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Palo Alto Networks VM-Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is #2 ranked solution in top Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) tools and #11 ranked solution in best firewalls. IT Central Station users give Palo Alto Networks VM-Series an average rating of 8 out of 10. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most commonly compared to Azure Firewall:Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs Azure Firewall. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
What is Palo Alto Networks VM-Series?

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.

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Buyer's Guide

Download the Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Customers

Warren Rogers Associates

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Video

Archived Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Reviews (more than two years old)

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ITCS user
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Solution Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
It prevents data loss and business disruption

Pros and Cons

  • "Embedding it into my application development lifecycle prevents data loss and business disruption, allowing the adoption to operate at the speed of my AWS Cloud."
  • "It has a good performance which helps you with the stability of your virtual environment."
  • "It can definitely improve on the performance."
  • "It has to be more scalable for the deployment of VMs on the cloud."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to protect applications and data on AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

Embedding it into my application development lifecycle prevents data loss and business disruption, allowing the adoption to operate at the speed of my AWS Cloud.

What is most valuable?

It prevents data loss and business disruption.

What needs improvement?

It can definitely improve on the performance.

I would like more scalability included on the next release.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has a good performance which helps you with the stability of your virtual environment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has to be more scalable for the deployment of VMs on the cloud.

What about the implementation team?

You have to be an expert administrator of a virtual environment to know how to integrate it with your AWS environment.

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

Purchasing through the AWS Marketplace is a secure way to purchase this solution. Our organization chose to procure this solution via the AWS Marketplace because we have clients who were interested in the solution. Also, for out proof of concept, we decided to purchase it.

The pricing and licensing of this product on AWS should be from $1.28/hr or $4,500.00/yr. Then, it would be a good price for the performance that it delivers.

What other advice do I have?

It solves several challenges protecting your AWS workloads with good security features, delivering superior visibility, control, and threat prevention at the application level when compared to other cloud-oriented security solutions.

I have not tried integrating Palo Alto with other products.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Michael Robtoy
Infrastructure Team Lead at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
App-ID and User-ID have repeatedly shown value in securing business critical systems, but we have run into issues with the antivirus interfering with App-ID

Pros and Cons

  • "In AWS, Palo Alto provides us a better view than flow logs for network traffic."
  • "App-ID and User-ID have repeatedly shown value in securing business critical systems."
  • "I would like to see a more thorough QA process. We have had some difficulties from bugs in releases."
  • "We have ran into issues with Palo Alto’s limitations for resolving large IP lists from DNS lookups, as well as the antivirus interfering with App-ID."

What is our primary use case?

We use this as our primary security barrier between trusted and untrusted zones.

How has it helped my organization?

App-ID and User-ID have repeatedly shown value in securing business critical systems.

What is most valuable?

In AWS, Palo Alto provides us a better view than flow logs for network traffic.

What needs improvement?

We have ran into issues with Palo Alto’s limitations for resolving large IP lists from DNS lookups, as well as the antivirus interfering with App-ID.

I would like to see a more thorough QA process. We have had some difficulties from bugs in releases.

I see more improvements needed from AWS than from Palo Alto on the VM-Series, namely a design centered on NGFW.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are typically at only about eight to ten percent load.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The limit of the product is based on resources that we can obtain from AWS. We have approximately 3500 users and 200 servers leveraging the Palo Alto product.

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

We used BYOL, because of the cost to own.

We procure the solution through AWS Marketplace because previous experience with their physical appliances.

The pricing and licensing of this product on AWS for a three-year commitment is a great deal, if you can plan that far ahead.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product, but there is room for improvement.

We use this with Microsoft AD, N2WS, IIS, MySQL, MS SQL, and a number of proprietary applications.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,529 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Sachin Sheth
Director of Cloud Security at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Reseller
It provides complete security posture from end-to-end

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides complete security posture from end-to-end. This has given us better visibility into what our security aspects are."
  • "The product could provide protection above Layer 3, which gets into the application layer and provides better visibility into those aspects of application security."

