What is the name that everyone thinks of when they think of firewalls? The “PIX” firewall, right?
Sadly, the PIX will be discontinued by Cisco, as of January 27, 2009. This was announced on January 28, 2008 in this Cisco Press Release. If you are a PIX owner, the good news is that Cisco will support it until the year 2013 so, no rush huh?
Of course, we all know that the PIX will be replaced by the ASA 5500 line. When the ASA was announced we all saw this coming, even though Cisco said that they had no plans to discontinue the PIX and that there was a place in the marketplace for both. Still, it just made sense to discontinue the PIX.
But seriously, the ASA is a very strong firewall and it can do a lot of things that the PIX could not do because the ASA is a real “UTM” or “Anti-X Appliance”. That means that, when combined with the CSC-SSM card (the card that really provides the Anti-X / UTM), the ASA is a much more complete firewall. The ASA is what businesses need today because, today, it isn’t enough to just maintain TCP states and drop traffic. You need intrusion prevention. You need filtering of traffic for viruses, worms, and malicious attack signatures in the real time. You want content filtering of web traffic. The ASA can do all that and more.
Do you have a Cisco ASA? What do you think of it? I’d like to hear from you!
For more information on the Cisco ASA, checkout the ASA homepage over at Cisco.com