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How to size a firewall

Posted on 2010-09-05
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I am new to firewall appliance.  What is the important factor when purchase a firewall appliance?  What do I based on to size the appropriate firewall for my network?
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Question by:tommym121
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by:alienXeno
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First and foremost, consider the functionality of the firewall.
Ask yourself: do you need to emphasize network throughput or enhanced security features?

One major point of differentiation between firewalls is their ability to perform application-layer inspection. Many firewalls simply don't have application-layer inspection, while others implement basic functionality (such as URL filtering).

Finally, consider the vendor itself. When investing in a firewall product, you're making a long-term decision. The financial commitment is only the tip of the iceberg; your firewall administrators will invest significant time and energy building and customizing a rule base for that particular product. In general, rule bases are not portable between platforms, so any future platform change will require a substantial commitment of human resources.
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by:lrmoore
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The questions that I ask customers to help size a firewall (Cisco, specifically) include:
 number of end users and are they typical heavy, medium or light Internet users
 number and types of publicly accessible servers (i.e. www, email, ftp, etc), and traffic expected to hit those servers, i.e. how many total emails do they receive a day, and how much data they contain (lots of attachments, few attachments, etc)
 number and types of VPN access required - site-site, remote access, IPSEC, SSL, etc
 Do they need a DMZ?
 How much detail do they need/expect in the way of logs, reports, etc.
 Do they already have any type of internet content filter now? Do they plan on putting one in place?
 What kind of bandwidth are they getting from the ISP? Do they  need to reserve any of this bandwidth for public servers?
 And of course, the bottom line - what is their budget.

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