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is network protection, next-generation IDS, and IPS protection.

How has it helped my organization?

  • It provides better protection.
  • There is seamless integration.
  • It provides complete security posture from end-to-end. This has given us better visibility into what our security aspects are.

What is most valuable?

The next-generation features of its IDS and IPS.

What needs improvement?

The product could provide protection above Layer 3, which gets into the application layer and provides better visibility into those aspects of application security. This would be very helpful. This way, there would be one tool that we could continue using.

The data aspects of data security and data loss prevention could provide visibility which would be very useful.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We haven't had any issues and don't think about the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the great features that we liked and selected it was its  scalability. We can autoscale and put it in Auto Scaling groups, which is very useful.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have hardly any issues. We have had some patches of data needing some help, but that was it, and the technical support has been spot on.

How was the initial setup?

Integration on on our AWS environment was one of the points that we liked about it.

What about the implementation team?

We used technical support in the initial stages when we were setting it up and configuring some of the features. We used their Professional Services, who were very useful.

What was our ROI?

We have already seen ROI. 

We continue using it, because the concept was at six months, we should receive value back out of it. If the value is seen, only then would we continue using it. It is two years later, and we still continue using it.

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

Because the solution was getting deployed on AWS, it was the best place to go and it was available there.

One of the factors for selecting Palo Alto was they had flexible pricing. They had a pay-as-you-go model. Comparable to other products, such as Check Point, the price point was definitely a plus. It was expensive but it was comparable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Palo Alto, Check Point, Fortinet, and some other vendors.

We chose Palo Alto because its features, especially its advanced features from the IDS and IPS. We were existing customers with Palo Alto from the on-premise side along with the integration aspects of its hardware.

What other advice do I have?

Identify a use case first of all. If the use case is a match, then use the product.

We use it in the cloud for both AWS and non-AWS versions. The AWS version is far better. It works seamlessly and integrates very well with some other services. 

We have integrated it with Splunk for the security aspects and with identity and access management for configuration purposes. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
Pradeep Kurra
Cloud Practice Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
You can scale it if you put it in Auto Scaling groups. On the cloud side, they need to come up with more HA solutions to support the multi-region.

Pros and Cons

  • "You already can scale it if you put it in Auto Scaling groups. If you put it in a load balancer, it should already be able to scale."
  • "On the cloud side, they need to come up with more HA solutions to support the multi-region."

What is our primary use case?

We use Palo Alto for the VPN, firewalls, and the hybrid site-to-site.

We have purchased Palo Alto VM for one of our customers. It has been a year since we have been using this product.

We use Palo Alto's on-premise version for a different purpose. We are using the cloud version for our contractors to VPN to the AWS environment.

For Palo Alto on-premise, we use it more for security firewalls. On the cloud side, we use it for customer contractors to get into the AWS environment for VPN. we use native routing and native security tools that they developed already in AWS. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have big team which can support Palo Alto on-premise. We have engineers which are familiar with Palo Alto products. Our customers are perfectly suited for our use case. They wanted to get onto AWS or be on the hybrid cloud. They want to keep the technology consistent across the board. Therefore, Palo Alto makes sure that they are a leader in this space. We are able to support them, and customers can take advantage of using these products, both on-premise and cloud.

What is most valuable?

  • Firewalls
  • VPN

What needs improvement?

On the cloud side, they need to come up with more HA solutions to support the multi-region.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is fine. The product has been running well so far.

We have about 150 contractors who log into Palo Altos. We don't put heavy stress on them, but they are working fine for now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You already can scale it if you put it in Auto Scaling groups. If you put it in a load balancer, it should already be able to scale. 

We put our Palo Altos in the public VPC, then we have contractors come over the Internet and VPN into the Palo Altos to get into the AWS environment. 

How is customer service and technical support?

