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The Firewall Services Module (FWSM) is an integrated security module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches and 7600 Series routers that provides stateful Layer 7 filtering capabilities.
The Self-Defending Network is Cisco Systems' long-term strategy to allow organizations to identify, prevent, and adapt to threats using security that is integrated into all aspects of their connected business processes-incorporating secure connectivity, threat defense, and trust and identity technologies. The FWSM is a critical element of the Cisco Threat Defense System - its unique integration of robust security services with network intelligence offers scalable, resilient protection from threats.
Investment protection is the primary metric by which all next-generation switches are judged. No longer are CEOs and CIOs seeking to perform wholesale equipment replacements for performance upgrades within their networks. Equipment vendors will be required to perform upgrades to equipment by simply changing switch fabrics and adding additional higher-performance line modules. The FWSM helps to preserve a company's existing investment in Cisco Catalyst switches by adding to the existing devices, rather than rebuilding the entire network for security purposes.
Network virtualization blends the economics and efficiencies of shared systems with the integrity, performance, and security of independent systems. The virtualized FWSM delivers multiple firewalls on one physical hardware platform. Network administrators can configure, deploy, and manage these firewalls as if they were separate devices. They can also partition and manage resources independently, and allocate different quantities to specific applications. Network virtualization technology allows corporations to not only increase network resource usage and exert more control over resources and their allocation, but also to gain flexibility and speed in scaling the resources. Using virtualization to reduce the number of physical devices in a network significantly reduces the cost and complexity of managing a network infrastructure.