You practically answered this question yourself. SDM, in my opinion, is used to fill the "Cisco has no GUI" for devices void. SDM, for the most part, simply graphically displays CLI options. The biggest attractions (and differences) found between the CLI and SDM GUI are wizards-based configurations and IPS deployment.
The wizard feature is nice for first time users. I know that I have tried the VPN wizard, and the connection was configured just as I would through the IOS CLI. The other major use of SDM is for IPS management. All IOS IPS configuration must happen through SDM. In a small office deployment, this is not an issue. In larger corporations and enterprises, a more centralized tool known as IPS Mangement Center (from Cisco) is used to centrally develop IPS policies and push these IOS IPS enabled devices (along with other Cisco IPS/IDS sensors).
In summary... SDM is great for the first-time user and user with a small user base that would like to enable the benefits of IOS IPS. If you're a CLI veteran, I doubt SDM will make you change. For newbies it's a great way to configure devices graphically and see the actual CLI commands delivered to the device.
Hi everyone, I would like to thank you in advance for any help you can provide a newcomer like myself!
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