What is SDM (security device manager)???

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Feb 22nd, 2011
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Any one help me out by sharing your knowledge on below questions.

1.What is SDM and what is its functions.

2.Is this used in swithces.

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Overall Rating: 1.5 (4 ratings)
sathyasav Wed, 03/16/2011 - 17:36
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Jennifer thanks for your reply.

my question is without SDM also we have default IOS based http web interface on router throgh which we can access GUI os the router.but what is the differce between this SDM GUI and defaqult IOS based web based GUI.IS there any security advantage is there in SDM.


Jennifer Halim Sat, 03/19/2011 - 04:40
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The default IOS based HTTP web GUI is also SDM (but it's only SDM express, ie: provides basic configuration).

Router is preloaded with SDM express and it allows basic LAN, WAN, firewall and NAT configuration.

With the full blown SDM that you can install on your PC, it provides the full feature of the router, ie: to configure LAN and WAN interfaces, routing,  Network Admission Control (NAC), Network Address Translation (NAT),  firewalls, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Virtual Private Networks  (VPNs), and other features on the router.

Hope that answers your question.

sathyasav Mon, 03/21/2011 - 17:48
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so you mean that the IOS

based web interface of cisco router

has SDM express by default in IOS itself.is that rite.

I have a router 2800 series.And i am able to access that through GUI but when i check in flash or bootflash, i am not able to find the SDM file in that.i am able to find only the IOS file.so my question is if we are able to GUI to the router then it should have SDM in it rite.why it is missing in my case(router).eventhough the SDM is missing in the router how am i GUI to the device.is it because of the default IOS based GUI or because of SDM Experss inbuilt in to IOS.

Note:i dont have any SDM installed in my PC from which i tried GUI to the router.

Please clear my doubt with ur appropriate answer.

sathyasav Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:09
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hi jeni,

In my router i dont have any file name which is listed on the link which you provided on above post.But i have only one IOS image in my flash but still the GUI is working but only limited options are there and also the GUI is not colourfull like SDM GUI.

The below Image is what we have in my flash:


Please reply to my query ASAP.

Vamsi Pinnaka Sat, 03/26/2011 - 11:01
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Cisco SDM is factory installed/embedded in flash. Like ASDM for ASA and IDM for IPS, Service routers like 2800 series routers comes with integrated SDM.


Vamsi Pinnaka

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

rkotabag Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:20
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Hi Satya,

The Cisco Router has the SDM Express configured and programmed by default.

The flash on your router need not have the required SDM files in order to gain basic GUI access through your web-browser.

By installing the SDM software you could configure and control Network Admission Control (NAC), Network Address  Translation (NAT), firewalls, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Virtual  Private Networks (VPNs), and other features on the router.

Cisco SDM 2.1 and later versions can be installed  on a PC, or in router flash, disk, or slot memory.

Cisco SDM Express allows you to give a router a  basic LAN, WAN, firewall and NAT configuration. It is installed in  router memory.

Here are certain links you might find useful:


Download and Installation Instruction Link:


Please feel free to get back to me if you have any further queries.

sathyasav Wed, 03/30/2011 - 12:34
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Hello rohit,

thanks for tour response.so as per my understanding all the routers come up with basic wed based GUI(i.e SDM express which gives us basic GUI access and configuration) and this SDM express is integrated with the IOS itself which cannot be seen as a separate file like sdm.html or something line that.And if we want we can install SDM as a separate file into router which will give us a more GUI configuration options.

Please clarify this and more over tell me what about the switch GUI.Is that also integrated with the SDM express in its IOS for the GUI access.

rkotabag Thu, 03/31/2011 - 05:28
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Hi Satya,

Your understanding of the Cisco SDM client is correct.  You would be able to access the router's GUI using your browser without even installing the SDM Software as the SDM Express comes pre-bundled/pre-programmed with the router.

Also concerning GUI access to switches, I would suggest using Cisco Network Assistant.

You can manage these devices with Cisco Network Assistant

Catalyst 3750-X switches (WS-C3750X-24T-L, WS-C3750X-48T-L, WS-C3750X-24P-L, WS-C3750X-48P-L, WS-C3750X-48PF-L, WS-C3750X-24T-S, WS-C3750X-48T-S, WS-C3750X-24P-S, WS-C3750X-48P-S, and WS-C3750X-48PF-S)

Catalyst 3560-X switches (WS-C3560X-24T-L, WS-C3560X-48T-L, WS-C3560X-24P-L, WS-C3560X-48P-L, WS-C3560X-48PF-L, WS-C3560X-24T-S, WS-C3560X-48T-S, WS-C3560X-24P-S,WS-C3560X-48P-S, and WS-C3560X-48PF-S)

Catalyst 2960-S switches (WS-C2960S-48FPD-L, WS-C2960S-48LPD-L, WS-C2960S-24PD-L, WS-C2960S-48TD-L, WS-C2960S-24TD-L, WS-C2960S-48FPS-L, WS-C2960S-48LPS-L, WS-C2960S-24PS-L, WS-C2960S-48TS-L, WS-C2960S-24TS-L, WS-C2960S-48TS-S, and WS-C2960S-24TS-S)

Catalyst 2928 switches (WS-C2928-24LT-C, WS-C2928-24TC-C, and WS-C2928-48TC-C)

Catalyst 4900M modules (WS-X4908-10G-RJ45)

Catalyst 4900 switches (WS-C4948E and WS-C4948E-F)

Catalyst 4500 switching modules (WS-X45-SUP7-E, WS-X4748-RJ45V+E, WS-X4712-SFP+E, and WS-X4612-SFP-E)

Catalyst 4500 chassis (WS-C4510R+E and WS-C4507R+E)

and much more..........

Here is a link to download the Cisco Network Assistance Software (You need to be registered to Cisco.com with a valid CCO ID to download the software)


Here is a link to an exhaustive stepwise guide to help you install and configure CNA on your switch.



Rohit Kotabagi

sathyasav Thu, 03/31/2011 - 12:26
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Thanks rohit for your prompt response.

So SDM if for router GUI and CNA is for switch GUI.am i rite.

My another question is like SDM express in routers,is tehre any thing integrated with switch IOS for basic (GUI)web based access for the switch and what is its name.


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