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Firewalls
July 2022
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IT Administrator / Security Analyst at a healthcare company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Reliable, good support, good documentation makes it straightforward to set up
Pros and Cons
  • "We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government."
  • "It would be great if some of the load times were faster."

What is our primary use case?

I am an IT administrator and my job is probably 80% security analyst. We are a HIPAA environment, so we're a regulated industry and my job is to keep us from being breached. It's extremely difficult and an ever-changing, evolving problem. As such, I spend a couple of hours a day just reading everything threat report from every source I can get. 

We have a pair of 2110 models, with high availability set up.

There are multiple licenses that you can get with this firewall, and we subscribe to all three. A few months ago, we made the decision to do an enterprise agreement just because of the amount of security software we have. We subscribe to the threat, the URL, and the malware licensing. We use it for IPS, URL blocking, IP blocking, and domain blocking.

We've embraced the Cisco ecosystem primarily because I think they made some very intelligent acquisitions. We talk about security and depth and they've really done a good job of targeting their acquisition of OpenDNS Umbrella. It's all part of our ecosystem.

I take the firewall information and using SecureX, Cisco Threat Response, AMP for Endpoints, and Umbrella, I'm able to aggregate all that data with what I'm getting from the firewalls and from our email security, all into one location. From my perspective, being a medium-sized organization, threat hunting can be extremely difficult.

How has it helped my organization?

This product enriches all of the threat data, which I am able to see in one place.

There's nothing I personally have needed to do that I haven't been able to do with the firewall. It integrates so tightly into how I spend the majority of my day, which is threat response.

Much of this depends on any given organization's use case, but because I was an early adapter of Cisco Threat Response and was able to start pulling that data into it, and aggregate that with all of my other data. As I'm doing threat hunting, rather than jump into the firewall and look in the firewall at events, I'm able to pull that directly into Threat Response.

The ability to see the correlation of different event types in one place, these firewalls have definitely enriched that. You have Umbrella, but there are so many different attack types that it's good to have the DNS inspection at the firewall on the edge level too. So, the ability to take all of that firewall data and ingest it directly via SecureX and into our SIEM, where I have other threat feeds, including third-party thread feeds, gives our SIEM the ability to look at the firewall data as well. It lends to the whole concept of layering, where you don't have to have all of your eggs in one basket.

With our Rapid7 solution, I'm able to take the firewall data and dump it into our SIEM. The SIEM is using its threat feeds, as well as the threat feeds that are coming from Cisco Talos. In fact, I have other ones coming into the SIEM as well. So, I'm able to also make sure that something's not missed on the Talos side because it's getting dumped into our SIEM at the same time. All of this is easy to set up and in fact, I can automate it because I can get the threat data from the firewall.

In terms of its ability to future-proof our security strategy, every update they've done makes sense. We've been using one flavor or another of Cisco firewall products for a long time. Although I have friends that live and die by Fortinet or Palo Alto, I've never personally felt that I'm wanting for features.

What is most valuable?

We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government. My experience with Talos has been, they're pretty on top of things. Another driving factor towards Cisco: We get feeds every hour, automatically refreshed, and updated into the firewall.

If I had to rely on one security intelligence, which I wouldn't, but if I had to, I'm sure it would be Talos. The fact that it gets hourly updates from Talos gives me some peace of mind.

The real strength for the Cisco next-generation firewall is it'll do pretty much anything you want it to do, although it requires expertise and proper implementation. It's not an off-the-shelf product. For instance, there are some firewalls that may be easier to set up because they don't have the complexity, but at the same time, they don't have the feature set that the Cisco firewall has.

The firewall does DNS inspection, and you can create policies there.

The firewall integrates seamlessly and fully with our SIEM. We use a Rapid7 SIEM inside IDR and it now integrates seamlessly with that. Cisco's doing a lot more with APIs and automation, which we've been leveraging.