It depends on the person you get on the call from technical support, but many times I have gotten good people on the call. Sometimes, you get some bad experiences. Most of the time, it has been good.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install. You buy it on the AWS Marketplace, then you just install it. You have already purchased the license and everything else. It is easy to configure and use.

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

The purchase process through AWS Marketplace was easy for us because we are partner to Palo Alto, so it was straightforward. All we need to do was purchase it from AWS Marketplace because we had a license.

AWS is available as a AMI that you can purchase from the AWS Marketplace. Therefore, you need to purchase the licensing, since it is per AMI. Then, you deploy it on a regular EC2. Then, for on-premise, you can use both Palo Alto's software and hardware. So, it depends on your usage.

Compared to other solutions, I think the pricing is efficient.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For on-premise, we evaluated Check Point and Fortinet.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product, and tell people, "Go for it." It has not disappointed us for the purpose that we use it. It is really matured in the networking area.

Because of our use case, we didn't have to integrate the product with anything else.

The AWS side of the product is a seven out of ten rating. The on-premise side of the product is a ten out of ten for a rating.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
AP
Director at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It allows us to see all our traffic to properly secure it

Pros and Cons

  • "It allows us to see all our traffic to properly secure it and only allow what is needed through the firewall."
  • "AWS doesn't integrate well with third-party firewalls."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to secure all traffic leaving and entering AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to see all our traffic to properly secure it and only allow what is needed through the firewall.

What is most valuable?

  • Full content inspection
  • Visibility into the traffic in AWS.

What needs improvement?

There is work to be done on the integration side, as AWS doesn't integrate well with third-party firewalls.

I would like to see AWS have more integration with Palo Alto from a routing standpoint, so it could become a routing egress without having to redesigning it.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable, and we are not putting stress on it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is fairly scalable. We have a couple hundred servers already.

What other advice do I have?

They are the leading next-generation firewall. I would recommend deploying a next-generation firewall.

I am using the on-premise and AWS version. They are exactly the same.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CB
System Administrator at DeepMap
Real User
It offers a single pane of glass for all the different types of installations

Pros and Cons

  • "It offers a single pane of glass for all the different types of installations."
  • "It gives us the ease that we are secure. We have set up the proper things that help make our data safe."
  • "I would like a way to do everything programmatically, or be able to copy the configs from different prices at different levels."

What is our primary use case?

  • To do a lot of intrusion detection.
  • Threat prevention.
  • As an application firewall, to be able to securely deliver apps to the public.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us the ease that we are secure. We have set up the proper things that help make our data safe. This is the biggest benefit.

What is most valuable?

It offers a single pane of glass for all the different types of installations.

The easy of use is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

I would like a way to do everything programmatically, or be able to copy the configs from different prices at different levels.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent. We have about 50 to 60 employees on it per day. Then, we have about 100 edge connected devices coming through it as well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely scalable. We have about 100 users with about 200 to 300 instances on the cloud that we protect.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is really good. It is usually one phone call to get everything done if we are having an issue.

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

We chose to purchase Palo Alto through the AWS Marketplace because we needed an easy to use firewall and a way to protect our public applications and services.

How was the initial setup?

The integration and configuration on our AWS environment was pretty simple. We did not have to ask any questions about anything on it, so it was good.

What was our ROI?

We haven't had any security issues since deploying it.

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

Purchasing on the AWS Marketplace was simple, effective, and easy.

The price is not bad. They have a yearly renewal fee, and the pricing is exactly where we expect it to be.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Fortinet, but Palo Alto is sort of the new up and coming product. There were a lot of good recommendations from other security experts.

In addition, Palo Alto is easier to configure when you are building policies on applications. 

What other advice do I have?

Talk to their technical services to make sure you are getting the right size solution for what you want to do.

The product is easy use. I don't have to think twice when I am using it. I know it is doing its job. Customer support has been great.

