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The PIX licensing schema enables simplified provisioning and reduces operational costs by allowing a single PIX software image to be compatible across all supported Cisco PIX Firewall platforms. The licensing, or activation, key defines the mode of operation and specific features or set of services allowed to operate on a specific platform. Users requiring additional capabilities or functionality available within that software version need only change the licensing key, thus avoiding costly software upgrades.
Cisco PIX Firewall licenses are available in Unrestricted, Restricted, and Fail-Over configurations. These basic licenses can be augmented with VPN DES or 3DES cryptographic services.
Unrestricted: PIX Firewall platforms in an Unrestricted (UR) license mode allow installation and use of the maximum number of interfaces and RAM supported by the platform. The Unrestricted license supports a redundant `hot standby' system for Fail-over operation to minimize network downtime.
Restricted: PIX Firewall platforms in a Restricted (R) license mode limit the number of interfaces supported and the amount of RAM available within the system. A restricted license provides a cost-optimized firewall solution for simplified network connectivity requirements, or where lower than the maximum number of user connections are acceptable. A Restricted licensed firewall does not support a redundant system for fail-over configurations.
Fail-Over: Fail-Over (FO) software licenses place the Cisco PIX Firewall in a `hot-standby' mode for use along side another PIX Firewall with an Unrestricted license. Fail-Over software licensing provides stateful fail-over capabilities thus enabling high availability network architectures. The fail-over PIX firewall acts as a fully redundant system maintaining state with all active sessions on the primary PIX Firewall, thereby minimizing connection disruptions due to equipment or network failures.