In terms of application visibility and control, I used the firewall and I also use Umbrella, but it depends on what it is that I'm seeing. One component that I use is network discovery. When you configure the policy properly, it'll go out and do network discovery so you're not loading up a bunch of rules you don't necessarily need. Instead, you're targeting rules that Cisco will say, "Hey, because of network discovery, we found that with this bind to whichever version server, we recommend you apply this ruleset." This is something that's been very helpful. You don't necessarily have to download every rule set, depending on your environment.

I have used it for application control. Right now, we're in the midst of doing tighter integration with ISE and the integration is very good. This is something that we would expect, given that it's a Cisco product.

I use the automated policy application and enforcement every chance I get. Using an automation approach, I would rather have a machine isolated even if it's a false positive because that can happen much faster than I can get an alert and react to it. On my end, I'm trying to automate everything that I can, and I haven't experienced a false positive yet.

Anything that's machine learning-based with automation, that's where I'm focusing a fair amount of attention. Another advantage to having Cisco is that their installed base is so huge. With machine learning, you're benefiting from that large base because the bigger their reach is, the bigger and better the dataset is for machine learning.

At some point, you have to trust that the data set is good. What's impressed me about Cisco is with all of our Cisco products, whether it's AMP or whatever, they're really putting an emphasis on automation, including workflows. For someone like me, if I get an alert in the middle of the night and I see it at 6:00 AM, it is going to be a case of valuable time lost, so anything that I can do to make my life easier, I'll definitely do it.

What needs improvement?

It would be great if some of the load times were faster. My general sense is that it's probably related to them taking a couple of different technologies and marrying them together. We are using virtual, so the way that I handled that was to throw more RAM in it, which these days, is pretty cheap. I could see some improvement with the speed of deploying policies out, although it's not terrible by any means. One thing about Cisco is whatever they're doing, it keeps getting better.

The speed of deploying policies could be improved, although it is not terrible by any means.

Another legitimate criticism of Cisco that comes to mind is that you need to make sure you've got your licensing straightened out. I haven't had any problems in a long time, but I know people that haven't used Cisco products sometimes can run into issues because they haven't figured out so-called smart licensing. Depending on the Cisco person you're working with, make sure you have all that stuff all set to go before you start the implementation.

That's an area that Cisco has been working on, I know. But licensing is a common complaint about Cisco. I suggest making sure that you have that stuff in place and you've got all your licenses all ready to go. It seems like a dumb thing, but my most common complaint about Cisco before we entered into our enterprise agreement was licensing. When it's working, it's great, but God help you if you've got a licensing problem.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

They've been very reliable for us and we haven't had one fail, so we've never had to failover. That has been generally my experience with Cisco products, which is one reason that we tend to lean on Cisco hardware for switching, too. The reliability of the hardware over the years has been very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have integrated these firewalls with other products, such as Cisco ISE, and it hasn't been a problem. ISE is a Cisco product so it would make sense that it integrates well, but ISE integrates with other firewalls as well.

Everything that I've done with these firewalls has been pretty seamless. We've had no downtime with them at all. They've been very rugged as we expanded usage through integration.

How are customer service and technical support?

People knock Cisco TAC but in my experience, they have been very good. I've always found them to be extremely helpful. Friends that I have made from inside Cisco say, "Hey, you want me to look at this or that?", which is very helpful.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The big three solutions, Cisco, Fortinet, and Palo Alto, are all really good but I tend to lean on Cisco versus the others because one of their strengths, in general, is threat intelligence. When you put a bunch of security people in a room then you have a lot of consensuses, but like anything, you'll have a lot of disagreements, too.

Each of these products has its strengths and weaknesses. However, when you factor in AnyConnect, which most people will agree is state-of-the-art from a security standpoint in terms of VPN technology, especially when it's integrated with Umbrella, it plays into the firewall. But, it always comes back to configuration. Often, when you read about somebody having an attack, it's probably because they didn't set things up properly.