We are using both the AWS and on-premise versions. Both versions are about the same. The interface is nice and easy to configure. I like that it seems like it is one platform to manage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PT
Solution Architect at JM Family Enterprises
Real User
AWS has improved our agility to apply firewall rules because everything is based in the cloud

Pros and Cons

  • "AWS has improved our agility to apply firewall rules. It has reduced the amount of time that it takes to apply firewall rules because everything is based in the cloud."
  • "We don't know how it will scale once we start putting more load on it."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for firewall purposes.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it mostly for the firewall and its ability to work in AWS. That is why we like it.

What is most valuable?

AWS has improved our agility to apply firewall rules. It has reduced the amount of time that it takes to apply firewall rules because everything is based in the cloud. It helps us to bring agility to the project teams when applying them.

What needs improvement?

We still need to understand what are the best practices which we need to implement. 

We also don't know how it will scale once we start putting more load on it.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We like its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are happy with the scalability. 

We just started migrating to the cloud. Thus, we are slowly adding more volume to it. Maybe next year, we should know how it is scaling in the cloud.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have in-house experts and a good relationship with the Palo Alto technical support team.

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

We were using a lot of Cisco firewalls before. We switched because we wanted what works best in the cloud.

How was the initial setup?

We have been happy with the configuration and implementation on the AWS environment.

What was our ROI?

It takes the bottleneck away from the information security teams and increases their agility on projects. 

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

We found purchasing process the product on the AWS Marketplace to be very good. We used the AWS Marketplace because we were set to move to AWS. We rely on Amazon and their partners to process our research.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend to try it out.

Disclosure: IT Central Station 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.
Dan Rabinowitz
Director of Infrastructure at Arcadia
Real User
Out-of-the-box, it has all of the components that you need for a very secure environment

Pros and Cons

  • "It has the ability to create Palo Alto VM-series using software."
  • "It is nice to have a rock solid security platform that we can count on."
  • "In the next release, I would like to see better integration of multi-factor authentication vendors."
  • "We have run into some issues with scaling and limitations associated with some of the configurations."

What is our primary use case?

We use Palo Alto as a perimeter security device.

How has it helped my organization?

It is nice to have a rock solid security platform that we can count on.

What is most valuable?

  • It is the leader in the marketplace.
  • It has the ability to create Palo Alto VM-series using software.
  • The VM-Series has all of the components (out-of-the-box) that you need in a very secure environment.

What needs improvement?

In the next release, I would like to see better integration of multi-factor authentication vendors.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have almost never had an issue.

We have around 15 VM-Series, which are running hot all day.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're still learning about the scalability. We have run into some issues with scaling and limitations associated with some of the configurations. However, it is a solution that we have been happy with overall.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

What about the implementation team?

The integration and configuration of this product in our AWS environment was easy to pick up and very usable. It was a good walk between the old physical way and the new software or infrastructure as code (IaC) model.

What was our ROI?

We use Palo Alto to provide remote access, and we've been able to provide access for hundreds of users with a very short build out time. In the past, this would take a lot longer. Now, we don't have to wait for a physical box, etc.

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

Our company is entirely AWS, so it is the only place to go to purchase anything. 

Some parts of purchasing through AWS Marketplace are good, such as this product was easy to find and launch. Some of the other parts could be clearer in the AWS Marketplace, e.g., how to properly do an annual subscription.

The pricing and licensing are reasonable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Fortinet and some other competitors.

We chose Palo Alto because we had institutional experience and knowledge that we could bring over.

What other advice do I have?

Do a demo. Set one up and try it. 

We have used both the physical and AWS versions. The physical version is a good product. However, in an AWS environment, the ability to automate and scale pieces of it are critical.

