Palo Alto in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls

“Next generation” capabilities have been achieved by all products in the enterprise network firewall market, and vendors differentiate on feature strengths. Security and risk management leaders must consider the trade-offs between best-of-breed enterprise network firewall functions and cost.

Magic Quadrant

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks is a large pure-play security vendor, based in Santa Clara, California, with more than 4,000 employees. The vendor has been shipping enterprise firewalls since 2007, and its 2016 revenue exceeded $1.4 billion. Its offerings include enterprise firewall physical and virtual appliances, endpoint software (Traps and GlobalProtect), threat Intelligence (AutoFocus), and SaaS security (Aperture). The vendor has recently started to highlight integrations between its solutions as a security platform.

Palo Alto Networks has recently released version 8 of its operating system (PAN-OS), with improvements for WildFire and Panorama, and new SaaS security and user credential protection features. It has also released a new entry-level hardware model (PA-220), two new intermediate appliances (PA-800 Series) and has refreshed its 5000 Series, available since 2011, with the 5220, 5250 and 5260 models.

Palo Alto Networks enjoys continued success in enterprise firewall selections and has high customer satisfaction for its application visibility capabilities.

Palo Alto Networks is a solid contender for all enterprises, especially when evaluations give more weight to feature and management quality than to price.

STRENGTHS
  • Marketing Execution: Palo Alto Networks is the pure-play security vendor with the highest visibility on enterprise firewall shortlists. The vendor is visible on shortlists across all industries. Presales support is efficient, and the vendor very frequently comes out from shortlists with the highest overall evaluation score.
  • Sales Execution: Palo Alto Networks maintains a very high growth rate. With a list price of $1,000, the new PA-220 allows the vendor to target smaller branches. WildFire, the vendor’s sandboxing option, has the highest attach rate and the largest customer base of all vendors evaluated in this research.
  • Capabilities: The Application Command Center (ACC) includes visibility of sanctioned and unsanctioned SaaS applications. Combined with its automated event aggregation and filtering and drill-down options, it makes it easy to understand application flows and related risks.
  • Customer Experience: Palo Alto Networks has a faithful customer base and scores very highly for overall customer satisfaction. Many clients report that they will renew without performing a competitive assessment and that they recommend the product to their peers. Several clients give good scores to vendor support in North America, and to the vendor’s ability to meet expected performance in production environments.
  • Improvements: The vendor has initiated a refresh of its firewall appliances (PA-800 Series, PA-5200 Series and PA-220), with upgraded performance and a higher number of decrypted concurrent TLS connections. WildFire regional cloud options are available in Europe and Asia.