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Question on replacing SA520W with ISA550W

I am currently using SA520W for site-to-site VPN, and I am planning to replace SA520W with ISA550W as per CISCO's suggestion.  I would like to know how easy it is to replace SA520W witn ISA550W.  Can I simply import configuration file of SA520W into ISA550W?                  

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Question on replacing SA520W with ISA550W

Don't do it, they are ending this line this month!

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Re: Question on replacing SA520W with ISA550W


Don't do it. Cisco Small/Medium Business (SMB) killed the SA5XX series early, with IPS contracts completely abandoned. Then Cisco SMB End of Life(d) (EOL) the ISA's after about a year. Even protectlink has been killed. I 'upgraded' one of our SA520s to an ISA 570 only to learn within a month or two Cisco had EOL'd the ISA's now as well.

There was a lot of talk about the roadmap for the SA series once Cisco SMB took control which ended when the ISA5XX series was anounced. Cisco SMB started talking about a road map for the ISA series too and I find it hard to believe Cisco SMB will invest a lot of resources into the firmware development of a device which had one year of industry adoption.  Now we have been given a very poor value proposition twice. I have been happy with the enterprise equipment Cisco offers even at the Cisco premium, but the Cisco SMB products have not been a good investment.

On a side note, Cisco has also EOL'd all of the VOIP/PBX products for SMB as well except for their hosted services.

Ironically, Linksys, which Cisco bought and turned into the Cisco SMB product line was sold to Belkin (?) who is now relaunching the Linksys brand in the SMB market.  I imagine SMB was just really hard for Cisco to accomadate. I know it was hard to be a CIsco customer in the SMB market. . .

Re: Question on replacing SA520W with ISA550W

I know it comes at a higher price point, but you might consider looking at the cloud driven Meraki MX firewalls. I'm just in the R&D phase of their products, but considering Cisco's acquisition price I would expect the to abandon that product in the foreseeable future.

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Shawn Eftink CCNA/CCDA Please rate all helpful posts and mark correct answers to assist others searching for solutions in the community.
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Re: Question on replacing SA520W with ISA550W


First, thank you for all of the help and guidance you provide cisco customers on these forums.  You are always generous with your time in helping people through their issues and providing insightful advice.

I don't think Cisco will abandon Meraki in the foreseeable future either, but the security concerns regarding Meraki's cloud based platform seem pretty significant.

Do you think they just keep the one or two Cisco SMB products on minimal lifesupport while they focus on pushing midsized businesses to Meraki and simply cede all of the small businesses to other companies?

Cisco paid 500 Million in stock for Linksys in 2003 to target consumers and smb.

Cisco paid 1 Billion for Meraki in 2012.

Cisco sold Linksys in 2013 and left the consumer and small business market.

Given Cisco's track record with anything less than enterprise size customers I imagine we might add this to their history within a decade:

Cisco sells Meraki in 201X and leaves medium business market.

Re: Question on replacing SA520W with ISA550W

Thank you for the kind words.  Obviously these are my opinions based on a number of factors, but here is what I think.

Cisco has gone back and forth on the SMB market, as you mentioned.  That said, they do continue to proceed forward with the R&S side of the Small Business with no current plans to move away from it.  When you look at their Security and VoIP (and OnPlus) SMB solutions that they have EoL'd, all of them were newer products with version 1.x, 2.x, firmware versions.  Whereas when you look at their R&S products, they've been around for much longer with ongoing roadmap and plans going through Calendar year 2014.  So I don't see them actually leaving the Small Business market as much as I expect they will continue to focus on the core R&S products realizing that more and more solutions/services in the arena will continue to move to the cloud leaving less and less on-prem solutions.

Regarding Meraki/Linksys, as you stated, Linksys was definitely the S in SMB and Meraki is more Mid-Market.  Cisco has had a solid presence in the Mid-Market for some time now and continues to grow their market share of that sector with their baseline R&S products, BE6000, ASA firewalls, etc.  Based on that I don't expect them to even consider leaving the Mid-Market.

I think you have to look at Meraki as approaching the infrastructure from a different angle.  With the current Cisco portfolio, centralized management is a challenge and costly, especially when spread across multiple client sites.  Cisco has never had a real RMM type solution for the portfolio as everything was more focused to on-prem centralized management.  A number of competing manufacturers have been building cloud driven centralized management solutions to attract more solution providers, like us.  As well new competition has entered the market built strictly on the cloud management business model, like Meraki.  So from Cisco's standpoint, they have to decide whether to build there own solution or make an acquisition.  I believe they have made some stabs on building their own solution with both the OnPlus and Smart Care teams, which I tried to get talking to each other a number of times as they weren't even aware of each other despite many similarities.  I believe the ultimate decision they made was to continue improving their Smart Care solution to be more of a RMM tool for their current product set and acquired Meraki to be able to deliver a cloud managed solution to the clients/solution providers looking for those kinds of solutions.  Ultimately, if executed effectively, I believe it will allow both product sets to dramatically improve their features and functionality through collaboration.  Again, if executed effectively.  At the end of the day, you will probably see both product sets continue forward for the foreseeable future just targeted to different clients.

You also mentioned security concerns with the cloud driven model.  To that I will say this.  I'm a firm believer in centralized security, as many of us are.  When you look at the cloud driven model, as long as you can trust the provider (i.e. Cisco) with security, which many of us do, then ultimately you can rest assured they will throw everything but the kitchen sink to ensure those backend systems are secure.  Obviously their liability is increased considerably.  What's attractive about these types of solutions to me is the ongoing progression of improved made to the R&S, Security, Wireless, etc.  How many times have you deployed a ton of a particular solution and as you deploy more and more you tweak your configurations differently based on experience.  With the current solutions you couldn't possibly cost justify going back to all the previous installs and make those tweaks, at no charge.  With a cloud driven solution, you can now create templates and apply those templates across all your clients.  So as you tweak your configurations (templates), new features are added and utilized, etc. you can now go back to those previous installs, apply the changes, and maintain a consistent base configuration across all your installs.

It's a different approach and definitely as its pros and cons.  As I mentioned, I'm in the R&D phase now and so far it's looking like an attractive proposition.  My opinions...take them for what they're worth.

Shawn Eftink

Please rate all helpful posts and mark correct answers to assist others searching for solutions in the community.

Shawn Eftink CCNA/CCDA Please rate all helpful posts and mark correct answers to assist others searching for solutions in the community.
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