If you're a mom-and-pop shop, maybe you can get by with a pfSense or something like that, which I have in my house. But again, if you're in a regulated environment, you're looking at not just a firewall, you're looking at all sorts of things. The reality is, security is complicated.

How was the initial setup?

Cisco gives you lots of options, which means that it can be complicated to set up. You have to know what you're doing and it's good to have somebody double-check your work. But, on the other hand, it does everything from deep packet inspection and URL filtering to whatever you want it to do, with world-class integration. It integrates with Umbrella, AnyConnect, ISE, StealthWatch, and other products.

It is important to remember that a firewall is only as good as it's configured. Sometimes, people will forget to configure a policy, or they will create the rules but forget to apply them. It comes back to the fact that it's a professional product and it's only as good as the person who's using it.

I do some security consulting and I've seen many misconfigurations. People will write a Rule Set but forget to apply it to a policy, for example. There is no foolproof product and I think it is a challenge to say, "Wow, this firewall is better than that firewall." These things are complex, but Cisco has always, in my mind, set many kinds of standards. I don't know any serious security person that would argue that.

Especially AnyConnect with an Umbrella module attached, I think most people would argue it's state-of-the-art. I know that I would because it allows me to do a couple of things at once. It's not just the firewall; it's AnyConnect, and it's what you can do with AnyConnect given its functionality with Umbrella. It gets kind of complicated and it depends on the use case, and some people don't need that.

Again, what makes it difficult to say something about a firewall is, the configuration possibilities are so varied and endless. How people license them is different. Some people think, "I prefer the IPS License," or whatever. But again, I think to get the strength of a Cisco firewall is just that.

I found our setup straightforward, but you don't go into it blind. You have to be clear on your requirements and you need to take the setup step-by-step. Whenever I deploy a firewall, I have a couple of people to double-check my work. These are people who only work on Cisco firewalls and they act as my proofreaders whenever I am doing a new deployment.

Cisco's documentation is very good and it's always very thorough. However, it's not for a novice, so you wouldn't want a novice setting up the firewall for an enterprise. Personally, I've never had any issues with policies not deploying properly or any other such problems.

Talking about how long it takes to deploy, it's a good weekend if it's a new deployment. It's not just clicking and you're done. I haven't installed a Fortinet product, but I can't imagine any of them are easy to install. Essentially, I found it straightforward, but it is involved. You've got to take your time with it.

You need to make sure anything you do with your networking, that you have it planned out well in advance. But once you do that, you go through the steps, which are well-documented by Cisco.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cisco is not for a small mom-and-pop shop because of the cost, but if you're in a regulated industry where a breach could cost you a million dollars, it's a bargain. That's the way I look at it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also use Cisco Umbrella, and I may use features from that product, depending on where I am.

What other advice do I have?

Every firewall has its pluses and minuses, but because we've taken such a layered approach and we're not relying on one thing to keep us safe, I've never really gone, "Oh, I've had it." I've heard some complaints about Cisco TAC, but generally speaking, I've been able to configure them and do whatever I need to with the Cisco firewall. There's nothing in my experience with Cisco that leads me to believe that that's going to stop.

I've always felt comfortable with every Cisco purchase we've made and every improvement they've made to it. I think they keep moving in a positive direction and they're pretty good with updates and fixes. You can have 10 people, networking people or security people, and they'll all have different takes on it. That said, I've always been very comfortable. I don't stay up at night and worry about our firewalls.

One thing to remember about Cisco is that whatever they're doing, it just keeps getting better. In my experience with Cisco, I have yet to have a product of theirs that they haven't improved over time. For example, we bought into OpenDNS Umbrella before Cisco acquired them. At the time, I was wondering whether they were going to improve it or what was going to happen with it, because you can never be sure. Again, Cisco has done nothing but improve it. It's a far more mature product than when we picked it up five or six years ago.

