[fw-wiz] Fallout from the Cisco PIX Disection

From: Art Mason (a.c.mason@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 07/30/02

From: Art Mason <a.c.mason@sbcglobal.net>
To: firewall-wizards@honor.icsalabs.com
Date: Tue Jul 30 17:13:01 2002

Whoa, what a response this thread has generated. I understand that
Cisco is one of THE names when it comes to networking, and the do meake
some decent-to-great products that usually work as advertised. There
product support (i.e. SmartNET), in my opinion, has always been second
to none. I once had a Catalyst 3508G XL burn out one of its SMT IC
parts and, being covered by SmartNET, had a new on up and running in the
rack within 36 hours of notifying Cisco about the problem (I have a few
pics of the open unit if anyone is interested). Many times you can't go
wrong when dealing w/ them, especially when it comes to maintaining good
rapport w/ your clients. As Mr. Robertson points out, the name does say
something about supportability, and unless I'm there to nurse my BSD
boxen back to life if a NIC goes bad, there really is a perceived
advantage to a solution that might cost 10 times more but provides the
assurance of a name that is recognized around the world. This isn't to
say, though, that a FreeBSD box w/ a Sangoma WANPIPE or Cyclades PC400
can't provide a more cost-effective solution for some applications than
a Cisco 2610, and still offer a lot more functionality and flexibility.
But, is SBC or Quest gonna know what to do on their end if there are
problems w/ the T1 and I'm not around to diagnose the box from my end?
I guess this is where something like overall Total Cost of Ownership
(TCO) really comes into play. I like the functionality that open source
platforms offer, and the price/performance ratio can't be beat, but my
main interest was in regards to all the hype around the PIX, and was
there really anything that set it apart from other firewall solutions
when it came to right down to the hardware. Again, thanks for all the
feedback, and it's good to be back on this list.

Art Mason
Network Consultant
Maverick Datacom
Voice:  (830) 773-8998
E-mail: a.c.mason@sbcglobal.net