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Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv) - Standard Package

Starting from $0.69/hr or from $4,125.00/yr (32% savings) for software + AWS usage fees

As you transform more workloads and functions into virtualized assets, you need the same protections that are available for your physical assets. Cisco has developed a virtual security solution based on the best-selling Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). The Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance... See more

Customer Reviews

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Performance-wise, it is top-notch. However, it is a bit tough to navigate and see what is going on.

  • By Vikram A.
  • on 01/16/2019

For the AWS version, Cisco is our primary use. We have our own appliances and products, which are indicated as Cisco ASA. So, we test these product against Cisco ASA using different types of rules for new cases. During the test process, we make sure the integration works.
We have been using the solution for two years.
How has it helped my organization?
Right now, it serves a purpose and has everything that we need. Performance-wise, it is top-notch.
What is most valuable?
It is a comprehensive suite and complete package. We have the following with the product:
* Interest point detection
* Firewall stuff
* VPN
* It's configurable.
* It guards with its own threat intelligence.
We find that virtual instances are helpful because they are easy to use on AWS Marketplace, as they are On Demand. We have a lot of traffic on AWS. Therefore, to monitor the traffic rather than using on-premise, we use virtual instances of Cisco ASA. This is pretty easy to use and we receive value off of it.
What needs improvement?
Cisco ASA should be easier to use. It is a bit tough to navigate and see what is going on. While I like the UI and dashboards of Cisco ASA, if you compare them to Palo Alto or Fortinet, they have much richer UIs. An analyst (or anyone) can see them, and say, "I have got all these important pointers on my dashboard." However, with Cisco ASA, we need to dig into many things and go to many views to see what is actually there.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is stable. We put a good amount of stress on it.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Especially for the AWS version, we can spin up multiple instances and do load-balancing.
We have 15 to 20 Cisco ASA switches with a couple of physical appliances and twelve machines. Our team is using four to five machines.
How is customer service and technical support?
It is all self-guided, and we were already using the physical appliances. Therefore, we knew how to use the product.
What was our ROI?
Our individual release cycle has been quicker because the entire development and testing environment has been automated because of these virtual instances. It has aligned our development workflow. This is where we have seen the ROI increase.
For example, if you are working with a physical appliance, then you need to have a dedicated lab administrator to work with it, even to test a simple use case. This takes time because we would need to frequently reset that appliance and load all the data. It is no longer like that.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Purchasing from the AWS Marketplace was easy. It was just point and click.
It is pay-as-you-go, so it much cheaper than buying in the plants.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We also checked Fortinet and Palo Alto, their AWS versions.
When compared products, Cisco ASA is easy on AWS. We received a trial version. It is easy to setup and evaluate.
We also already had Cisco products. This provided a tighter integration with what we already had. Since most of our traffic stays in AWS, it made sense to use AWS Cisco ASAv.
What other advice do I have?
Once you deploy a virtual database or virtual machine for any product, like Cisco. The first thing to do with your data is test it. So, you need to be prepared with the test that you want to test before you deploy the instances. Because after deploying instances, you wait and see what the data come back with, how to configure it, and review what doesn't work. Therefore, you need to do some background homework before starting, such as what type of data you need to put into it, how to test it, and will the system process it.
We have used both the on-premise and AWS version. We started using AWS in the past six to seven months. Prior to that, we used the on-premise version. The AWS version is better as it is quick to spin up and configure. Also, with AWS, everything is preset, and it is more flexible.


