CentOS Linux vs. Cisco Meraki MX

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
CentOS Linux
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
CentOS Linux is a Linux distribution is an enterprise OS platform compatible with its source RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Its end of life was announced for December 2021.N/A
Cisco Meraki MX
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
Cisco Meraki MX Firewalls is a combined UTM and Software-Defined WAN solution. Meraki is managed via the cloud, and provides core firewall services, including site-to-site VPN, plus network monitoring.
$595
per appliance
Pricing
CentOS LinuxCisco Meraki MX
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
MX64
$595
per appliance
MX67
$695
per appliance
MX68
$995
per appliance
MX84
$1,995
per appliance
MX100
$4,995
per appliance
MX250
$9,995
per appliance
MX450
$19,995
per appliance
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
CentOS LinuxCisco Meraki MX
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Features
CentOS LinuxCisco Meraki MX
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
CentOS Linux
-
Ratings
Cisco Meraki MX
7.7
85 Ratings
10% below category average
Identification Technologies00 Ratings7.981 Ratings
Visualization Tools00 Ratings8.382 Ratings
Content Inspection00 Ratings7.481 Ratings
Policy-based Controls00 Ratings7.379 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP00 Ratings7.371 Ratings
Firewall Management Console00 Ratings7.783 Ratings
Reporting and Logging00 Ratings7.585 Ratings
VPN00 Ratings7.881 Ratings
High Availability00 Ratings8.581 Ratings
Stateful Inspection00 Ratings7.975 Ratings
Proxy Server00 Ratings7.143 Ratings
Best Alternatives
CentOS LinuxCisco Meraki MX
Small Businesses
Ubuntu
Ubuntu
Score 9.0 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Score 9.2 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Score 9.2 out of 10
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.2 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
CentOS LinuxCisco Meraki MX
Likelihood to Recommend
7.0
(21 ratings)
8.1
(114 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(5 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
9.2
(7 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
8.6
(5 ratings)
8.0
(15 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
7.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
8.8
(81 ratings)
User Testimonials
CentOS LinuxCisco Meraki MX
Likelihood to Recommend
Open Source
In any role where you need raw server power, CentOS Linux is extremely well suited. It is extremely stable, and in my experience, probably the most stable of the Linux distros available. It has a very wide base of support from 3rd party sources for additional functionality that do not come already in the CentOS Linux distribution itself. It is not as appropriate for situations that are customer facing or end user facing. For those, I recommend Ubuntu Linux. But for everything server & compute related, I recommend CentOS Linux.
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Cisco
It works well for monitoring multiple sites and tracking what is happening across the entire organization. It is also well suited for managing a single site. Its strength comes from the integrated interface for managing the Cisco Meraki MX firewall along with switches, WIFi APs, and even endpoints.
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Pros
Open Source
  • First of all, CentOS is one of the most secure and stable OSes straits from the box.
  • High performance on the average hardware.
  • In most of my scenarios—easy and quick deployment.
  • Huge KB community that helps to build and support different services on CentOS.
  • Versions lifecycle.
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Cisco
  • The management is the best. I'm an old-fashioned networking guy, so I'm used to going to the site itself and connecting. For example, a console cable and start and start configuring. Now since the management is so easy on Meraki I can configure everything from the headquarters from where I sit in Israel and then just go to the site and connect and basically, it's plug and play. After I configure everything from my office in Israel, I can just go to the site for a few hours, and connect everything. Just the magic happens.
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Cons
Open Source
  • CentOS is not a great desktop platform. Although some would disagree with that statement, I think that CentOS is better suited to life as a server.
  • Since CentOS is community-supported some software vendors will not officially support it because it isn't Red Hat.
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Cisco
  • The content filtering was changed from being able to set partial lists that the Appliance uses for blocking when using categories to using full lists provided by a 3rd party. It is not a huge deal. We had to change some things, but when Cisco Meraki MX changed to a full list of categories, one of our locations had really slow browsing speeds.
  • You are able to add URLs to block in content filtering, and we are constantly having to add them to all our sites individually, which can take some time. I wish there was a way to add a URL to all sites in a batch. I have read you might be able to do through Meraki API connections, but I haven't looked too far into it.
  • Sometimes, not all things are in the logs for the appliance, and I have to reach out to Cisco Meraki MX. I have implemented a syslog server and that did help a little.
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Likelihood to Renew
Open Source
No answers on this topic
Cisco
As we have it in place now, we will continue to keep it at our remote sites. Future expansion is something we are reviewing, and may well start with some of the larger switches as they seem to offer good performance and management at a reasonable price. Wireless is also something we're investing in and their devices are great for that.
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Usability
Open Source
No answers on this topic
Cisco
The Cisco Meraki MX series is very easy to use. Setting up user VPN access, site to site VPN to tie multiple locations together and managing all your devices. You can even download the latest firmware and install without ever leaving the dashboard. Meraki is the very definition of easy to use
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Support Rating
Open Source
Again, written documentation is excellent, even on the older versions. The support community is the best. It is comprehensive and I would say that it global because it transcends national boundaries. Also, you find all types of people using CentOS to do all sorts of things so you are bound to find someone to talk to if there are problems.
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Cisco
I haven't ever had a bad experience with Meraki support. On the few occasions where I wasn't understanding the UI or needed some clarification about what a setting actually would do, I contacted them and they were very quickly able to provide help. Returns are simple and fast, too. We had to return a defective device one time and they shipped the replacement before we had even un-racked the one that was faulty. Unlike many other vendors, they didn't ask use to a do long list of scripted diagnostics, they just took my word for it that the device was broken and sent out a replacement immediately
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Implementation Rating
Open Source
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Good product and simple to use.
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Alternatives Considered
Open Source
CentOS is based on RHEL, so it really came down to the costs when making the selection between our options. RHEL offered more support and features, but nothing that we specifically needed. CentOS is fully customizable, something Windows Server was also lacking in many ways. The stability and speed was unmatched in comparison to Windows, and we were not utilizing any Windows-specific software to require us to use the Microsoft alternative. My years of experience have also made it a breeze to set up and configure new CentOS instances, leading me to stay where I'm comfortable.
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Cisco
Overall, for a new network admin or a non-IT person, the Cisco Meraki MX is much easier to configure for a single site than the Cisco ASA Firewalls. ASA can be quicker for those with a background in Cisco command line OS.
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Scalability
Open Source
No answers on this topic
Cisco
The Cisco Meraki MX is basically a good product, but not perfect. If you compare the Cisco Meraki MX with a Fortigate or Cisco Firepower, you quickly realize that this system can do less than the reference product. The Cisco Meraki MX can be used in small environments, but in large environments you have to check carefully whether it really makes sense to use it.
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Return on Investment
Open Source
  • CentOS's support of RPM packages makes it very easy to replicate RHEL servers for development or testing in cheap / free environments
  • CentOS's minimalistic desktop environment requires additional tweaking / packages if you want to have a usable desktop environment with the niceties of other modern distributions. As a result, if developers want to use CentOS, they'll need to spend more time customizing it than other distros.
  • CentOS's easy customization from the command line lends itself well to our virtualization infrastructure where setup can be easily scripted to modify CentOS's configuration files.
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Cisco
  • So we feel that in general, as far as my company goes, the return on investment for these things is very great. There's always the new cycle of customers needing renewals on their subscriptions. Once we get these into customer sites, we usually see that they're very happy with the product and want to continue with it throughout its lifecycle. So when something reaches end of life, it's very easy for us to go in with the next model that's recommended from Cisco Meraki. And it definitely makes sense.
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ScreenShots