While not directly related to the NGFW, it speaks to Cisco's overarching vision for security, which again, I'm always looking at layers. If you're thinking that you're going to secure an environment by buying a firewall, yes, that's a really important piece of it, but it's only one piece of it.

Cisco is a company that is really open about vulnerabilities, which some people could see that as a negative but I see as a positive. I do security all the time, so I'm always going to be paranoid. That said, I've spent so much time doing this stuff that I've developed a lot of trust in Cisco. Again, I think there are other great products out there, but Cisco has made it really easy to integrate stuff into this ecosystem where you have multiple layers of not perfect, but state-of-the-art enterprise security.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is, first of all, to know what you're doing. If you're not sure then get somebody that does. However, I would say that's probably true of any firewall. If your business relies on it, have all of your information ready beforehand, it's just all the straightforward stuff that any security person needs.

In summary, I think what I can say about them is there's nothing I needed to do that I haven't been able to do. I have incredible visibility into everything that's happening. We continue to leverage more features, to use it in different ways, and we haven't run into any limitations. I cannot say that the product is perfect, however, and I would deduct a mark for the interface loading. It's not terrible but sometimes, especially when you're doing the setup, it can chug away for a while. Considering what the device does, I think that it's a small complaint.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
System Architekt at a financial services firm with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
Prevents users from accessing things on the Internet that they are not supposed to access
Pros and Cons
  • "The firewall feature and DDoS Protector, when turned on, keep away attacks from the outside. They also prevent users from accessing things on the Internet that they are not supposed to access."
  • "It depends whether the problem is known to Check Point. If they are aware there is a problem, quite often it will then depend on which tech you finally land on if it's easier or harder to get to the root cause. The last issue was in India so that was pretty bad. It's easier if you get directly through to Tel Aviv or Ottawa, but you can't choose. Once they know what the issue is, it's pretty good. It pretty much depends on the engineer that you get. There are pretty good engineers and there are many engineers who are at just the starter level at Check Point who are not really into the stuff. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's easy, depending on the problem and the tech engineer you get."

What is our primary use case?

We use it as a normal firewall for perimeter security, using some of the Next Generation features, like Anti-Bot and Antivirus. 

We have two ISPs. We have a different firewall system in front of the Check Point Firewall. We also have normal Cisco switches combined with the Check Point solution. Then, our internal network is with Cisco, which is about 300 servers and 1,500 clients.

How has it helped my organization?

Since we are an insurance company, the solution is a necessity.

Two-thirds of our employees are working at home at the moment, so we use the VPN feature more than we used to. Of those two-thirds, only 100 or 200 are using the remote client from Check Point. The other employees are using other technologies, like NetScaler from Citrix. 

What is most valuable?

We use the basic firewall functionality, plus the VPN functionality, a lot.

We have about 100 remote sites, which is where we use the VPN functionality. For private lines, we prefer to do further private encryption on the line. It is very convenient to do it with Check Point, if you have Check Point on both sides. It is convenient and easy to monitor.

The firewall feature and DDoS Protector, when turned on, keep away attacks from the outside. They also prevent users from accessing things on the Internet that they are not supposed to access.

What needs improvement?

The Threat Emulation definitely needs improvement. A couple of years ago, we did a comparison with other companies, e.g., Lastline, offering threat emulation and threat detection functionalities, and Check Point was lacking. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Check Point for 22 to 23 years. I have been using Check Point NGFW for 15 years, since 2005.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We used to have more problems. For the past five years, unless we have had a bug, which happens like once a year, it has been pretty stable. We did have a bug for the last three months, which has just been fixed. Before that we had another two or three major bugs. However, when there is a bug and it's not known to Check Point, they need quite a while to get it fixed. If they have a fix already, then there is a pretty quick turnaround to get it fixed.

There are three people working on firewalls, but not at 100 percent. We have the equivalent of one person doing firewalls 100 percent of the time using three people.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For our requirements, it's scalable enough. We have a 1 gig uplink to the Internet, which is easily doable with open servers. 