We integrated a couple other products with it, which seems to be working well.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Christian  Amaya
Support Engineer & IT Professional at SISAP
Real User
A reliable tool with excellent support

Pros and Cons

  • "It is reliable and the support is very good."
  • "In the newer version, there are 3850s, all of them are scalable. They fit better into the medium or small businesses."
  • "From time to time, they have released some content updates that have some issues, maybe twice a year."
  • "There are various reports that come with the box or with the VMware, but you can only run them daily."

What is our primary use case?

For this VM in particular, it is microsegmentation which is used for implementing the firewall inside the data center.

How has it helped my organization?

When talking about the VM or the virtual firewall, it is mostly about the sessioncapacities that it can handle. In the early version of the firewall, the session or traffic that it could inspect was low. 

In quite a few releases, they have improved a lot. They started with the physical firewall, therefore it is almost virtually the same firewall with the same features, only that it is a virtual one. The main improvements that they have made are surrounding the processing capacity for the virtual machines.

What is most valuable?

The granularity which is used to confirm applications based in users. 

When you have VMware NSX, it is easy to deploy this virtual firewall because it is fully integrated with the VM solution. If I want to segment any type of network inside the data center, it is about two or three clicks, and it works.

What needs improvement?

The reporting. There are various reports that come with the box or with VMware, but you can only run them daily. If you want to generate a report from this week or the past month, you have to create a custom report. It is not that difficult, but I expect these reports to be pre-made. I would like to be able to choose the dates that I can run the reports. As of now, you can only run it for the day before, so this is one improvement they need to make. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From time to time, maybe twice a year, they have released content updates which have some issues. When they release content updates, the applications with these updates give us a false positives. I manage older software developers and members, and almost everyone has one or two missteps a year regarding these updates.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The Series 2000 version of Palo Alto were somewhat big for small or medium customers. They did not have a middle box. 

In the newer version (3850s), all of them are scalable. They fit better into medium or small businesses, so it is easy for us. E.g, if we have a VMware 500 appliance, we can upgrade it to a 100. They have improved in this way.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is extremely good. They are a 10 out of 10, not only because of their fast response time, but their knowledgeable personnel as well. They have knowledge regarding very specific issues. 

When we finish creating tickets in the support portal, there are a lot of knowledge-based documents. They answer almost immediately, calling you back about 10 minutes later. When creating a support ticket, I always get a quick answer.

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

I was using Cisco, but I was using the old Cisco. The firewall was the only working protocol. The Palo Alto Network Firewall is a Next-Generation Firewall, so it is a lot different. 

This is the first and only Next-Generation Firewall that I have used. I have put in several Sophos Firewalls, but they are not the same as Palo Alto.

How was the initial setup?

You will need to know what are you doing with the firewall. 

It's different than Sophos or Fortinet where you only need to click two or three times, and it puts you in engaged mode in the simplest way. 

With Palo Alto, you need to know where you are going to be implementing and what architectures you want. It is not complicated, but it is not as easy as Sophos or Fortinet, because when you start with these two firewalls, the quick setup wizard chooses for you and it automatically creates for you network rules.

With Palo Alto, you need to do all those steps manually, but it is somewhat better because it gives you the flexibility to choose how you want your network set up and how you are going to segment the networks.

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

I know Palo Alto is not cheap because my finance team has been telling me that it is not a cheap solution. It is about the maturity of your security team or infrastructure team and whom you want to work with no matter how big your organization is: small, medium, or large.

The newest version of Cisco, the Next-Generation Firewall, is less expensive than Palo Alto. The price is more comparable to Check Point.

For licensing, it depends how you want to use the firewall. The firewall can be used only for IPS purposes. If you only want that firewall IPS, you will only need a license called threat prevention which includes vulnerabilities, antivirus signatures, and one additional measure; it includes three measures and security updates. 

If you do not want to buy the threat prevention license in the box, you can buy it with only the support license which is for the support of the hardware. It works like a simple firewall. It integrates what it calls user IDs and application IDs. If you do not buy any other license, only the firewall, Palo Alto will also help you improve your security.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated VanGuard for their Next-Generation Firewall.

