ASA-5510 - Security Contexts required?

Unanswered Question
Mar 25th, 2008

I'm looking to deploy an ASA-5510 as our internet firewall. We'll be using a DS3 coming into a Cisco 3845 router and we want to service 4 different, NATed networks. My question is, can the ASA-5510 with a Base license service the needs of all three networks, or do we need to upgrade and enable security contexts? If we don't need them, are there any advantages to having security contexts in this situation? Thanks.

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Jon Marshall Tue, 03/25/2008 - 13:15


You don't really need security contexts if you are simply natting 4 different networks, the 5510 will do this quite easily with a single context. You can still have separation between the networks with DMZ's etc.

However if you need absolute separation between these 4 networks, for example they are 4 separate customers then you may well want to consider using security contexts.


francisco_1 Tue, 03/25/2008 - 14:19

just to add to that.

Common Uses for Security Contexts

You might want to use multiple security contexts in the following situations:

•You are a service provider and want to sell security services to many customers. By enabling multiple security contexts on the security appliance, you can implement a cost-effective, space-saving solution that keeps all customer traffic separate and secure, and also eases configuration.

•You are a large enterprise or a college campus and want to keep departments completely separate.

•You are an enterprise that wants to provide distinct security policies to different departments.

•You have any network that requires more than one security appliance.

Unsupported Features

Multiple context mode does not support the following features:

•Dynamic routing protocols

Security contexts support only static routes. You cannot enable OSPF, RIP, or EIGRP in multiple context mode.


•Multicast routing. Multicast bridging is supported.

•Threat Detection


ssewallatrc Wed, 03/26/2008 - 10:35

Thanks for the reply. Basically, I'll have one of the 4 networks with a more "liberal" security policy and the other 3 can have the same, more restrictive policy. As long as I can keep the 1 liberal network away from the other 3, I'm happy. The ASA-5510 base shouldn't have a problem with this?


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