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What are the specs that you look for in a firewall? I'm looking at concurrent sessions and throughput. The sales person i spoke to is looking at number of users but that is not in the detailed specs. I'm running into the sales pitch vs. real baseline metrics discontinuity and i'm at a loss...

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closed as off topic by ewwhite, MDMarra, Alex, Michael Hampton, Tim Brigham Aug 9 '12 at 18:25

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"number of users" is one of those numbers that sounds good but means little. What are those users doing - there's a big difference between 1000 users at a company where everyone does a bit of research on the web and 1000 users at a media company where people stream about a dozen things at once and might as well live on youtube clone websites. – RobM Aug 9 '12 at 17:40

Price, ease of management, and knowledge/mindshare.

So for most small office/business solutions, I can get by with lower-end Cisco ASA devices (5505, 5510), for example. Price is reasonable in that realm. And the knowledge issue isn't a problem due to the number of engineers familiar with the equipment.

But rather than recommend a product, I'd insist that the metrics that are important to you should be the same metrics that guide your search.

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what other metrics are there besides throughput and concurrent sessions? – v-dog Aug 9 '12 at 17:37
Nobody was ever fired for buying Cisco. :) – TheCleaner Aug 9 '12 at 17:44
Hardware design (cooling, form-factor, internal redundancy), simultaneous VPN peers, packets-per-second, clustering, VLAN capabilities, # of ports. – ewwhite Aug 9 '12 at 17:55

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