Unless you talk to your IT people frequently, you may not be aware of the equipment that keeps your network up and running. One of the most important pieces of network hardware is the firewall. Through the years I’ve noticed that quite a few DSM customers use the Cisco PIX 501 firewall. They’re small and work well, but they’re reaching their end of life.
Cisco has stopped selling them years ago, and if you didn’t have an existing service contract for the PIX as of July 28, 2009, then you can no longer purchase coverage for support, maintenance, or replacement. The PIX has been around for a while and it might be time to consider an upgrade to a Cisco ASA.
While I would love to go on about the “neat stuff this” and “cool stuff that”, the ASA’s performance and reliability over the the PIX can be summed up by saying…it has faster performance and better reliability. What does this mean to your average user? Well…not much, really. But to the facility administrator, switching to an ASA means up-to-date Cisco support, greater reliability and security for vendors connecting to your network, faster throughput, and enhanced technology such as the ability to use SSL VPNs for remote access to your network.
Generally speaking, it’s better to modify your network before it crashes. A proactive move to an ASA is a good way to ensure that your hospital or clinic has access to important Web sites, vendors, and our rabidly dedicated support staff here at DSM!
Call me or email me with any questions you might have about switching from the PIX firewall to the ASA