If you follow Cisco networking and their security products, then you are no stranger to the launch of the Firepower and FTD series of firewalls. It offered products that ranged from small branch-office firewalls to larger campus and enterprise firewalls. There was one overwhelming complaint though that a lot of people shared. Funny enough it was around the smallest and lowest power firewall in the new product line…
Cisco ASA 5506-X great piece of hardware, but I'm so frustrated that the 'switchport'/vlan functionality from the 5505 is gone.. why? #fail
— Ben Freitag (@1clickben) July 11, 2015
Waat? @CiscoSecurity ditched the switch ports on the ASA5506? I'm baffled! Who needs a 5506 with 8 routed ports?
— Brennan (@CdnBeacon) May 28, 2015
There were similar opinions coming from a lot of people, myself included. I have multiple branch offices with ~5 employees that worked just fine off of an ASA 5505 in the past because of the included switching capability and power over ethernet (PoE). Now I needed a dedicated switch (with PoE for my access points) to go with my new 5506-X firewall.
Essentially, what Cisco did now with their latest series of firewalls, shown this week at Cisco Live, was give the people what they asked for. The feedback was taken very seriously and the switchport functionality that people were looking for is coming back.
Introducing the Firepower 1000 Series NGFW Line
This week at Cisco Live, I was fortunate enough to be able to see the new Firepower 1000 Series NGFW line of devices. They are very similar to the Firepower devices that we all know and use today, but they are going to be replacements for some of the models we are currently used to. The latest FTD code for these devices is FTD 6.3 and 6.4. This is not even capable of working on the 5506-X platform. With this new series of firewalls, Cisco will look to upgrades users of the 5506-X, 5508-X, and 5515-X firewalls. These newer firewalls will have the horsepower, throughput, and other capabilities to run the latest and greatest code that is being released.
Taking a step back to the original point around the switchports and the PoE, I was informed that this capability is slated to make a return for the FTD 6.5 code to be released later this year, giving users the change to run a whole small branch location for instance, off of just a firewall. A huge selling point for these new devices.
I was able to snap some pictures of the new devices that were on display and here’s what form factors they will appear in:
Under the Hood
As I mentioned, these firewalls in the Firepower 1000 Series will have more throughput capabilities, CPU, and Memory than those that they are replacing. Here are the initial specs a lot of people are concerned with:
For even more information, visit the documentation page for these new devices and see the datasheets for yourself: