Calling all CISCO gurus - PDM Question

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by Chris Keath, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Chris Keath

    Chris Keath Guest

    Will PDM allow me to do everything to control this firewall ?
    Or are cetain things only really done via command line ?

    I'm possibly interested in a Pix vs. Netscreen, but there is no PDM
    demo to allow me to see if it will allow me to create simple rules
    like 1-1 nat, open services, etc via PDM.......I don't know Cisco
    shell commands.
    Chris Keath, Sep 19, 2004
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  2. You subject line and body are somewhat of an oxymoron. CISCO gurus don't
    use PDM, therefor they will be unable to answer you question. :)

    Fortunately I'm not a Cisco guru so I can attempt an answer. You can do
    pretty much all of the basic tasks with PDM.

    Michael Janke, Sep 19, 2004
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  3. I will echo Mike's comments with one addition. It's clearly obvious that
    PDM is written by cicso gurus who don't use PDM or any other GUI config
    tool. PDM, as compared to other web based config tools for competitive
    products, is convoluted to say the least. I just setup a 501 for a small
    company and where I was able to do everything in PDM it took a while to
    figure out exactly what needed to be done and where to go to do it. It was
    helpful to learn the script commands so I could trouble shoot the config
    written by PDM, figure out where it was wrong, and then go back to PDM to
    figure out how to do it right.

    With that said, I was able to get the 501 up and running the way I needed
    but it took me twice as long as I think it should have even considering that
    it was all new to me when I started. However, now that I've gone through
    that learning curve, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend and/or install another
    one. Fact is the PIX far more configurable then other firewall appliances
    I've worked with but that configurability come with the price of complexity.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 19, 2004
  4. Chris Keath

    PES Guest

    I only recommend that those who aren't comfortable with the cli, make minor
    configuration adjustments via the pdm. The pdm is limited in that most
    consider it a secondary configuration mechanism. I have seen instances
    where the pdm can hang a pix. One client that I have has a need for the
    alias command to translate dns. They only have a single external ip address
    so the dns keyword in a static will not work. The pdm doesn't recognize the
    command and pix freezes. No traffic can pass. Also, it can be a pain to
    change subnet via pdm. It will complain that the dhcp scope doesn't match
    and refuse to make the change. I think the pdm is good only for permitting
    on site admins to make minor configuration changes after the initial

    Most other vendors utilize web management as their primary means of
    administration and therefore are more complete in functionality.
    PES, Sep 19, 2004
  5. :Will PDM allow me to do everything to control this firewall ?


    :Or are cetain things only really done via command line ?


    :I'm possibly interested in a Pix vs. Netscreen, but there is no PDM
    :demo to allow me to see if it will allow me to create simple rules
    :like 1-1 nat, open services, etc via PDM.......

    PDM can do that.

    :I don't know Cisco shell commands.

    The PIX uses a different command language than the Cisco CatOS switches
    or the Cisco IOS routers or switches. IOS is slightly closer, but
    that's not going to matter to you.

    I would point out that a GUI is a different form of command language,
    in which the verbs are mouse clicks, and the relantionships
    between the parts of the language are indicated by positional information.

    (English uses positional information too. "Dog bites man" is different
    than "Man bites dog", whereas in Latin and [I have read] German,
    the modifiers on the words control the relationship between the words.]

    I would claim that learning that one has to go to the top of the
    screen, click on Tools, click on Options, wait, click on the General
    tab of the page that comes up, and click on the button "Empty cache now"
    involves mental effort comparable to learning to type "clear disk cache".
    But once you know what you are doing, automating "clear disk cache"
    is usually much easier than automating a bunch of click-and-waits.
    Walter Roberson, Sep 20, 2004
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