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Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Firewall Services Module

NOTE: This product is no longer being sold and might not be supported.

View the End-of-Life Notice to learn: 

  • End-of-sale and end-of-life dates
  • What replacement products are available
  • Information about product support

Better Security, Reliability, and Performance

Cisco Firewall Services Module (FWSM)—a high-speed, integrated firewall module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches and Cisco 7600 Series routers—provides the fastest firewall data rates in the industry: 5-Gbps throughput, 100,000 CPS, and 1M concurrent connections. Up to four FWSMs can be installed in a single chassis, providing scalability to 20 Gbps per chassis. Based on Cisco PIX Firewall technology, the Cisco FWSM offers large enterprises and service providers unmatched security, reliability, and performance.

The Cisco FWSM includes a number of advanced features that help reduce costs and operational complexity while enabling organizations to manage multiple firewalls from the same management platform. Features such as resource manager helps organizations limit the resources allocated to any security context at any time thus ensuring that one security context does not interfere with another. The transparent firewall feature configures the FWSM to act as a Layer 2 bridging firewall resulting in minimal changes to network topology.

The Cisco FWSM also offers:

  • An integrated module: Installed inside a Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch or Cisco 7600 Internet Router, the FWSM allows any port on the device to operate as a firewall port and integrates firewall security inside the network infrastructure.
  • Compatibility with future versions: The FWSM can handle up to 5 Gbps of traffic, providing unsurpassed performance to meet future requirements without requiring a system overhaul. Up to three additional FWSMs can be added to the Catalyst 6500 to achieve 10 Gigabit plus scalability.
  • Enhanced reliability: The FWSM is based on Cisco PIX technology and uses the same time-tested Cisco PIX Operating System, a secure, real-time operating system.
  • Lower cost of ownership: The FWSM offers among the best price to performance ratios of any firewall. Since FWSM is based on the Cisco PIX Firewall, the cost of training and management is lower, and because it is integrated in the chassis, there are fewer boxes to manage.
  • Ease of use: The PIX Device Manager's (PDM) intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) can be used to manage and configure the features within the FWSM. The FWSM can now be managed using the Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) V5.2F as well.
  • Efficiency and productivity gains: Virtualized FWSM delivers multiple firewalls on one physical hardware platform. Network administrators can configure, deploy, and manage these functions as if they were separate devices. Using virtualization to reduce the number of physical devices in a network significantly reduces the cost and complexity of managing network infrastructure.

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