We chose between Check Point and Palo Alto for their support teams. Check Point is very bad for support. We switched from Check Point to Palo Alto.

What other advice do I have?

If you do not have a Next-Generation Firewall, Palo Alto is a good choice. It is reliable and the support is very good. The VMware version is in all the boxes and they use the same OS, so it is not different if you manage a physical box or a virtual box. The only difference is the virtual box depends on where it will be placed, and its main usage is for microsegmentation and data center firewalls.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Rene Ortega
System Engineer at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
A solid operating system with all the necessary data center security features

Pros and Cons

  • "They now know the details about their network traffic that they did not know before: Applications that they are using and some application they did not know they were using."
  • "A solid operating system with all the necessary data center security features."

    What is our primary use case?

    I have some financial experience with the program. We use it with Cisco and Fortinet technology, and have integrated it with NSXi.  

    It has had good performance.

    As an integrator, we need to understand the business case:

    1. The customer's needs. 
    2. The implementation phase. 
    3. Provide clarity and clarify details with the customer.
    4. Relate to their business's needs more than the technology system. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    I am an integrator. Palo Alto Networks has improved my position in the cyber security market here in Paraguay. It is easy to sell. Basically, I just need to implement the demo and the program starts itself. So, it has improved our position in this market. It is a program with very strong performance in an excellent position along with quality data sharing. Overall, it has improved our width. 

    My clients have a group who will be on the security scheme. They now know the details about their network traffic that they did not know before: Applications that they are using and some application they did not know they were using. It has improved the retail control of their traffic and the users on their network. 

    What is most valuable?

    • Its strong intelligence is the feature that I like the most.
    • A solid operating system with all the necessary data center security features. 
    • Easy to manage.

    What needs improvement?

    When you have a client compare box against box, a lot of times Palo Alto is a bit more expensive, but its network firewalls have a very rich ratio.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues. We did integration with NSXi and the system works likes a charm. There have not been any issues in regards to the format, delivery, or management. It has worked great.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I have not encountered any problems.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not had to call the technical support yet, which makes me very happy.

    Their pre-sale team, who assisted us initially, consists of very responsive, kind people.

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

    We were previously Cisco partners. It is different since it is a network company.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is very simple. They have a very unique approach to simplicity. You have to do some basic set up to some parts where it will be needed. Therefore, it is simple compared to Cisco or Check Point. Also, it is very flexible.

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

    The licensing is pretty much like everyone else.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    In each case, it depends on the expectations of the customer. 

    I have worked with Fortinet, Cisco, and Check Point. However, once I began to work with the Palo Alto Networks, it became my preference for cyber security.

    Compared to Cisco, Palo Alto is a much better product.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a great product. It is a great company, and I am very glad to work with them. 

    Use the learning material that Palo Alto has free on their webpage. The customer should compare it with other products. They need to see the product and understand the power that that technology brings to cyber security. In this case, they can see the benefit against risks to your network and its capacity to prevent threats.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator and partner.
    Adao Costa
    Managing Partner with 11-50 employees
    Reseller
    It scales linearly with load and no issues

    Pros and Cons

    • "We have reduced the number of configuration lines by 90%. We need fewer number of admins right now because of it."
    • "It scales linearly with load and no issues."
    • "All areas need improvement: manufacturing, education, financial, etc."

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have reduced the number of configuration lines by 90%. We need fewer number of admins right now because of it.

    What is most valuable?

    The best features are:

    • User identification
    • Application identification
    • Logs and monitoring.

    What needs improvement?

    All areas need improvement: manufacturing, education, financial, etc.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    None. Works by day with no issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues. It scales linearly with load and no issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate the customer service as 10 out of 10: great.

    I would rate the technical support as 10 out of 10: very professional.

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

    We did have a previous solution that we used. We switched due to scalability and the other solution had too many issues.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was easy to deploy.