We used to have some problems with the performance, then we upgraded the license and the scalability has worked well since.

There are 1,200 to 1,500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

It depends whether the problem is known to Check Point. If they are aware there is a problem, quite often it will then depend on which tech you finally land on if it's easier or harder to get to the root cause. The last issue was in India so that was pretty bad. It's easier if you get directly through to Tel Aviv or Ottawa, but you can't choose. Once they know what the issue is, it's pretty good. It pretty much depends on the engineer that you get. There are pretty good engineers and there are many engineers who are at just the starter level at Check Point who are not really into the stuff. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's easy, depending on the problem and the tech engineer you get.

To the next manager, it's pretty easy to escalate an issue, if needed. Though, it depends on the manager. 

Our current sales staff isn't too good. Though, the one before was pretty good. So, you can escalate on that process well. As an escalation path, it works most of the time.

How was the initial setup?

Once you do it for over 20 years, it is straightforward. If you have done it a couple of times, then you know what to do. However, even if you are a beginner, Check Point is more straightforward than Palo Alto or something like that. Once you get the idea of how a firewall works, Check Point does it that way.

There is a central location where we deploy upgrades, which normally take one business day since we have several clusters there. 

When deploying the solution to remote locations, we have several models to choose from.

What about the implementation team?

When we tried Threat Emulation, we have received professional services from Check Point. However, for the normal setup, we don't involve any professional services.

What was our ROI?

It is like insurance for us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing and licensing are pretty steep. They know that they are good, so they are pricey.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are also using Forcepoint, which is a little bit different on the OS and focused more on IPS/IDS. It is a good practice to combine two different firewall vendors in case one of them gets hacked.

We also evaluated Palo Alto, like five years ago, but that doesn't make much sense for us. 

What other advice do I have?

Since we are trying to get our customers to do more self-service, we should see more inbound traffic. So, the usage will increase in the next two years.

We get more attacks from the outside these days, so it has become more important to use systems like Check Point. When I started with security 25 years ago, it was still something not everybody was aware they needed. Today, it's common sense that everybody needs to protect their perimeter.

Plan first, implement last. You should first be aware of what assets you want to protect and what are your traffic patterns. You should plan your policy and network topology ahead of time, then start to implement a firewall. If you just place it there without any plan of what it's supposed to do, it doesn't make too much sense. I think planning is 80 percent of the implementation.

I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10. It would be better if the support was quicker in the cases we had. Apart from that, we are happy with the functionality.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Manuel Gellida - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at Dinamica en Microsistemas de Informatica, S.A. de C.V.
Reseller
Top 5
Easy to use and deploy with an improved pricing structure in place
Pros and Cons
  • "The initial setup is pretty easy."
  • "They need to allow their solution to integrate with other products and not just other Sophos solutions."

What is our primary use case?

My clients are mostly based in the government. They are my core clients. I install the solution for my clients.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very easy to use. 

Of course, we have the skills, however, it's very easy for us to deploy the solution. That's one of the valuable features. 

They have a communication between the endpoint and the firewall which is very, very useful for security purposes.

Pricing is now pretty good. They changed the pricing structure a few months ago.

The initial setup is pretty easy.

What needs improvement?

The integration could be a bit better. They need to allow their solution to integrate with other products and not just other Sophos solutions.

Sophos has a feature that in my opinion is very limited. They don't have enough VPNs on their models. They have the XG 750, which is a sizeable appliance. On those models, they used to have not enough VPNs. They always were short on that area. 

Pricing used to be very bad, however, they've adjusted their strategy recently. 

The product needs to improve its marketing in Mexico. It's not a well-recognized product in our country.

The solution's technical support is very bad.

