We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information.
Please share what you can so you can help your peers.
We pay a licensing fee on a yearly basis. It is not costly. However, the way it is priced is based on the number of incentives. The problem is, what is the number of incentives? We don't know. They seem to do it by the number of workloads, however, we're unclear as to what defines a workload. They need to improve on the licensing front. They need to be more clear about the whole thing.
The pricing is good. They gave us some good discounts right at the end of the year based on the value that it brings, visibility, and the ability to build in cloud, compliance, and security within one dashboard.
I don't know a better way to do it, but their licensing is a little confusing. That's due to the breadth of different types of technologies they are trying to cover. The way you license depends on where you're securing. When they were Twistlock it was a simple licensing scheme and you could tell what you were doing. Now that they've changed that scheme with Palo Alto, it is quite confusing. It's very difficult to predict what your costs are going to be as you try to expand coverage.
The pricing and licensing are expensive compared to the other offerings that we considered.
Pricing wasn't a big consideration for us. Compared to the work that we do, and the other costs, this was one of the regular costs. We were more interested in the features than we were in the price. If a competitor came along and said, "We'll give you half the price," that doesn't necessarily mean that's the right answer, at all. We wouldn't necessarily entertain it that way. Does it do what we need it to do? Does it work with the things that we want it to work with? That is the important part for us. Pricing wasn't the big consideration it might be in some organizations. We spend millions on public cloud. In that context, it would not make sense to worry about the small price differences that you get between the products. They all seem to pitch it at roughly the same price.
As it stands now, I think things have moved forward somewhat. Prisma and the suite of tools by Palo Alto, along with the fact that they have integrated Prisma Cloud Compute as a one-stop shop, have really got it nailed. They understand that not all clients are running container workloads. They bring together point solutions, like what used to be Twistlock, into that whole ecosystem, alongside a cloud security posture management system, and they'll license it so that it's favorable for you as a consumer. You can think about how you can have that presence and not then be dependent on multiple third-parties. Prisma cloud was originally destined for cloud security posture management, to determine how the configuration of cloud services aligns with given standards. Through the evolution of the product, they then integrated a capability they call Prisma Cloud Compute. That is derived from point solutions for container and image scanning. It has the capabilities on offer within a single pane of glass. Prior to the given scenario with Prisma Cloud, you'd have to either go to Twistlock or Aqua Security for container workloads. If you were going open source, obviously that would be free, but you'd still have to be looking at independent point solutions. And if you were looking at governance and compliance, you'd have to look at the likes of Dome9, Evident.io, and OpenSCAP, in a combination with Trusted Advisor. But the fact that you can just lean into Prisma Cloud and have those capabilities readily available, and have an account manager that is priced based on workloads, makes it a favorable licensing model. It also makes the whole RFP process a lot more streamlined and simplified. If you've got a purchasing specialist in-house, and then heads-of-functions who might have a vested interest in what the budget allocation is, from either a security perspective or from a DevOps cloud perspective, it's really quite transparent. They work the pricing model in your favor based on how you want to actually integrate with their products. From my exposure so far, they have been really flexible on whatever your current state is, with a view to what the future state might be. There's no hard sell. They "get" the journey that you're on, and they're trying to help you embrace cloud security, governance, and compliance as you go. That works favorably for them as well, because the more clients that they can acquire and onboard, the more they can share the experience, helping both the business and the consumer, overall.
The pricing and the licensing are both very fair. There aren't any costs in addition to the standard licensing fees, at this time. My understanding is that at the beginning of 2021 they're not necessarily changing the licensing model, but they're changing how some of the new additions to the tool are going to be licensed, and that those would be an additional cost beyond what we're paying now. The biggest advice I would give in terms of costs would be to try to understand what the growth is going to look like. That's really been our biggest struggle, that we don't have an idea of what our future growth is going to be on the platform. We go from X number of licenses to Y number of licenses without a plan on how we're going to get from A to B, and a lot of that comes as a bit of a surprise. It can make budgeting a real challenge for it. If an organization knows what it has in place, or can get an idea of what its growth is going to look like, that would really help with the budgeting piece.
One thing we're very pleased about is how the licensing model for Prisma is based on work resources. You buy a certain amount of work resources and then, as they enable new capabilities within Prisma, it just takes those work resource units and applies them to new features. This enables us to test and use the new features without having to go back and ask for and procure a whole new product, which could require going through weeks, and maybe months, of a procurement process. For example, when they brought in containers, we were able to utilize containers because it goes against our current allocation of work units. We were immediately able to do piloting on that. We're very appreciative of that kind of model. Traditionally, other models mean that they come out with a new product and we have to go through procurement and ask, "Can I have this?" You install it, or you put in the key, you activate it, and then you go through a whole process again. But this way, with Prisma, we're able to quickly assess the new capabilities and see if we want to use them or not. For containers, for example, we could just say, "Hey, this is not something we want to spend our work units on." And you just don't add anything to the containers. That's it.
Security tools are not cheap. This one is a little heavy on the budget, but so are all the other security tools I have evaluated. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees for Prisma Cloud.
Our licensing fees are $18,000 USD per year. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.
If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?