicore Centra for approximately 10 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had zero downtime, so the stability is good.

Having no downtime is important to us because of the damage that can occur if we're down for even two minutes. For example, if a company is selling drinks like beer, and a reseller asks for Heineken but they can't buy it because the data center is down, the reseller will purchase it from another company. This can result in a lot of damage so our data center has to work all of the time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have implemented Guardicore on several servers without any problems. We have implemented it on our newer servers, as well, and didn't have any trouble. Scalability-wise, we haven't had any kind of difficulty.

Depending on the growth of our company, our usage will expand in the future.

We have 1,200 employees but the solution does not affect the users directly. Rather, it affects the company. The important part is to keep the data center working and to make sure that it does not go down for even a minute. With this in mind, when I talk about scalability, I'm not talking about the number of users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been in contact with technical support and they are excellent. They are responsive and knowledgeable.

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

This product did not replace a similar system. Also, I did not require human resources for this same task. Our company is approximately 70 years old and our network started very small. As the company grew, we maintained the same flat network that included both the data center and the users. When I looked at it, I considered two solutions for separating them. The first was the traditional firewall and a physical LAN, whereas the second approach was using Guardicore. I felt that this was the easier approach.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, it is of medium complexity. It's not complex but not simple. You need to understand your network. You cannot do it without understanding what you want and what your strategy is. When you understand the policy and the strategy that you want to implement on the network, it's very easy.

Our implementation strategy was to start with machine learning. Our plan was to run this for one or two days, get it working, and then understand what kind of information they're getting from me and then to continue on from that. The initial deployment will take a maximum of two days.

Implementing segmentation is not difficult but it is more from our side. First, you need to understand the strategy that you want to implement on the network. Then, you need to complete it step-by-step, so that you do not harm anything or block things improperly. You have to give the software time to learn about the connections that you have. Overall, it is very easy to do. 

In terms of how long it took us to implement, we have approximately 200 servers and it took a couple of months to implement. This is what I expected because I wanted to take it slowly and make sure that I understand which systems I needed to block, or not.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a third-party, DNA IT, who assisted with our deployment. I am still working with them, as they take care of updating the system. They are very good and have helped us a lot.

Most of the implementation was done on our side, as we wanted to take our time and learn the solution. We did not want to take down any servers or block things improperly, for example.

A system engineer from our company and one person from DNA IT were involved. Our system engineer is also responsible for maintenance and can contact DNA IT if needed.

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

This is not a cheap solution but you have to consider the bigger picture, which is what it is giving you. It provides functionality that is similar in some ways to traditional firewalls and with that considered, it is similar in terms of pricing.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, I can say that it's like insurance. You never know the value if it's working properly. To us, if it prevents downtime, it's priceless. Personally, if it's working, I call it 100% success.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other similar options.

What other advice do I have?

We have been a little behind in updating our version. We have been using version 31 but today or tomorrow, we will upgrade to version 35 or 36.

This product represents the next generation of protection. A lot of people have asked us, "What is the next generation of solution for protecting your internal network?" and the answer is this kind of segmentation. It may seem easier to stick to using traditional firewalls and LAN protection, but this next-generation tool is easier to implement and gives you a more effective network defense.

Every time we see an area of improvement, they give us a new update or platform to fix it. Things are regularly fixed and updated between versions.

The biggest lesson that I have learned by working with this system is the knowledge of what happens in my network, in terms of connections between users and the server. I have seen lots of connections from devices, other than PCs, to the server.

This is a system that works for me. I'm not working for the system.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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DM
Infrastructure Analyst/Developer at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Blocks active threats using threat intelligence

Pros and Cons

  • "From day one, you get threat intelligence. It will immediately block active threats, which has been useful."
  • "The maps could go a bit faster. They are useful but slightly slow."

What is our primary use case?

We are trying to centralize our firewalling as well as provide application segmentation and environment segmentation.

We have a couple of aggregators onsite and the rest are on the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

It has given us better oversight of the traffic between our development and production environments and how we can stop unnecessary traffic, e.g., development teams accessing production can cause risks that you are not aware of. 

Guardicore Centra saves time when completing a segmentation project versus a traditional toolset. Since we already have a solution in place, we have a fitted process of removing the old segmentation and adding the new. However, you can run them in tandem so that is always a benefit; you can do it over time rather than as one big bang.

What is most valuable?