    The deployment works well.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did not need a vendor team. We implemented in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    Our ROI is excellent.

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

    Do not buy larges box if you do not need them. Rightsizing is a great task to do beforehand.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Check Point, Fortinet, and others.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
    it_user798924
    Technical Lead Infrastructure at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    We now have a lot more details about what our users are doing on the network

    Pros and Cons

    • "We now know a lot more detail about what our users are doing on the network."
    • "It is very stable. It is fairly easy to use."
    • "I have not actually called their support line, because we have a direct contact to a senior engineer in the company for any issues that we handle with them. I will say they are very responsive, and they do give you the information you need when you need it.​"
    • "The user-friendliness of the UI could be improved."
    • "The interface is all Java-based. I would prefer an HTML5 interface."
    • "Just sometimes it can be a bit sluggish navigating through pages. That is just purely because of Java.​"

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to monitor all traffic, so we can do URL filtering with it. We can also use the VPN features, which we have not set up yet, but we know the functionalities are there. In addition, we use it to monitor all our trusted and non-trusted traffic, then block it as appropriate. 

    It does a lot of threat management as well. It is like a threat management gateway and it does some virus scanning. From that perspective, it is really good.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We now have a lot more details about what our users are doing on the network. Whereas before, we did not know certain things they were accessing, websites they were going to, and what vulnerabilities were potentially being introduced into our network. Now, we have a very good understanding of what is actually traversing our network, what is coming in, and what is going out.

    What is most valuable?

    Threat management. That is very important, obviously. There has been a lot of press about hacking, virus vulnerabilities, the cron bug, etc. It is very important that we detect these as soon as it happens, so we can implement measures before they get on to our network. It is very good at doing that; it is very good at identifying these vulnerabilities.

    What needs improvement?

    The interface, maybe. It is all Java-based and I would prefer an HTML5 interface. It would make things a bit quicker. It is not that it is really bad once you are in, it is just another Java-based application that is not amazing. I am not really a fan of Java-based applications. 

    The user-friendliness of the UI could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues, it is very stable. It is fairly easy to use. I would not say it is difficult, just sometimes it can be a bit sluggish navigating through pages. That is just purely because of Java.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We picked the PA-3050s. They can handle a lot of traffic, so we are nowhere near our limits on it. We are not really touching its full capacity at the moment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It is very good. I have not actually called their support line, because we have a direct contact to a senior engineer in the company for any issues that we handle with them. I will say they are very responsive, and they do give you the information you need when you need it.

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

    We previously used Cisco ASA. We switched to Palo Alto because it can do a lot more. They are called Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW). They can do a lot of threat detection and things that the Cisco firewalls could not, or could only do with plugins, and the firewalls were not really built for that purpose. Palo Alto can handle a lot more and give us more insight into our network. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The hardware install was mildly complex; it was somewhere in the middle. It was just about working out the best way to monitor our traffic, because you can have a segregation of interfaces. You can use something called vwire, which is like a bump in the wire, or you can use Layer 3 interfaces. It was just working out which way to go with. We could not really configure the Layer 3 interface solution properly, so we just went for a different setup. 

    It was not overly complex. There was enough information online and enough support. There is enough info in the community on their website to allow you to do what you need to do.

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

    For what you get, it does do what it says it does. It is a good value for an enterprise firewall.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We had a look at Check Point firewalls, as well as Huawei. 

    • With Check Point, it was a feature-rich product, but it was a bit more expensive. 
    • With Huawei, it was not really a valuable solution or as advanced as the other two, so we discounted them straight away.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure you have a detailed plan of what you want to get out of it, you fully understand your network infrastructure beforehand and you have all the IP addresses documented and things that you might need before you actually implement it. Also, it is a feature-rich product, so ensure you have looked at what it can give you, and decide if you need all that functionality in your network. If you do not need it, then you can obviously go for something that is a bit less feature-rich.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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