What is the Cisco ASA?

Cisco ASA - Network Security Device

In efforts to provide an array of valuable information, we have seen several basic questions come up on various types of equipment and products.

With that in mind, we wanted to provide some information to help answer some of these questions. The Cisco ASA is something many users have questions about, so here is a brief summary with a list of resources you can view when and however you like.

The first question is...

What is the Cisco ASA?

A lot of people ask what is ASA? The ASA in Cisco ASA stands for Adaptive Security Appliance.

In brief, Cisco ASA is a security device that combines firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. It provides proactive threat defense that stops attacks before they spread through the network.

An ASA is valuable and flexible in that it can be used as a security solution for both small and large networks.

The Cisco ASA 5500 series is Cisco's follow up of the Cisco PIX 500 series firewall.  However, the ASA is not just a pure hardware firewall. In brief, the Cisco ASA is a  security device that combines firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. It provides proactive threat defense that stops attacks before they spread through the network. Indeed, Cisco ASA firewall is the whole package, so to speak.
 

Beyond being a firewall, the Cisco ASA can do the following and more:

  • antivirus
  • antispam
  • IDS/IPS engine
  • VPN device
  • SSL device
  • content inspection
You can get even more security functionality with add-on modules which offer a variety of features. The Cisco ASA firewall has one of the biggest market shares in the hardware firewall appliance market, together with Juniper Netscreen, Checkpoint, SonicWall, WatchGuard etc.

The ASA 5500 series has the following models:

Cisco ASA Resources

When looking around the internet, there are some common questions people are asking about the Cisco ASA. For example, what is ASA (which we just answered above).
 
Some people are looking for information to help them use their Cisco ASA best.  Sometimes people are just looking for a little training.
 
You can find some helpful links, answers, and Cisco ASA resources by clicking here.

Cisco ASA: End of Life Product Support Concerns

Product Support: Cisco ASAWhen it comes to network hardware, having solid performance and reliabilty throughout a products lifecycle is important.  For those who may use Cisco ASA hardware, there may be concerns about models that may have had end-of-life (EOL) or end-of-support (EOS) announcements.  It begs some questions.
 
  • What if my Cisco ASA is doing its job well?
  • What if I don't want / need to upgrade?
  • What kind of support is available?
 
If your Cisco ASA devices are still doing their job effectively and reliably, you may wonder why you should have to upgrade or purchase some latest and greatest model? What if newer models are more than what you need? Perhaps you don't want to spend the money on an upgrade right now and would rather use your money on something else.  Fortunately, there are reliable options for people in this situation.
 
When OEM support is no longer available or is no longer a viable option, there are affordable third party maintenance (TPM) options available for the Cisco ASA and other network hardware.  In fact, people can get quality support for this kind of hardware while as much as sixty percent off OEM support prices.

 

 

Resources: Cisco ASA
Learn more about how you can effectively support you network hardware at a fraction of the OEM cost using third party maintenance to develop a hybrid support strategy.

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