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Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC)

Cisco ASA Quick Start Guide for APIC Integration

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Table of Contents

Cisco ASA Integration with the APIC

About the ASA Integration with the APIC

Service Function Insertion

Supported ASA Models and Features

Deploy the ASA

Configure Management Access to the ASA

Install the ASA Device Package

Configure the ASA within the APIC

Quick Start Guide

About the ASA Integration with the APIC

The Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) automates insertion of services (such as an ASA firewall) northbound between applications, also called End Point Groups (EPGs). The APIC uses northbound APIs for configuring the network and services. You use these APIs to create, delete, and modify a configuration using managed objects.

When configuration is controlled through the APIC, you cannot change the configuration through the ASA CLI. This means that the CLIs for any feature that you configure through the APIC are disabled on the ASA. However, you may use the CLI to configure management access to the ASA. Operational and status commands, such as troubleshooting commands and show commands, are also available through the CLI.


NoteWith APIC integration, you can only use ASDM for monitoring purposes. You cannot change the configuration using ASDM. With APIC integration, you can only use ASDM for monitoring purposes. You cannot change the configuration using ASDM.

For information about how to use ASDM for monitoring, see the Cisco ASA Series General Operations ASDM Configuration Guide for the specified feature and release that you are using.

Service Function Insertion

When a service function is inserted in the service graph between applications, traffic from these applications is classified by the APIC and identified using a tag in the overlay network. Service functions use the tag to apply policies to the traffic. For the ASA integration with the APIC, the service function forwards traffic using either routed or transparent firewall operation.

For information about the APIC, see the “Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure” chapter of the ACI Fundamentals guide.

For information about service graphs, see the “Configuring a Service Graph” chapter of the Cisco APIC Layer 4 to Layer 7 Services Deployment Guide.

For information about the insertion of Layer 4 to Layer 7 services, see the “Overview” chapter of the Cisco APIC Layer 4 to Layer 7 Services Deployment Guide .

Supported ASA Models and Features

The following table lists the supported ASA models.

 

ASA Model
Software Version

ASA 5585-X (SSP 10 through SSP 60)

ASA software Version 8.4(x) and later

ASAv

The following table lists the supported features for the ASAv and the ASA 5585-X.

 

Feature
ASAv Support (Yes/No)
ASA 5585-X Support (Yes/No)

Access Control Policies

Yes

Yes

Access Lists and Groups

Yes

Yes

Application Inspection

Yes

Yes

Clustering

No

Yes

Connection Limits

Yes

Yes

DNS Clients

Yes

Yes

EtherChannels

No

Yes

High Availability (Active/Active, Active/Standby)

Active/Standby only

Yes

Interface Configuration

Yes

Yes

IP Audit

Yes

Yes

IPv6

Yes

Yes

Logging

Yes

Yes

NAT/Twice NAT

Yes

Yes

Netflow

Yes

Yes

Network and Service Objects and Groups

Yes

Yes

NTP

Yes

Yes

Protocol Timeouts

Yes

Yes

Shared AnyConnect Premium Licenses

No

Yes

Smart Call Home Enable

Yes

Yes

Static Routing

Yes

Yes

TCP Intercept (Embryonic Connection Limits)

Yes

Yes

Threat Detection

Yes

Yes

Deploy the ASA

  • ASAv—See the Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv) Quick Start Guide for installation procedures, at the following URL:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/security/virtual-adaptive-security-appliance-firewall/products-installation-guides-list.html

  • ASA 5585-X—See the Cisco ASA 5585-X Quick Start Guide for installation procedures, at the following URL:

http://www.cisco.com/go/asa5585x-quick

Configure Management Access to the ASA

You must configure management access to the ASA so that the APIC can manage the ASA.

To configure management access to the ASAv, see Deploy the ASA.

To configure management access to the ASA 5585-X, see the following procedure:


Step 1 Remove any existing configuration:

ciscoasa(config)# clear configure all
 

Step 2 (Optional) Set the firewall mode to transparent firewall mode:

ciscoasa(config)# firewall transparent
 

Step 3 Configure the IP address and subnet mask on the management interface. The ASA needs to be on the same subnet as the APIC:

ciscoasa(config)# interface management {0/0 | 0/1}
ciscoasa(config-subif)# ip address ip_address subnet_mask
 

Step 4 Name the interface “management:”

ciscoasa(config-subif)# nameif management
 

Step 5 Enable the interface:

ciscoasa# no shutdown
 

Step 6 Enable the ASA HTTPS server:

ciscoasa# http server enable
 

Step 7 Enable an APIC to access the ASA. Repeat this step for each APIC in the APIC cluster:

ciscoasa(config)# http apic_address 255.255.255.255 management
 

Step 8 Create the user, “management-user,” which the APIC uses to access the ASA:

ciscoasa(config)# username management-user password password privilege 15
 


 

Install the ASA Device Package

Each service node type must provide a device package, which includes two parts: a device specification and a device script. Service nodes of the same type are bound to a single device package.

The ASA device package enables you to perform the following tasks:

  • Configure an ASA.
  • Register the ASA with the APIC.

Step 1 Review the prerequisites for installing device packages.

See the “Overview” chapter and the “Prerequisites” chapter of the Cisco APIC Layer 4 to Layer 7 Services Deployment Guide .

Step 2 Download the ASA device package, a .zip file that is available from Cisco.com, at the following URL:

http://www.cisco.com/go/asa-software

Step 3 Install the ASA device package.

See the “Importing a Device Package” chapter of the Cisco APIC Layer 4 to Layer 7 Services Deployment Guide .

Step 4 Register the ASA with the APIC.

See the “Fabric Connectivity” chapter of the Cisco APIC Layer 4 to Layer 7 Device Package Development Guide .


 

Configure the ASA within the APIC

Use the northbound API to configure the security policy, specifically for service graphs.

For information about how to use northbound APIs, see the Cisco APIC Management Information Model Reference .

For XML samples of ASA-specific northbound APIs, see the Cisco ASA API Reference for APIC Integration .

For APIC documentation, see http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/cloud-systems-management/application-policy-infrastructure-controller-apic/tsd-products-support-series-home.html .