So far, the most valuable feature has been the ability to have an overview of our firewall. As an added bonus, the network can easily look to see what traffic is going in and out, then block that traffic. Its threat intelligence automatically blocks the most dangerous threats, which is quite useful. It gives you an added bonus of protection as well as allows you to sort of centralize and control your firewalls more easily. It provides something that we don't normally have. Normally, we have an external firewall and a firewall to machines, but we don't have an overview of all the traffic. We don't have any way of aggregating it to look at it more easily. Guardicore Centra is a visual tool where we can view this, but we also can delve down into logs and look at what is happening more easily than going through logs, individual machines, etc.

The range of platforms and operating systems that the solution covers is good. It covers most of our operating systems, if not all. I don't think we have found anything so far that we have struggled to cover with it. We have been quite happy in that regard. Guardicore Centra is far superior in terms of using local firewalls on its own.

What needs improvement?

The maps could go a bit faster. They are useful but slightly slow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any problem at all with stability. It has been perfect.

We have used the solution for segmentation in parallel with having our firewalls up in local servers. So far, we have not had a problem. We occasionally find a connection blocked by Guardicore Centra, but it is easy enough to go in and create a new rule for it. That is part of the process. Downtime has been fairly limited, and we have not had any real problems.

A couple of people are needed for maintenance: my boss (Head of Infrastructure) and me. It needs one person to maintain it and a backup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely easy to scale. It is easy enough to add agents, then you can use automated deployment features to ingest spreadsheets of agents.

From our perspective, it scales well. If we just add agents locally, then the cloud service picks them all up through the aggregators.

We are adding more agents daily, but that is partly because the solution has been successful so far. Therefore, we are planning to increase the scale and scale it up a bit.

There are about two to four people actively working on the system and using it, mostly just my immediate manager and me. There are three or four other people who access it occasionally. In terms of users who are affected by it, there are hundreds, if not thousands.

The security team has an active interest in it. They provide the funding, but they have user accounts. They generally leave it to us to configure. They may become more active for certain things and parts. They are more interested in encouraging different departments to use the product, then hand it over to them to actually manage it.

We have 150 servers so far and are increasing that to about 230. Then, the security team is talking about adding in user desktops on the universities side. Depending on what they add, there are hundreds, if not thousands more. So, we are definitely increasing usage by a lot.

How are customer service and technical support?

We met weekly with a Guardicore employee as we did the rollout to try and segment things. They were very knowledgeable and helpful when doing that.

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

We generally used internal firewalls on individual servers with no solution, in terms of overseeing all the firewalls.

In terms of agility, Guardicore Centra is massively easier to control and manage. The security is good. With just the network logs, you get a better view of any active threats rather than in normal firewalls where you may not find out until sometimes after the fact. You can get notified as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward and quite simple to do.

It is pretty simple overall to get a template and apply segmentation. You still need to think about how to apply it yourself to suit your needs, but it provides all the tools useful for that as well. The maps are useful. Using the templates to create rules gives you an easy start, then you can go in and refine it to suit your processes. Also, the Guardicore staff has been very helpful in helping us walk through the process and get what we needed out of the software.

It is very quick to secure applications and systems. You can get an agent installed very quickly. We started with 149 agents and will be adding another 100 agents over the next few weeks, as we move on to securing desktops as well as servers.

You can get results as soon as you have your aggregators up. You can get them in a day.

The initial deployment was done within a few days. Going through the process of segmentation and everything else takes months, but that is to be expected because it is not just about installing and running it. You have to walk through the process and logic of what you need, such as, thinking of and trying to improve the way that we are doing things at the same time, which this solution gives us the option to do.

Guardicore helped us plan strategies of how they thought we should roll it out. That helped us focus our minds a bit on how we should then do things.

What about the implementation team?

We installed aggregated agents with help from the Guardicore staff who were very helpful. We installed agents on a lot of virtual machines. It wasn't really complex; it seemed pretty straightforward.

The Guardicore staff were very helpful and knowledgeable. They helped give us guidance on how to do the setup. Any steps along the way that we needed to do were quite straightforward. Anywhere they needed to help us, they were quick to help, got their stuff done, and then passed it back to us. It was all a very smooth process.

The deployment was done by one Guardicore employee and me.

What was our ROI?

From day one, you get threat intelligence. It will immediately block active threats, which has been useful.

What other advice do I have?

Think about what you want out of the product and how your environments are set up. This will make it easier in the long run to deploy it. It is easy enough already, but if you know what you want from your environments, then the easier they will be to deploy.

It has helped me to clarify our thoughts about our environments and which applications we want controlled. That is a top down view that we don't normally get when looking at our systems. It makes it easier to look at systems and think of what we have and what we need to do with them, controlling the traffic between them.

