Cisco Systems Canada Inc, located in Toronto, Ontario, provides equipment, software, and support services that manage network traffic including data, voice, and video for a wide range of customers. A number of departments operate at Cisco Systems Canada head office, including the Advanced Services Lab (AS). The AS Lab is responsible for providing high level networking support to major corporate networks across Canada. The AS Lab environment is designed with generic network topologies integrated by a number of high performance devices. The lab setup provides a simulation lab-type environment for all Network Consulting Engineers (NCEs) training. The lab also provides the necessary resources for the NCEs to design and implement simulation networks for customer projects. During the design phase of the AS Lab, some of the NCEs associated with the lab project wanted to integrate a Cisco security appliance model within their respective topology. The NCEs who were in favor of introducing a security appliance into their topology, had to choose the best model that would work within their network by conforming to all of the restrictions and constraints that might be specified by other NCEs and their customers. A sample network that includes Cisco PIX is shown in Figure 1. Sriram Sampath, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to develop the network performance and security analysis for AS Lab network topologies.
The teaching objective for this case study is the design of a security architecture and infrastructure, including needs analysis, preliminary design (components selection) and detail design analysis along with implementation. The case study also provide a detailed analysis and comparisons on key factors such as network performance, and security between the Cisco PIX 525 and Cisco ASA 5510 security appliances.