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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.
564,322 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 dashboard is the most important thing. It provides good visibility and makes management easy. Firepower also provides us with good application visibility and control.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports.""The most valuable feature is stability.""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.""Being able to determine our active users vs inactive users has led us to increased productivity through visibility. Also, if an issue was happening with our throughput, then we wouldn't know without research. Now, notifications are more proactively happening.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background.""It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now."

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"The feature that I have found the most useful is that it meets all our requirements technically.""It has excellent scalability.""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.""The most valuable features are the User ID, URL filtering, and application filtering.""In Palo Alto the most important feature is the App-ID.""The Palo Alto VM-Series is nice because I can move the firewalls easily.""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.""What I like about the VM-Series is that you can launch them in a very short time."

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Cons
"One of the few things that are brought up is that for the overall management, it would be great to have a cloud instance of that. And not only just a cloud instance, but one of the areas that we've looked at is using an HA type of cloud. To have the ability to have a device file within a cloud. If we had an issue with one, the other one would pick up automatically.""I would like to see improvement when you create policies on Snort 3 IPS on Cisco Firepower. On Snort 2, it was more like a UI page where you had some multiple choices where you could tweak your config. On Snort 3, the idea is more to build some rules on the text file or JSON file, then push it. So, I would like to see a lot of improvements here.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""FirePOWER does a good job when it comes to providing us with visibility into threats, but I would like to see a more proactive stance to it.""On the VPN side, Firepower could be better. It needs more monitoring on VPNs. Right now, it's not that good. You can set up a VPN in Firepower, but you can't monitor it.""The performance should be improved.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore."

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"The solution needs to have more easily searchable details or documentation about it online, so it's easier to Google if you have queries.""The implementation should be simplified.""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 disadvantage with Palo Alto is that they don't have a cloud-based solution that includes a secure web gateway.""The one issue that I didn't like is that the SNMP integration with interfaces didn't record the interface counters.""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 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.""The product needs improvement in their Secure Access Service Edge."

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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
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    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 »
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    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 »
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    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 »
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    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 »
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    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 Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise31%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise10%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,322 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.