Guardicore Centra definitely covers RHEL and all Windows machines. We have not rolled it out onto all our Windows machines yet, but we are planning on doing that next week. However, it should be able to cover them all. This is very important to us. There is no point in covering some machines and not covering the rest. It is better to have more machines on Guardicore Centra because it gives us a bit of an overview, then we don't have any blind spots.

We have gotten what we wanted from the solution based on everything that we have added to it.

I would rate the solution a nine out of 10 because of the ease of rollout, the oversight it gives you in terms of traffic in and out of your network, and the way it gives you an overview of all your systems and how you see the traffic. It helps you focus your mind around how you want your environment setup and how you can set it up in the future as well.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Jose Luis Guzman
Cybersecurity Coordinator at MONEX
Real User
Top 5
The interface is very easy to use and provides good visibility

What is our primary use case?

We are using Guardicore Centra mostly for security. I work in the cyber security department at MONEX, and we use this solution mostly for visibility. The product offers good visibility of what is going on in the network and the connections that the servers are making, regardless of the platform that they are on. They could be on-premise, on the cloud, or virtual.

I'm recently working on micro-segmentation of our principal payment applications, like SWIFT.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Guardicore Centra mostly in security, because I'm in charge of security. It helps provide us with some alerts about some suspicious behaviors on some of the systems that we have been able to correct right away. That is the main benefit that we have with Guardicore Centra, other than doing micro-segmentation. 

We use it most for visibility. It has even provided good information about some of the connections that I am making in and out of the system. So, we are able to correct some behaviors and kill some applications that are suspicious to the infrastructure.

Once you are familiar with the tool, you can make segmentation rules, then apply them to all the agents. We have been securing some of the machines that we are using in Azure. In that way, we are able to put segmentation rules in those machines. We are saving with the Azure Firewall because we are using the Guardicore Centra agents, which gives us some advantages.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the visibility that it provides. It does not have a dependency on a specific platform: It could be on the cloud, on-prem, or virtual. It works with most of the operating systems. 

It's very easy to install. It does not have any problems with other applications. So, it is very transparent. 

The interface is very easy to use and provides good visibility. It does not take you a long time to build rules or have control of your agents.

What needs improvement?

The integration with other tools could be improved. It would be a very good value to customers if Guardicore Centra could talk with other tools, like Palo Alto or Cisco Firewalls, or agents running on the machine, like anti-malware or the intrusion prevention systems. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for two years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. I do not face any problem with Guardicore Centra in terms of stability nor does it have trouble with other systems. It is very transparent.

It does not require any kind of windows where you have to put down the system or network. You can install it, making it run where applications are running. This is very important that we do not have any downtime in the installation of the agent. We can do it in real-time. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because we are using SaaS, it is very easy to upgrade or install more agents. Once you have the infrastructure, e.g., we have one server that communicates locally with the agents, then you use it to communicate to the cloud. Once you have that infrastructure, you can grow very rapidly.

We have over 500 agents. We are covering four payment applications, where we have been doing micro-segmentation. That has taken us about six months.

It has results the next day after you install the agents, because now the agents report to the cloud. You have visibility right away of what is going on in your system that next day after you installed the agent. For example, if you installed 100 agents today, then tomorrow they will start reporting to the cloud. Also, you would have visibility regarding what is going on in those machines: Where are they communicating? What processes are being communicated? What are the available reports?

I have two people who are responsible for making the segmentation rules. With those two people, we have been able to secure 500 systems in six months time.

How are customer service and technical support?

It has very robust technical support. We have three or four people with whom we talk on a biweekly or monthly basis. They are very good. They take care of us. If we have any problems with the tools or rules, they are supportive.

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

We did not use another solution previously.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to set up the agents. You have a script, and you run that script and install it on the system. Once you open the port that it needs for reporting to the cloud, then you have visibility right away.

Guardicore Centra's approach to implementing segmentation is a six or seven out of 10. It is not super easy. You need to take at least one course in preparation. Then, once you are familiar with the platform or where to find the tools, it is very easy. You can replicate those tools over other agents, which is very easy.

What was our ROI?

It has saved us a lot of time. We can secure around 500 systems. We are not growing in personnel. So, with our current personnel, I have been able to secure all the systems.

Guardicore Centra has reduced the number of human resources needed to deploy security solutions. We have two people working on segmentation rules as well as some agents taking care of the infrastructure. Before Guardicore Centra, we would have needed at least one more person.

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

It is not cheap. However, it provides you a good value for what you are buying. In relation to how much it costs, the tool is worth it for the value it gives you.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As soon as I saw what Guardicore Centra could do, I did not look at other tools. 