There is an overall lack of documentation in relation to features and capabilities. We need these to help explain aspects of the solution to our clients. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution since around 2014. I have about six years of experience at this point. It's been a while. I've definitely worked with the product in the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. There are no bugs and glitches. It doesn't crash and freeze. It's quite reliable. We don't have problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. It is not a problem. Sometimes we have issues when we are trying to do something with a different traditional version of hardware as sometimes the new hardware has more ports. However, if we are talking about scalability in a huge customer, we can do it very easily. 

Mexico is very different than other countries and continents as here, when we say it's a big customer, we are talking about 2,000 to maybe 3,000 users. There aren't too many large-scale operations in the country. However, in general, for our area, we tend to deal with large-scale companies.

For a company that has maybe 1,000 users, Sophos seems to work very well. We have one operation with 10,000 endpoints and it is working quite well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from Sophos is very bad.

Sometimes we lose a project due to the fact that we need to solve some issues or answer questions. Things that may be technical but also involve the administrative side. I'm talking about licensing and the capabilities of the feature. We need some documentation, something we can show clients. They can better in those cases. They can either help us or supply us with what we need. 

In response time, they are terrible. In the area of technical knowledge, they are getting better, however, they aren't where they need to be. Right now, we are not satisfied with the level of support provided.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. However, here in Mexico, it's very complex to sell the product. The brand is not as well known.

That said, the process is pretty straightforward. 

The deployment times vary. It depends on the end-user and what they need. Sometimes, it's easy as they don't have too many policies. The more policies they have, the longer it takes.

In other cases, clients may have a lot of VPNs. We have to work on those VPNs, and we have to do a lot of routing. However, that depends on the customer. Not all are like that.

For one appliance, you just need one person for deployment and maintenance. If we are working a lot of VPNs, we would have to use more people. We need to involve maybe two or three individuals and re-apply the configuration in that case. 

What about the implementation team?

We handle the installation process ourselves. We do not need the assistance of consultants.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing has recently changed on Sophos. Their licensing and cost structures are much more clear now. It's much better than it was.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Clients, in many cases, evaluate for Check Point, Forcepoint, and sometimes Fortinet. Occasionally, they may look at SonicWall, or Palo Alto however, the others are the main big competitors. 

Palo Alto is very expensive as are Check Point and Forcepoint. That's why we sometimes win the projects. We find Fortinet, is very, very hard to beat as they have a lot of market share, have a lot of marketing. Sophos doesn't have that presence, that marketing. Also, when you have to think about prices, Fortinet gives customers everything and it's hard to beat.

The biggest issue I've found with Sophos is the small number of VPNs that we can do compared to a similar appliance with Fortinet or in the same level center. In fact, many other brands offer more VPNs than Sophos.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a Sophos reseller.

We use multiple versions. We have worked with XG 460 and XG 135 and some others -such as XG 230. In those cases, sometimes it has been Rev 1 and in other cases Rev 2 in terms of the hardware versions.

I mostly work with on-premise deployments. The only item I have installed in the cloud is an email solution by Sophos.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations. Overall, I would rate it at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
Senior ICT Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Competitively priced, user-friendly security solution with good technical support, but has issues with scalability
Pros and Cons
  • "User-friendly and affordable security solution that's recommended for SMB customers. This solution has good technical support."
  • "Scalability for Fortinet FortiGate needs to be improved. SD-WAN security for this solution also needs some improvement."

What is most valuable?

Fortinet FortiGate is user-friendly. When it comes to firewall enterprise security and email security, this solution is at the top. It's better and it's affordable. If you compare it with some other email security like Mimecast and similar solutions, those products are better than Fortinet, but here in the Fiji region, Fortinet FortiGate has better service. In some other regions, this solution may not be doing well, but in Fiji, it's working out well. Fortinet has so many customers in Fiji.

What needs improvement?

What I'd like to be improved in Fortinet FortiGate is for it to have advanced WAF functionality. Even in FortiADC, WAF functionality is not supported for advanced attacks, e.g. mobile bot attacks. Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve its WAF function.