Keeps costs low and provides granular control using appliances familiar to the team

  • By Aimee W.
  • on 01/15/2019

Whatever you have that’s potentially public-facing, you need to protect it. As our technology moves to the cloud, so our need for security transfers from physical appliances to virtual ones. This is the classic Cisco ASA device, virtualised.
How has it helped my organization?
Ease of spinning one up: The hourly charge has made demos and testing better because it’s a truer representation of a real-life situation.
It has allowed us to reduce costs and to make sure we provide rounded, secure products to customers.
What is most valuable?
Top features:
* Easy to deploy for staff to use VPNs
* Ease of setup
* Integrated threat defence
* Great flow-based inspection device
* Easy ACLs
* Failover support
* Each virtual appliance is separate so you get great granular control
* Has own memory allocation
* Multiple types of devices: 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps
* License control
* SSH or RESTful API
What needs improvement?
We didn’t find any huge issues. Obviously, there are always vulnerabilities that come up and there was one in early 2018 but this was patched with software updates.
Admin rights need to be given out carefully as they give overarching control to all devices - but that’s the same for everything.
How was the initial setup?
We went with this solution via the AWS Marketplace because it’s been made so easy to use an ASAv on AWS with simple drop downs to set it up. Our demo machines were also in AWS so we wanted a one-stop shop where we could spin them up or down as needed and configure the ASAv before it was launched.
What other advice do I have?
Almost all IT staff have used, or can easily learn how to use, the Cisco ASA appliance because it’s been around for years and is so popular (with good reason). For us, we stuck with what we know. It was an easy sell to get it signed off by higher-ups as they’d also heard of the ASA device from their time in IT.


It provides the transparency of a single UI to ensure security

  • By Munish G.
  • on 12/13/2018

Our primary use case is security.
How has it helped my organization?
From a security perspective, we are getting assurance with the respect to the the infrastructure which is getting built or the threats which are emanating from the Internet. With these, we can obtain the visibility that we need to know where we need to improve.
What is most valuable?
The transparency of the single UI to ensure security. A product has to be simple so that an administrator can use it.
What needs improvement?
The artificial intelligence and machine learning (behavioral based threat detection), which I can this will be coming out in another year, these are what we need now.
For how long have I used the solution?
Three to five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability is alright.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is not an issue.
How is customer service and technical support?
Its technical support is the main reason why we selected the product.
How was the initial setup?
The integration and configuration are transparent and easy.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We are partners with Cisco. They are always one call away, which is good. They know how to keep their customers happy.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated VMware Virtual Networking and Check Point.
We chose Cisco because of the support and their roadmap for the changing technology landscape is good. Therefore, it is always better to be partnered with them.
What other advice do I have?
When you are going to select a product, don't look at the cost, but at the functionality. Also, look at the stability. These days, the startups will show a new function or functionality, but when looking for a partner, make sure the company is sustainability for the new four years? Do they have the funding?
We have a large ecosystem system: Symantec, McAfee, Splunk, Check Point firewalls, Cisco firewalls and IPS IDS from Cisco. They integrate and work well together. Cisco has been security leader for the last 20 years, so the products are quite stable working in sync.


We need the product to have HA pairs, so we can failover. It is relatively stable.

