Friday, March 02, 2012

SonicWall, Palo Alto Networks Top Performers in New NSS NGFW Study – Block Rate vs. Price per Protected Mbps

NSS Labs has published a great 2 page analysis, the “2012 Next Generation Firewall Security Value Map™” (NGFW). They released it during RSA San Francisco 2012. The value map illustrates Block Rate versus Price per Protected Mbps. The SonicWall SuperMassive E10800 and the Palo Alto Networks PA-5020 NGFWs were the “winners”, far up in the right hand corner. Juniper Systems and their SRX3600 suffered the opposite fate. Their performance line put one of the endpoints near the lower left hand corner, low Block Rate and the highest Price per Protected Mbps. Who knows if this will effect when Palo Alto Networks has their IPO (Initial Public Offering).

The study should help SonicWall (private company held by equity investment firm Thoma Bravo), strengthen their reputation as more than an SMB play. They have a broad portfolio solutions scaled up to the enterprise. The study also demonstrates that SonicWall is a major contender in the NGFW market. The company is more than a UTM (Unified Threat Management) company, which is how some of their competitors attempt to position SonicWall. Go to to download the pdf.

A nice piece of viral or guerilla marketing on SonicWall’s part. They quickly had a rather large version of the value map standing in their booth. Coincidentally, the map stood between their booth and their neighbors, Barracuda Networks. The Barracuda Networks NGFW had both a lower Capture Rate and a higher Price per Protected Mbps. Ouch. Other companies on the value map – Fortinet, Stonesoft, and Check Point. This piece undoubtedly created booth traffic at both the participants' and the NSS booths. The race car and Barracuda’s “typical” trade show booth help were a nice diversion and seemed to generate a lot of booth traffic.

NSS Labs is an independent security research and testing company. They provide subscription-based information services and consulting, among other services. To learn more, go to


Chris said...

Can you double check the Palo Alto model you report in this Blog entry? I remembered the model in the report being different from the one you report here.

kensek_discourses said...

I transposed some digits and have made the correction. It's the PA-5020. Thanks!

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