What other advice do I have?

Guardicore Centra is very easy to install. We have very good technical support. The product itself is very good and robust. In security, there are not many products that can do what it can do in terms of visibility, seeing what is going on in the server, and using the type of mapping that it gives you with the application. With the segmentation part, that is saving us a lot of money with traditional firewalls.

It is a very good product. I would rate it a nine (out of 10). I think it lacks publicity. In my community, if you talk to another colleague and tell them about Guardicore Centra, they probably do not know what it is. 

Guardicore Centra is improving on its functionality. The company is putting a lot of effort into growing the tool. I would recommend trying it and giving it a shot, then you can see what the tool can do.

We have just begun to use the solution’s AI-powered segmentation feature.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Iain Todd
Corporate Operations Manager at University of Strathclyde
Real User
Top 20
Provides us an added layer of protection as well as user analytics that we can give to our company's directors

Pros and Cons

  • "We like the centralized management of the firewalls. Until we installed Guardicore Centra, we managed all our firewalls individually, so making changes was complicated, difficult, and time-consuming."
  • "Sometimes, the speed needs improvement, especially when it comes to the generation of maps, where it can be a bit slow."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case was for segmentation.

The range of platforms and operating systems that the solution covers seems good. Currently, we use it for all our Linux operating systems and some of our Windows environment.

We just deployed agents to Guardicore in our data center.

We are using the latest version of the solution.

How has it helped my organization?

We recently did a database migration from Solaris to Linux. The Solaris platform had dedicated hardware firewalls to segment it off. By moving to Linux, we were able to use Guardicore and do our network segmentation through it. Therefore, we didn't have to invest in hardware.

What is most valuable?

We like the centralized management of the firewalls. Until we installed Guardicore Centra, we managed all our firewalls individually, so making changes was complicated, difficult, and time-consuming.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes, the speed needs improvement, especially when it comes to the generation of maps, where it can be a bit slow.

For the reporting, I would like if they could make it easier to check what the agents are doing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. There are no issues at all.

Using the solution for segmentation did not require system downtime or changes to networks or applications, which was a bonus.

The solution is managed by a team of three admins. This is not their primary job. It is just an addition to their primary job as a normal UNIX administrator.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For our environment, it scaled perfectly fine with no issues (up to 250 agents), so there haven't been any issues.

We have 80 applications secured and 250 agents installed at the moment. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been excellent. It is probably one of the best customer services provided by any company. They are helpful, reactive to problems, and constantly work to enable us to do what we want to do.

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

Guardicore Centra is much better than our previous solution, which was a bit of a nightmare to administer and look after. In that respect, this solution is much better, as there is less chance of things going wrong.

Guardicore Centra is definitely more secure and agile. It is probably less cost-effective compared to what we were doing, which was free. 

How was the initial setup?

Its approach to implementing segmentation was very simple and straightforward. You can basically use it out-of-the-box.

It tooks us probably three months to secure the development environments, then another three months to do the production environments. It was probably faster than how we did it. It was just a matter of us gaining confidence in the software to switch it on and have it do everything it was supposed to do, and it took a bit longer for that to happen.

What about the implementation team?

Guardicore helped us set the process up via video call. So, the customer service was excellent.

We did the implementation strategy ourselves. We deployed the solution with two people.

What was our ROI?

We get an added layer of protection and user analytics that we can give to our directors in the company, so they can be more confident that things are being managed correctly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Guardicore Centra provides better value for money than NSX, was the other solution that we looked at, which was too expensive for what it does. The main difference was that Guardicore just concentrated on segmentation. NSX was more of a network solution that did too many things, and we really didn't need all this stuff that it was doing.

What other advice do I have?

Start off with a small deployment and prove that it works. Once you get the benefit of that, then increase the deployment. That is what we did.

We used the solution’s AI-powered segmentation, but then we tweaked it, because the rules that it created didn't really match the way that we worked. If you are going to accept the results of the AI, then it will speed things up a lot. In our case, we wanted to double-check everything and find our own way, so it probably didn't save us any time. The AI-powered segmentation is useful for taking a baseline segmentation, but you should check it yourself and tweak it to suit what your company needs.

We use it to secure our Linux and Unix environments. We are now looking at adding it to our Windows environments and desktop infrastructure.

We are planning to have the solution help cover legacy or end-of-support operating systems, like Win2003, AIX, Solaris, or RHEL, but we haven't done that yet.

Guardicore Centra saves a lot of time, approximately three to six months, mainly through hardware. 

