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Aruba ClearPass vs Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) comparison

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Comparison Summary
Question: Which is better - Aruba Clearpass or Cisco ISE?
Answer: Aruba ClearPass is a Network Access Control tool that gives secure network access to multiple device types. You can adapt the policies to VPN access, wired, or wireless access. You can securely connect different types of devices to the network and get identity access control for human or non-human entities. This helps our company to control user access to exactly what we need. I like that it can also do Mac authentication. We could then apply different policies for different types of devices. If you need diverse network segmentation, Aruba ClearPass gives you the ability to restrict what your users can access. On the downside, it was a kind of frustrating to set up and we needed outside help for installing it. However, once we set it up, it was very easy to manage. The standards are compatible with almost any device with 802.1X capability. It saves us from having to separate users by running multiple SSIDs. We can easily create guest accounts for visitors and specify their permission levels. I see Cisco ISE as more suited to managing high-privilege access. With it, you can assign privileges and access levels according to the user and device, which improves the user experience since the access level is set depending on the device. We find it very useful for users that need to log in physically or via remote VPN access. The end-to-end visibility helps implement a zero-trust-security approach. However, the integration of third-party products is limited, and the interface is not very user-friendly. Integrating with social networks could be a good idea for authenticating guests. Conclusions In my opinion, Cisco ISE is a very valuable product that is great for accounting, authorization, and authentication. However, Aruba ClearPass has the advantage of solving very different authentication scenarios, so in my opinion, in these days of remote and hybrid working, it has the upper hand.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Aruba ClearPass vs. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
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Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"A mature and functional product.""The aspect of Aruba ClearPass that I like most is that it has a lot of options, it is very versatile.""It's very easy to access support and the documentation is self-explanatory.""The most valuable feature is flexibility as it supports solutions from multiple vendors.""The interface is very easy to use and the workflow is quite straightforward.""We find that at the end of the projects we manage, all functionalities perform quite well. We've tested it a lot and find it to be overall a very good solution."

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"From a configuration point of view, it's simple.""The features that do work, work well, and we use it on a daily basis.""The ability to integrate our Cisco AnyConnect connections to the active directory has been great.""It's flexible and stable. It's been good as a standard environment to run.""So far, we have had no issues with the stability.""At the moment, ISE seems to integrate very well with a number of other technologies.""The way we can trust this solution is the most valuable. We have no issue with this product. It is a competitive product. You need to have a very good and deep knowledge of the product to take the full benefits of all the features, but it is a good product.""It has all of the features available, in fact, more than what you need."

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"The licensing model could be improved.""Some functions could be improved.""The solution needs to upgrade its user interface. Right now, it's not so user friendly, and it's an aspect that my clients' wish was improved upon.""The interface could be made easier and more intuitive.""In the future, I would like to see plugins for AI and machine learning.""The initial setup was quite complex, it is not that easy."

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"It is a good product, but in order to use all of the functions of the product, you must have a good understanding of the product. You must know how to use and manage it. It is a little bit complicated to configure and manage. It must be simplified to make it easy to manage for end users. In the initial stage, we found ISE complicated for end users. It was not easy to manage it or to write authentication and authorization protocol. They must improve its management and make it easy for end users. The monitoring and reporting capabilities can be improved because end users want to quickly see what is happening in their network. There were some restrictions in working with other vendors. It should also have a better and easy integration with other vendors.""The solution lacks properly knowledgeable support, especially internationally, and this is why I am exploring other applications.""I'm working from China currently and the only real issue is that, within the country, there's some concern around Cisco and its ability to offer the solution for the long term. As the United States has banned the Huawei version in their country, we feel there may be retaliation in ours and Cisco will get banned as a countermeasure from the government. The future of Cisco in China is in question. Our local partners are worried about the situation.""The user interface could be improved to make it more user-friendly.""The interface could be more user-friendly and the ability to apply rules to MAC addresses, for example, if I wanted to allow a certain MAC address access at a particular time I cannot make this adjustment.""This product doesn't work in isolation.""It would be ideal if Cisco could provide some short training videos or documentation to customers to help them understand how to use the product.""The pricing and licensing structure are not ideal for customers."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The pricing is not bad and everything is included."
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  • "The SMARTnet technical support is available at an additional cost."
  • "For the Avast virus scan, we pay around USD $95 per machine for five years which includes all updates and technical support."
  • "The price for Cisco ISE is high."
  • "The price can be lower, especially for subscriptions. It should be a lot cheaper to have a wide range of customers. The price should be comparable to competitive products like Forescout or Fortinet FortiNAC. Forescout is cheaper for customers looking for a cloud solution."
  • "There are other cheaper options available."
  • "The price is okay."
  • "I think licensing costs roughly $2,000 a year. ISE is more expensive than Network Access Control."
  • "I think the price is okay."
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    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Network Access Control (NAC) solutions are best for your needs.
    563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    Aruba ClearPass is a Network Access Control tool that gives secure network access to multiple device types. You can adapt the policies to VPN access, wired, or wireless access. You can… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Hi, The NAC can operate without the 802.1x mechanism on the switch side. Also, I think you are making a very wrong comparison on the basis of the class it belongs to(FortiNac vs FortiAuthenticator).… more »
    Top Answer: 
    OK, so Cisco ISE uses 802.1X to secure switchports against unauthorized access. The drawback of this is that ISE cannot secure the port if a device does not support 802.1x. Cameras, badge readers… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Cisco ISE uses AI endpoint analytics to identify new devices based on their behavior. It will also notify you if someone plugs in with a device that is not allowed and will block it. The user… more »
    Top Answer: 
    From a configuration point of view, it's simple.
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    Also Known As
    Avenda eTIPS
    Cisco ISE
    Learn More

    ClearPass Policy Manager provides secure network access in a world made up of mobile and IoT devices. It features ultra-scalable AAA with RADIUS and uses contextual data based on every user and device to enforce adaptive policies for wireless, wired or VPN access. 

    Identity Services Engine is a security policy management platform that automates and enforces context-aware security access to network resources. It delivers superior user and device visibility to support enterprise mobility experiences and to control access. It shares data with integrated partner solutions to accelerate their capabilities to identify, mitigate, and remediate threats.
    Learn more about Aruba ClearPass
    Learn more about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine)
    Sample Customers
    Consulate Health Care, Los Angeles Unified School District, Science Applications International Corp (SAIC), San Diego State University, KFC, ACTS Retirement-Life Communities
    Aegean Motorway, BC Hydro, Beachbody, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Cisco IT, Derby City Council, Global Banking Customer, Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha, Houston Methodist, Linz AG, London Hydro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Molina Healthcare, MST Systems, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Reykjavik University, Wildau University
    Top Industries
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Energy/Utilities Company19%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Comms Service Provider32%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Company Size
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise36%
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Aruba ClearPass vs. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Aruba ClearPass is ranked 3rd in Network Access Control (NAC) with 6 reviews while Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is ranked 1st in Network Access Control (NAC) with 36 reviews. Aruba ClearPass is rated 8.6, while Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is rated 7.6. The top reviewer of Aruba ClearPass writes "Excellent for securing local networks, very stable, and easily scalable". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) writes "Streamlines security policy management and reduces operating costs". Aruba ClearPass is most compared with Forescout Platform, Fortinet FortiNAC, Ruckus Cloudpath, Microsoft Intune and Sophos Network Access Control, whereas Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is most compared with Forescout Platform, Fortinet FortiNAC, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager, Fortinet FortiAuthenticator and Portnox CORE. See our Aruba ClearPass vs. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) report.

    See our list of best Network Access Control (NAC) vendors.

    We monitor all Network Access Control (NAC) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.