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Topic # 242921 20-Nov-2018 11:19
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Hi .
Im after some opinions on Firewall as a Service .
If you use that service, how has it worked out for you ? any issues ? cost effective ? latency/lag issues ?

Im not 100% sure how it works, most of the info Ive seen is just sales pitches
Does this service simply route internet traffic through an offsite/cloud firewall then back to the user/Business ?


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  Reply # 2130133 20-Nov-2018 11:40
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We'd need a bit more context. Is this web only, internal firewall, or something else?

 

I use CloudFlare to front my domains. It includes a firewall, and if you pay for it, a WAF. The free plan gives you 5 firewall rules, but I've got dozens on the free plan and it seems to work. CloudFlare plan comparison.

 

Basically I whitelist the CloudFlare IP ranges and my private IP on my server, so only CloudFlare and myself (plus a couple of others like uptime monitoring) can connect to the server. Any requests go via CloudFlare.





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  Reply # 2130135 20-Nov-2018 11:44
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You're obviously talking about a specific product rather than a technology so explaining who's product is will help.

 

The concept of a "firewall in the cloud" is nothing new and been a solution for many years, essentially meaning no onsite hardware.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2130138 20-Nov-2018 11:49
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Depends what you're trying to protect.. and what needs to be let through..

 

I'm not aware of any which route your traffic somewhere else first, usually it will be a local device managed externally.

 

Or if its provided by your ISP it can sit on their side of your connection, wouldn't add lag or latency.

 

Some are DNS based, i.e. more just providing some threat protection/detection than a firewall. DNS queries get redirected but all other traffic goes directly.

 

 


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  Reply # 2130144 20-Nov-2018 11:52
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Does this service simply route internet traffic through an offsite/cloud firewall then back to the user/Business ?

 

A true hosted firewall would terminate the public internet on the firewall itself, and your "internet connection" to site would just be a layer 2 tail back to where the firewall sits. So no "backwards/forwards" routing. Latency shouldn't really be an issue in NZ on UFB/VDSL... maybe on an ADSL down south somewhere and if the firewall was in an Auckland DC, but even then it shouldn't be any "worse" than a standard internet connection.

 

But as above, there are lots of products in this space. What's the application?




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  Reply # 2130176 20-Nov-2018 12:17
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A true hosted firewall would terminate the public internet on the firewall itself, and your "internet connection" to site would just be a layer 2 tail back to where the firewall sits. So no "backwards/forwards" routing. Latency shouldn't really be an issue in NZ on UFB/VDSL... maybe on an ADSL down south somewhere and if the firewall was in an Auckland DC, but even then it shouldn't be any "worse" than a standard internet connection.

 

But as above, there are lots of products in this space. What's the application?

 

 


Product pages for these services are very vague

 

In general 
small to med business
replace obsolete onsite(or nonexistent) firewalls with Hosted or FaaS firewalls
Some ISP's are now offering this . I guess internet traffic is routed through an offsite firewall then onto the clients site ?

 

FaaS mid way down
https://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/understanding-cloud-based-firewalls-1702.html


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  Reply # 2130209 20-Nov-2018 13:07
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Sonicwall offer this, however it's more managed than cloud. You still have hardware onsite, but it's "rented" and managed by your provider. 

 

 


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  Reply # 2130212 20-Nov-2018 13:18
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replace obsolete onsite(or nonexistent) firewalls with Hosted or FaaS firewalls

 

Literally any NAT router is essentially a firewall.

 

So I assuming you want some more UTM type features... in which case for one-off's there heaps of options, Sophos, Fortinet, Sonicwall, etc.

 

But if it was say a retail chain with many sites all over the show, you could have a hosted firewall, layer 2 connections out to all the sites, and then you get away with much much cheaper routers at the retail sites but all the benefits of UTM and being able to centrally manage the WAN.


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  Reply # 2130571 20-Nov-2018 19:14
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1101:

 

In general 
small to med business
replace obsolete onsite(or nonexistent) firewalls with Hosted or FaaS firewalls
Some ISP's are now offering this . I guess internet traffic is routed through an offsite firewall then onto the clients site ?

 

FaaS mid way down
https://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/understanding-cloud-based-firewalls-1702.html

 

 

A lot of hosted or FaaS (offsite) services use multitenanted (one firewall box virtualized up into different vdoms) or straight out virtual firewalls. This generally makes it cheaper for the hosting service to run.

 

This method has a slew of caveats though. More than often it has performance implications - many multitenanted solutions fail to isolate each tenant from CPU or memory overruns - and for VMs you are using generalized x86 systems and miss out on the benefits of hardware acceleration. For example Fortinet, SonicWall, and Palo Alto Networks all make heavy use of hardware acceleration in their physical appliances, Forti use ASICs, and the SonicWall and PAN systems use Cavium processors. Some systems will also use less features in an effort to keep performance high (due to the combination of many tenants and/or being x86 based).

 

The reality is most virtual firewalls are really designed to protect virtual cloud infrastructure (ie not users), or be vdom'd up for a single enterprise environment with multiple internal users.

 

The best way to approach this is to make sure your expectations of what services you will get are 100% clear, and your expectations of performance are equally clear with SLAs and if possible failed performance rebates set. ie if you order a service for a 1Gbps circuit and only get a throughput of 100Mbps you get your money back, no waiting around for your provider to "find the issue".

 

There are some smaller NZ providers who provide more localized services that are quite good - fibre to your premises, physical firewall in a local DC. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these guys, and if anything goes wrong their necks are within reach :)


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  Reply # 2130674 20-Nov-2018 22:28
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vulcannz:

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with these guys, and if anything goes wrong their necks are within reach :)

 

 

I love this. Kiwis in general are pretty good about being approachable (right up to our PM!). We (my company) certainly take some pride in being direct engineer->client. 

 

Hosting a physical firewall (aaS), so you get the hardware benefits, is fairly cost-effective. Rackspace + internet + fibre tail + amortised hardware costs doesn't actually work out too badly.
Single tenant virtual firewalls work pretty well for small companies, but VDOMs etc seem to always have issues... it's just too hard to stop discrete customers from affecting each other





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