  • By Ryan P.
  • on 12/09/2018

It's our firewall for our AWS VPC on the internal side that connects our VPC to headquarters.
I have been using the product for two years, but it has been installed in my company for four years.
What needs improvement?
Even on a smaller scale, people are finding you need HA pairs, and there's no way that the ASA can do that, at least in the virtual version. We needed the ability to failover to one of the others to do maintenance, and this is a glaring issue. However, it is one of their cheaper products, so its understandable. It is just that we would hope by now, because it has been in use in a lot of different environments, for even moderately sized companies, the ability to have HA pairs would be extremely useful.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has been relatively stable, in the sense that it stays up. It doesn't die on us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability has been a pain point for us.
It's great for what it does. Just make sure you know whatever environment you are using it in is not going to have to scale. Just use it for sandbox. As long as they stay competitive, use the ASA, but make sure you have a plan to grow out of it.
How is customer service and technical support?
We have definitely made some calls to Cisco regarding issues. While it is time consuming, they are thorough. Sometimes depending on the urgency, if there is a real P1 problem going on, it would be more helpful to go straight to the chase than to have to go through troubleshooting steps that are mandated. A lot of times, it is understandable why they're there, but I wish they had a different, expedited process, especially when they're dealing with our senior network engineer who has already ruled out some things. Cisco tends to make you go through the steps, which is part of any normal troubleshooting. However, when you're dealing with an outage, it can be very frustrating.
How was the initial setup?
The integration and configuration were pretty straightforward.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We purchased the product through the AWS Marketplace. While I wasn't part of the buying process for Cisco ASA, I have used it to purchase AMIs.
The AWS Marketplace been great, but it could be a bit more user-friendly from an aesthetic perspective. It is fully functional and easy to figure out once you are in it. However, the layout of the AMIs has a lot missing, e.g., you have to side click to find the area for community AMIs. It would be awesome if AWS Marketplace would put up a wider range of AMIs.
With the Cisco ASA, you do get what you pay for. What would really be awesome is to see Cisco blow out a real cheap version where you can use the sandbox, but leave it step-wise and go to another product relatively easily, like getting you hooked on candy. The problem is that we already paid for the ASAs, and we grew quickly. Now, we have found ourselves in a situation where we have to wait for next year's budget and everyone is using it. We've gone from a sandbox model to full production. If Cisco was a bit more on the ball with this type of thing, such as pay a smaller lump sum, then scale as a pay by use or have an option to switch models. This would be good because then we could actually leverage this type of model.
Right now, we want to go to the rocket stuff, and our people who make the decisions financially will just have a heart attack. They will choke on it. However, if we can roll it into our AWS bill, and slowly creep it in, it is usually more palatable. As crazy as that sounds, even if its more expensive to do it this way.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Our network guy looked at alternatives and settled on Cisco ASA. It was the cheapest available option, virtualized, and he was familiar with Cisco, like many people are because it's a great company. It made the most sense at the time, because our VPC was a sandbox at first. Now, it has grown, which is where the pain point is: the scalability of the ASA. We have sort of wedged ourselves into a corner.


default password - read the directions

  • By Reading_is_fundamental
  • on 09/28/2018

Folks the inquiries about the default password... Sigh- read the directions. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/security/asa/asa99/asav/quick-start/asav-quick/asav-aws.html
Here is how to make it work... BEFORE you launch the AMI you must click advanced details and ADD a zero day configuration via text entry. Once you do connect via SSH and the username is admin. That said I was a victim too on the first try.


Told it's free for 5 days

  • By medisappointed
  • on 03/22/2018

Yet I was charged $45 and no way to get refund. I contacted AWS and they said to contact Cisco. It states clearly no Cisco subscription charges, but yet.. still charged for cisco and the cost of the instance.


No information on default password?

  • By LameSauce
  • on 10/18/2016

Would love to have actually used this product properly but at the moment the usage details for the standard ASAv AMI on AWS say to use an ssh username of 'admin' but despite creating and using a key-pair any connection will prompt for a password ... which isn't listed anywhere in the doco or usage notes. Come on guys...


Really close to the physical rackmount version

  • By PouchCotato
  • on 10/13/2016

Using these for work for most of the year now with a site-to-site tunnel from an asa-v in us-east-1 to an asa-v in us-west-2 as well as several incoming site-to-site tunnels and remote access VPN on both 9.5.2.204 and 9.5.2.207. Make sure you know what you're doing...you're comfortable with Cisco config via user data (and later ASDM if needed), you have compared what ASA-v doesn't provide, etc. otherwise you'll give undeserved 1-star reviews like those before. Only issue seen so far is Syslog can die with lots of traffic around a month in (204) or several months in (207) which requires a restart of the appliance. I'm hoping 9.6.2.1 fixes that. Other than that a ChangeLog for each AMI version would be nice to see.


Do you even test your AMI ?

  • By Baptiste Sadoul
  • on 03/09/2016

After creating an instance, I am asked a password when I connect with admin user. How am I supposed to log into this new instance ?


Nice to have

  • By Cloud vLab Inc.
  • on 02/25/2016

It's easy to manage because ASA OS is same as appliances.
I think ASAv is supported via a Smart License model.