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Compare Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series

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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: November 2021.
554,529 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 implementation is pretty straightforward.""The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""If configured, Firepower provides us with application visibility and control.""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.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""The feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""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.""Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches."

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"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.""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. ""The most valuable features are web control and IPS/IDS.""What I like about the VM-Series is that you can launch them in a very short time.""The feature that I have found the most useful is that it meets all our requirements technically.""The most valuable feature is that you can launch it in a very short time. You don't have to wait for the hardware to arrive and get it staged and installed. From that perspective, it is easy to launch. It is also scalable.""The interface with Panorama makes it very easy to use.""The Palo Alto VM-Series is nice because I can move the firewalls easily."

More Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Pros »

Cons
"There is limited data storage on the appliance itself. So, you need to ship it out elsewhere in order for you to store it. The only point of consideration is around that area, basically limited storage on the machine and appliance. Consider logging it elsewhere or pushing it out to a SIEM to get better controls and manipulation over the data to generate additional metrics and visibility.""In a future release, it would be ideal if they could offer an open interface to other security products so that we could easily connect to our own open industry standard.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded.""I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough."

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"It would be good if the common features work consistently in physical and virtual environments. There was an integration issue in the virtual deployment where it didn't report the interface counters, and we had to upgrade to the latest version, whereas the same thing has been working in the physical deployment for ages now. It seems that it was because of Azure. We were using VMware before, and we didn't have any such issues. We do see such small issues where we expect things to work, but they don't because of some incompatibilities. There also seems to be a limitation on how to do high availability in a virtualized environment. All features should be consistently available in physical and virtual environments. It is not always easy to integrate Palo Alto in the network management system. We would like to be able to compare two network management systems. They can maybe allow monitoring an interface through the GUI to create a reference or do a baseline check about whether your network monitoring system is actually giving you the correct traffic figures. You need traffic figures to be able to recognize the trends and plan the capacity.""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 solution needs to have more easily searchable details or documentation about it online, so it's easier to Google if you have queries.""In the next release, I would like for them to develop an anti-malware functionality in which it checks for malicious files like Cisco has.""It'll help if Palo Alto Networks provided better documentation.""The user interface could use some improvement.""The product needs improvement in their Secure Access Service Edge.""Palo Alto is that it is really bad when it comes to technical support."

More Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection.""Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount.""The price is comparable.""I like the Smart Licensing, because it is more dynamic and easier to keep track of where you are at. If we have a high availability firewall pair and they are deployed in active/standby rather than active/active, I would expect that we would only pay for one set of licenses because you are using only one firewall at any one time. The other is there just for resiliency. The licensing, from a Firepower perspective, still requires you to have two licenses, even if the firewalls are in active/standby, which means that you pay for the two licenses, even though you might only be using one firewall any one time. This is probably not the best way to do it and doesn't represent the best value for money. This could be looked at to see if it could be done in a fairer way.""This solution is expensive and other solutions, such as FortiGate, are cheaper.""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.""The price for Firepower is more expensive than FortiGate. The licensing is very complex. We usually ask for help from Solutel because of its complexity. I have a Cisco account where I can download the VPN client, then connect. Instead, I create an issue with Solutel, then Solutel solves the case.""When we are fighting against other competitors for customers, whether it is a small or big business, we feel very comfortable with the price that Firepower has today."

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"Palo Alto can be as much as two times the price of competing products that have twice the capabilities.""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 cost of this product varies from customer to customer and the relationship with IBM, including how many offerings from IBM are already being used.""The VM series is licensed annually.""Because I work for a university and the URL is for the institution, it's a free license for us.""The price of this solution is very high for some parts of Africa, which makes it a challenge."

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: The initial setup was straightforward.
Ranking
4th
out of 47 in Firewalls
Views
43,244
Comparisons
30,805
Reviews
39
Average Words per Review
1,045
Rating
8.4
11th
out of 47 in Firewalls
Views
9,404
Comparisons
6,369
Reviews
15
Average Words per Review
603
Rating
8.5
Comparisons
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 Provider32%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company4%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm23%
Government15%
Manufacturing Company15%
Healthcare Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company30%
Comms Service Provider19%
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%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
554,529 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 11th 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 Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series report.

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