Azure Firewall vs NSX Firewall

November 01, 2022


Firewall is a critical security component that protects the network from unauthorized access and potential cyber threats. With the increasing popularity of cloud computing, firewall deployment in cloud infrastructure has become essential. Among several cloud service providers, Microsoft Azure and VMware NSX are two popular options. In this blog, we will compare Azure Firewall and NSX Firewall on various parameters to help you make a better decision for your organization's cloud-based security.


Azure Firewall

Azure Firewall is a cloud-native and stateful firewall that offers layer 3/4 and 7 network security services for Azure Virtual Network. It allows users to create and enforce connectivity policies between multiple subnets and provides the following features:

  • Application FQDN filtering
  • Network traffic filtering
  • High availability
  • Forced tunneling
  • IP Groups

NSX Firewall

NSX Firewall is VMware's cloud-scale micro-segmentation firewall that operates at the workload level. It offers a distributed and stateful firewall that provides layer 3 and layer 7 services. It is designed to secure applications running in virtualized environments such as VMware vSphere and provides the following features:

  • Application-level network service insertion
  • Distributed firewall
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • SSL inspection
  • IPv4 and IPv6 support

Azure Firewall and NSX Firewall offer a robust set of security features. Both firewalls are capable of filtering network traffic and enforcing security policies. However, NSX Firewall provides more advanced features than Azure Firewall, such as intrusion detection and prevention and SSL inspection.


Azure Firewall

According to Microsoft, Azure Firewall can process up to 30 Gbps of network traffic per firewall instance. It can scale up to 99 firewall instances in a single virtual network to provide high availability and increase throughput.

NSX Firewall

VMware claims that NSX Firewall can support up to 20 Gbps of throughput per ESXi host. Multiple ESXi hosts can be used to increase capacity and deliver higher throughput.

In terms of performance, Azure Firewall has an edge over NSX Firewall in handling network traffic as it can provide up to 30 Gbps throughput per firewall instance.


Azure Firewall

Azure Firewall pricing is based on the size of the firewall instance and the amount of data processed. The cost ranges from $1.25/hour to $9.68/hour.

NSX Firewall

NSX Firewall pricing is based on per socket per year. The cost of licensing can range from $618/socket per year to $956/socket per year, depending on the features and support required.

In terms of pricing, Azure Firewall appears to be a more cost-effective option for small and medium-sized businesses, whereas NSX Firewall is ideal for large enterprises with complex virtualized environments.


Both Azure Firewall and NSX Firewall are powerful security solutions for securing cloud infrastructure. Your choice of firewall should depend on your organization's specific security and compliance requirements, as well as the features and pricing that fit your budget. Azure Firewall is an excellent option for customers that mainly rely on Microsoft Azure, whereas NSX Firewall is a better choice for customers that have a VMware vSphere virtualized environment. Ultimately, your organization's network security needs will help determine the best firewall solution for your situation.


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