Need advice regarding performance of a Netscreen firewall

Posted on 2014-07-23
Last Modified: 2014-07-24
Hello Experts,

I have some questions I am primarily looking for advice on.  We recently set up another remote office as part of our company network, and d/t the high costs of bringing fiber infrastructure to the site, we opted for a wireless WAN internet connection, at least for now.  The provider has related that they are able to provide a connection up to 50 x 50 Mbps, and we have contracted with them for a 30 x 30.
After the install, I tested the speed at their POE block with my laptop and found the speed to be fairly close to the 30 x 30.  I have a Netscreen SSG5 (256 MB) firewall in place at that office, and on the LAN side of the firewall I am seeing speed closer to 20 x 20 at best.  In talking with one of the engineers for the provider about this, he is telling me that this is completely d/t our firewall, and that Netscreen firewalls are "sub-standard" in his opinion (and words).  He is recommending that we instead install a Mikrotik router \ firewall device, provided by his company.  He has gone on to say "I am not sure what they do in their Ethernet port programming, but whatever it is, they have it messed up across their whole product line from the low end stuff to their high end switches" when referring to Netscreen devices.  I don't have extensive experience with multiple firewall products or enterprise routing and switching equipment, but I have worked with Netscreen firewalls for a number of years now and and typically understand them to be capable, if not robust.  This is the first time I have run into this issue.  Again, I agree that the speed on the LAN side of the firewall is slower, but I am trying to find out if his claims have any merit, or if it may be d/t the fact that the firewall in place is an older model.  The remote office in question has about 15 users, and the firewall is configured with two site to site vpn tunnels.
Has anyone heard or know of any similar claims regarding Netscreen devices?
Does anyone have any experience with Mikrotik devices, and if so, can substantiate his claims of them performing far superior to the Netscreen firewalls?

I may also have an opportunity to try out a Netscreen SRX firewall as a proof of concept trial, and was thinking about trying it at that site to see if the speeds are any better.  Does anyone have any information or advice regarding the performance of the SRX line vs the SSG line?

Thanks very much,

Question by:rdillion
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

Fred Marshall earned 500 total points
ID: 40215504
I had to replace an SSG5 with an SRX240H2 because of low throughput with the former.
I hasten to add that the issue was email delivery from our ISP through the SSG5.
We are using Antivirus scanning on email, among other traffic, and this was proven to cause the blockages.
Without it turned on, we were fine.  With it turned on some things plainly did not work.
My hypothesis is that the SSG5 has been overwhelmed by ever-evolving 3rd party antivirus implementations.
The SRX240 seems to be doing fine....

Author Comment

ID: 40217204
Thanks very much for the info fmarshall, I appreciate you taking the time.  As this question is not generating any further response, I'll award the points.  I am curious if you've ever heard of Mikrotik, and if so, have any opinions on their devices?

Thanks again,

LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40217760
Yes, I've heard of Mikrotik but have never used the equipment.  I tend to associate their devices with wireless relays, etc. but that may only be because that's where I've seen it used.

Author Comment

ID: 40217778
ok, thanks again

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