SD-WAN is also good in this product, but it still needs improvement, particularly in security. We saw some attacks last year, so they need to improve on that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with Fortinet FortiGate for eight years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are some issues with the scalability of Fortinet FortiGate. Certain products and models need to be scalable, but they're not. For example, if you go with 400F, they only have two SFP+ ports, while the F5 has four ports.

When you're expanding the number of users for this solution, they'll ask you to replace the model, and this can be a big cost to customers, which could affect scalability.

How are customer service and support?

We are happy with the technical support for this product, because the Fiji region is supported by New Zealand, where support for Fortinet FortiGate is better.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Fortinet FortiGate is an affordable solution, but when expanding the number of users, they'll ask you to replace the model, so that's an added cost.

Pricing for this product is comparatively lower than other products. If you compare it with Forcepoint, Cisco, and other products, Fortinet FortiGate pricing is reasonable, and that includes all the service and support we need. Whenever we need support as a partner, they're able to deliver that support to us, unlike with F5 where there's premium support and standard support, which means you'll have to pay F5 extra.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated Cisco and Forcepoint solutions.

What other advice do I have?

We are an IT infrastructure company, and we are dealing with one of the banks here. They need a solution which they'll use for application delivery, load balancing, and as their web application firewall.

We are a reseller and partner of Fortinet, but only for their firewall product, e.g. FortiCloud WAF, not FortiADC. We've also been working with Fortinet FortiGate.

The solution we're looking for which will be implemented for our customer, e.g. a bank, is a solution with basic functionality, e.g. FortiGate. It will only be used for two or so web applications. If our customer needs a bigger functionality, then I would propose a different solution: F5. For the government, we always propose F5.

My advice to people who want to implement this solution is simple: It's an affordable product for the SMB customer, but for customers with bigger environments, I would recommend that they go for other products with premium support.

My rating for Fortinet FortiGate is seven out of ten, if you consider the Fiji market.

We saw that Fortinet is working towards the ZTNA model, e.g. SASE, and also working towards zero trust products, which is good. They're also improving slowly in privileged access management, e.g. they don't have one, but they're trying to introduce it by the end of the year.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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IT Infra Head at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Not scalable and doesn't have centralized management monitoring, but it is reliable and the support is good
Pros and Cons
  • "Technical support is good."
  • "We require centralized monitoring of the network features, which they have but they are not to the level that we require."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to secure our network environment. We have implemented it in other locations in our organization.

What is most valuable?

It's a good solution with good features.

What needs improvement?

It's a good product, but it's not a next-generation firewall. We are looking for a next-generation firewall and considering Cisco.

We require centralized monitoring of the network features, which they have but they are not to the level that we require.

The reporting is not good. Also, the historical configuration of the data or backup is not available.

To compete in the market, there have to be a lot of improvements.

We do not plan to continue using SonicWall TZ. We are looking for a replacement because we need centralized monitoring across the organization. It has been very difficult for us to manage the firewall as it is not managed centrally. This is the main drawback in our current scenario.

In the next release, I would like to see better scalability, easier installation, improved reporting, storage configuration, backup, and centralized management with reporting.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is not very scalable, which is something that could be better.

We have multiple locations and have implemented it in several.

At this time, we have 1,000 users on the firewall.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. There is no need for improvement.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use another firewall previously.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is not straightforward. But, through the GUI, there are features that you can enable to configure.

Forcepoint and Cisco are straightforward but there are many things to do with SonicWall.

For a first-time installation, it can take half a day to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We completed the implementation ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The license that we purchased is good for three years.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated ForcePoint but we haven't used it.

We will be testing Cisco and Barracuda in our environment.

What other advice do I have?

For small organizations, its' good, and I would recommend it, but not for medium or large enterprise companies.

I would rate SonicWall TZ a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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July 2022
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