I would rate this solution as 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Amith Rao
Senior Network Security Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Get great visibility into vulnerabilities through micro-segmentation

Pros and Cons

  • "This tool greatly helps in understanding the footprint of the attacks."
  • "The interface and dashboard are amazing."
  • "The product needs a few features like enhanced user policies and payload-level inspection to improve the offering."

What is our primary use case?

We are a partner, not a customer. We would like to be in a position of trying to provide consultation for this solution and delivery of the product to clients. So, we have partnered with Guardicore in India and we are trying to sell this product and that is our primary use case. The primary use case that we are implementing this product for with clients is micro-segmentation.  

How has it helped my organization?

This particular product has a deployment model both in public and private clouds and on-premises. We are pitching it to all of our customers, irrespective of the regulations that they must follow. Some customers are in the government sector, for example, and they will need to go on-premises. There are some customers like IT service-based companies that have most of their infrastructure in the cloud, and those can use cloud-based services. What the client wants and needs totally depends on the type of client they are. We have an advantage with this product in offering it both ways — on cloud and on-premises — to meet the client's needs.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature or use case, because of micro-segmentation, is the visibility you get when you deploy this product. It will give you very good visibility of your whole data center. The second thing that is valuable is the lateral movement. Often when there is a compromise of vulnerabilities in the organization, this tool greatly helps in understanding the footprint of the attacks. It also helps in stopping the lateral movement of the attack.  

What needs improvement?

Predominantly I have been working with firewalls and the UTM (Unified Threat Management) solutions for some time. Guardicore has to do something to add on features that help to do a better job of inspection.  

They should have policies based on users. Often we can only add user groups. I think they should offer the ability to assign policies to individual users. The ability to assign policies to both users and groups would make the area of creating policies more flexible. They should also have time-based rules in the policies which they currently do not have.  

They should also get into payload-level inspection. As of now, what they do for threat inspection is to look at the metadata of a packet. This is not in depth enough for proper inspection. They need to start inspecting the payload-level information of a packet or offer this as an option.  

So they should have payload-level inspections to do some deep investigation. Then they should have more user-level control of policies. I think if these two things are introduced, then I could probably change my rating of Guardicore to a nine-out-of-ten.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have just recently started working with Guardicore. Six months ago we began working on the POC (Proof of Concept) and we have still not finished so we have yet to deploy the product to production.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I cannot comment on stability under higher loads because we have not yet deployed it and exposed it to live traffic. We are still in the testing and evaluation phase.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think it is an amazing product in terms of scalability.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had any experience with technical support because we are not in production. Once we deploy the solution to our customers, that is when I think we will be making more use of support resources.  

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

Earlier we worked more in the firewall space. That is, we worked with Check Point a lot. It was maybe for a period of five years. Then from firewalls, which is a UTM solution, we are trying to move into the new world technologies. That would be things like dedicated security solutions that cover more than what firewalls do.  

As an employee, I am not sure what my organization has gone through in making evaluations and comparisons. I am sure that they have evaluated other products like Illumio, Cisco Tetration, and Guardicore. I do not know, out of all their testing and research, specifically why they found Guardicore to be more a valuable solution. I think these people may be more focused on what they are doing rather than how it is getting done.  

How was the initial setup?

The installation and setup are pretty straightforward.  

What other advice do I have?

Right now, I would definitely recommend Guardicore for someone who is looking into the micro-segmentation space or probably an internal firewall for the organization.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate Guardicore Centra as probably an eight-out-of-ten.  

The interface and dashboard are amazing. I would rate the user interface as a ten-out-of-ten. For other reasons having to do with features and functionality, I have to mark them down a few points.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
reviewer1336989
Network and Security Engineer at CS-Novidy’s
Real User
Provides excellent network and process visibility

Pros and Cons

  • "Its deception features are great, providing a rich telemetry of lured origins, and are a great resource for any active defense strategy."
  • "Needs more customization of honeypots and a vaster catalog of systems able to be mimicked."

What is our primary use case?

This solution will be implemented in several environments for our collaborators.

How has it helped my organization?

It will be a great deal for our partner as Guardicore provides excellent network and process visibility, allowing for advanced segmentation with a very friendly UI. 

What is most valuable?

Its deception features are great, providing a rich telemetry of lured origins, and are a great resource for any active defense strategy.

What needs improvement?

Needs more customization of honeypots and a vaster catalog of systems able to be mimicked.

The netflow analytics (ML) focused in threat detection needs to be enhanced to provide more practical forms to detect network anomalies proactively.

In huge and complex environments, it is also very challenging to keep the compliance of the agents.

For how long have I used the solution?

Four weeks.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: CS-NOVIDYS.