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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Palo Alto Networks VM-Series comparison

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Comparison Summary
Question: Which product do you recommend and why: Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual (FTDv)?
Answer: hello. Capability is on par between the two vendors. Your best bet is to think about integration and how the FW will work with other tools/processes in your environment. Thanks
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""The most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy.""I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""The solution offers very easy configurations.""It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective.""I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable."

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"The VM series has an advantage over the physical version because we are able to change the sources that the machine has, such as the amount of available RAM.""The most valuable feature is the Posture Assessment.""With the improved visibility we now have, the traffic is being properly monitored, which means that we are better able to manage it. These are improvements that we saw very quickly.""The most valuable feature is that you can control your traffic flowing out and coming it, allowing you to apply malware and threat protection, as well as vulnerability checks.""What I like about the VM-Series is that you can launch them in a very short time.""Using Palo Alto Networks Panorama, we were able to deploy a single point of management and visualization of the firewall infrastructure in cloud, on-premise and integrated with Azure to automate scale up. Its security features, i.e. anti-malware, threat prevention, URL Filtering, VPN, and antivirus are the most valuable. The ID-User integrated with AD and 2FA features are also very useful to provide secure access to servers and some users in the company. ""Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is very easy to use.""The most valuable features are security and support."

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Cons
"The visibility for VPN is one big part. The policy administration could be improved in terms of customizations and flexibility for changing it to our needs.""Cisco makes horrible UIs, so the interface is something that should be improved.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""It's mainly the UI and the management parts that need improvement. The most impactful feature when you're using it is the user interface and the user experience.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device.""Deploying configurations takes longer than it should.""We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve.""The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team."

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"The command-line interface is something that some people struggle with and I think that they should have an option to go straight to the GUI.""Palo Alto is that it is really bad when it comes to technical support.""It would be helpful if we had a direct number for the support manager or the supporting engineer. That would be better than having to email every time because there would be less wait.""The user interface could use some improvement.""Integrative capabilities with other solutions should be addressed.""Its web interface is a bit outdated, and it needs to be updated. They can also improve the NAT functionality. We have had issues with the NAT setup.""The implementation should be simplified.""They made only a halfhearted attempt to put in DLP (Data Loss Prevention)."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price of this solution is very high for some parts of Africa, which makes it a challenge."
  • "Palo Alto can be as much as two times the price of competing products that have twice the capabilities."
  • "The cost of this product varies from customer to customer and the relationship with IBM, including how many offerings from IBM are already being used."
  • "Because I work for a university and the URL is for the institution, it's a free license for us."
  • "It is not the cheapest on the market. The total cost for two firewall instances is $75,000. This includes licenses, deployment fees, and support for two years."
  • "The VM series is licensed annually."
  • "Palo Alto definitely needs to be more competitive compared to other products. The problem that I have faced is that the price of licensing is very high and not very competitive."
  • More Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    M Mari
    author avatarAws Al-Dabbagh
    Real User

    I can't say for Palo Alto as I haven't tried them myself, but I'd advise against FTDs and Firepower Management Center.


    * Firepower systems take about 4 minutes on average to make config changes (it's referred to as "Deployment", can take 1-6 minutes depending type of change you're making). which makes troubleshooting a nightmare.


    * it is overall very buggy, we had to open at least 2-3 tickets per year with Cisco to fix issues with our system that has only 2 firewalls working in HA. some that required upgrading software. some cases required involvement from R&D to diagnose and fix, and took more than a week. I don't want to imagine the administration overhead of having several bugs in several different sites (I'd think "10K+ employees" operate in more than one site) and having to troubleshoot each with the Cisco TAC (Cisco TAC is good compared to other vendors, but it's not their fault the software is buggy).


    * I'm not sure this is the case for FTDv, but I don't think that would be different.


    I suggest you implement test sites using both solutions through a POC if possible before migrating such a large environment.

    author avatarDale Jackaman
    User

    Neither.  


    I'd pick Fortinet's products for a variety of reasons, but the #1 reason being they are easier to use and maintain.  And they are better for TSCM work which is something we specialize in (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures - and within networks).

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at large. In my opinion, Fortinet would be the best option and l use… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers that fact, it is all the more impressive that the setup is a fairly… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. This solution has traffic inspection and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    In the best tradition of these questions, Feature-wise both are quite similar, but each has things it's better at, it kind of depends what you value most. PA is good at app control, web filtering… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Both products are very stable and easily scalable. The setup of Azure Firewall is easy and very user-friendly and the overall cost is reasonable. Azure Firewall offers a solid threat awareness, can… more »
    Top Answer: 
    With the improved visibility we now have, the traffic is being properly monitored, which means that we are better able to manage it. These are improvements that we saw very quickly.
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    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
    small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
    range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
    defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
    Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
    features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
    volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
    for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
    Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
    deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
    the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
    can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
    environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
    delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
    SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
    greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    The VM-Series is a virtualized form factor of our next-generation firewall that can be deployed in a range of private and public cloud computing environments based on technologies from VMware, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Citrix and KVM.

    The VM-Series natively analyzes all traffic in a single pass to determine the application identity, the content within, and the user identity. These core elements of your business can then be used as integral components of your security policy, enabling you to improve your security efficacy through a positive control model and reduce your incident response time though complete visibility into applications across all ports.

    In both private and public cloud environments, the VM-Series can be deployed as a perimeter gateway, an IPsec VPN termination point, and a segmentation gateway, protecting your workloads with application enablement and threat prevention policies.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Warren Rogers Associates
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm23%
    Government15%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company29%
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise31%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise8%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 41 reviews while Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is ranked 10th in Firewalls with 16 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.4, while Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall writes "The ability to implement dynamic policies for dynamic environments is important, given the fluidity in the world of security". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks VM-Series writes "An excellent solution for the right situations and businesses". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Meraki MX, whereas Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most compared with Azure Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Juniper SRX and Check Point NGFW. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series report.

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    We monitor all Firewalls 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.