I'm researching firewall options. What are the differences between Palo Alto and Cisco Firewalls solutions in terms of advantages, disadvantages, usage and practices?
Well they are two leaders, one from US, another from Israel.
Checkpoint is the first well known firm to launch firewalls.
Palo Alto is certainly now the leader, but could be expensive in strong configurations. It supports virtualization very well and is number one for reporting.
Checkpoint NGFW is strong but under competition for high volumes when compared referred to a comparable appliance (Fortinet for instance). It needs perhaps more technical knowledge to administrate, in spite of an amazing choice of blades in the NGFW offering.
The reliability depends on your partner or integrator and a good definition of needs to have a proper sizing of your equipment.
There are some major differentiators that make Palo Alto more preferable. First of all Palo Alto's Hardware is FPGA based, which has no parallel. Due to this capability it supports SP3 technology which provides single pass parallel processing architecture. This means PA processes traffic through all the engines i.e. application, IPS and others simultaneously. This improves resiliency and provides exactly the same throughput which committed in PA data sheet. PA has been in the leaders magic quadrant of Gartner for the 7th consecutive time in a row, which shows its block capability is above power. Moreover, it is very user friendly and easy for configure. Palo Alto provides all routing features plus IPsec tunnels without any license - license subscriptions are only required for security bundles. Palo Alto has on-box (without any additional license or cost) reporting capability that no other firewall has at the moment.
On the contrary, Cisco Firewall and its management center is not stable and lacks user friendly operations.
Ease of Use
- GUI familiarities and adoption level can differ from user to user.
- Personally I found CISCO ASA interface is hard to comprehend compare to Palo Alto
- Command line interface is good, only challenge is past experience and correctness of commands to get error free results!
Performance of the Appliance
- Palo Alto VS CISCO - Palo Alto is better performing appliance.
Palo Alto has more visibilities and control instead of Cisco Firewall.
Palo Alto is the market leader and a company with a very holistic approach to security. Firewalls are its mainstream business, whereas Cisco basically known as a networking company is trying to be one of the major players in providing security solutions. Things like advantages, disadvantages, usage and practices is a very vast topic. Generally companies already having Cisco infrastructure tend to choose Cisco firewalls from the integration point of view. Palo Alto firewalls could be more expensive.
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