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Review: Cisco ASA 5500

Today we review the Cisco ASA 5500 series firewall/vpn/ips/security device.  For those who don’t remember the Cisco ASA series is the replacement for the PIX as well as the VPN concentrator.  Along with the new line of ISR routers, Cisco is moving swiftly on all fronts to devices that can serve in multiple areas within the network.  The Cisco ASA is no exception.

The Cisco ASA 5500 family is the industry’s only product line that can provide both full IPsec and clientless, portal-based and client-based SSL VPN remote access capabilities. When combined with the core functionality of the Cisco ASA 5580 Series high-performance firewalling, the platform provides a single security appliance that protects a distributed enterprise’s central datacenter sites as well as remote locations and mobile users. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Business Edition is an enterprise-strength comprehensive security solution that combines market-leading firewall, VPN, and optional anti-X capabilities, so you can feel confident your business is protected. This easy-to-use solution lets you control access to network resources to protect business data and maximize network uptime. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series IPS Edition protects an organization’s servers and infrastructure without compromising its ability to use the network as a business tool. With its solid firewall and advanced application security capabilities, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series IPS Edition provides robust and stable policy enforcement.

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series enables standardization on a single platform to reduce overall operational costs for security. A common configuration environment simplifies management and reduces training costs, while the common hardware platform of the series reduces sparing costs. The Cisco ASA 5500 series are supposed to be the upgrade to the cisco pix firewalls. They also introduced the mysdn.com site that provides an essentail security bulletin board system for current threats. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series delivers a powerful combination of multiple market-proven technologies in a single platform, making it operationally and economically feasible to deploy comprehensive security services to more locations. And its multifunction security profile virtually eliminates the difficult—and risky—decision of making trade-offs between robust security protection and the operational costs associated with multiple devices in numerous locations.

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series delivers a wide range of network containment and control services to give businesses precise control over application access and network traffic flows. As a secure foundation, Cisco ASA 5500 Series appliances provide rich stateful inspection firewall services, tracking the state of all network communications and preventing unauthorized network access. The Cisco ASA 5500 series brings a new, advanced level of integrated security performance and speed to the Website Source network. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series delivers a powerful combination of multiple market-proven technologies in a single platform, making it operationally and economically feasible for organizations to deploy comprehensive security services to more locations. The comprehensive portfolio of services within the Cisco ASA 5500 Series enables customization for location-specific needs through tailored product editions for small to medium-sized businesses and for enterprises.

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series VPN Edition offers flexible VPN technologies for any connectivity scenario with scalability up to 5000 concurrent users. Providing easy-to-manage full-tunnel network access through both SSL VPN and IPSec VPN client technologies, advanced clientless SSL VPN capabilities, and network-aware site-to-site VPN connectivity, the VPN Edition enables businesses to create secure connections across public networks to mobile users, remote sites, contractors, and business partners.

With one product able to perform so well doing so many different security tasks, the Cisco ASA 5500 series is highly recommended. Folks who know the PIX will easily be able to configure the device and have a very powerful solution to any security upgrade.  For VPN solutions the ASA can do both SSL VPN as well as IPSec making it stand out above other SSL VPN solutions that can not do IPSec.  And finally, Cisco has kept the price competative with other vendors to ensure they stay in the enterprise.

Review: Cisco ASA 5500
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About Joe

Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of RouterFreak.com as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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