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ASA Deployment 2100 Deployment use cases for Appliance vs Platform mode

Level 1
Level 1



Hi, I've got a pair of FPR-2120 (new to me) sitting on my workbench and started to tinker with FXOS as ASA Deployment  before opening up the documentation to formally learn more about it.... (I've been working with the 55xx for a while) As a result of the documentation I've come to learn a few new definitions in version 9.13.....


 To paraphrase you can now run the units in 2 modes as of 9.13!


  • Platform mode - gives you the full functionality of FXOS (as version prior).
  • Appliance mode(new) - remove the complexities of initial FXOS setup , and is more like 55xx ASA SW but can access FXOS if needed.  

The documentation doesn't really provide any use-cases for one VS the other (nor dose CLI books), and was wondering what the community thinks to choose one over the another.


as I've not used this version HW or SW before,so I'm not aware of any particular software limitations/gotcha learn from experience in deploying these..... at the moment, I see in the doc there not support in for Backup nor AAA in Platform mode,......Ouch    


I think my use could go either way as it's for a remote office via internet over IPSEC VPN(managed remotely). where the FXOS management network could sit behind the ASA inside interface off a switch SVI .(effectively routed via ASA to the SVI to reach that network.).  at the moment.   



Thanks for considering my request.


18 Replies 18

Marvin Rhoads
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

Appliance mode is brand new and more likely to have bugs in the initial release. Personally I'd steer clear of it outside the lab for now.

You noted the obvious differentiators already. If those are important to our operational environment then test it in the lab and consider adopting sooner rather than later. Otherwise sit back with the existing model and let others blaze the trail ahead of you.

I came across this thread while researching on differences between appliance and platform modes of 2100 series firewall. Learned it the hard way that the platform mode is more preferred for the ability to manage the device out of band especially in the situation when data interfaces of the ASA firewall can't be reached. My question is if there's any way to dedicate the serial console to the ASA firewall so that upon connecting to it via the terminal server the user ends up on the ASA but leaving the management interface dedicated to SSH connections to FXOS in either of the modes ?

when connected via console run the "connect asa" command


firepower-2120# connect asa
Attaching to ASA CLI ... Press 'Ctrl+a then d' to detach.
Type help or '?' for a list of available commands.


Thank you, this is not what I asked. I knew about it from the very beginning. My question was about using different physical ports to manage FXOS and ASA

Just re-read your post and now see what you are asking.


BTW - which mode (platform/appliance) did you end up going with?

It's in the platform mode. The need to manage both devices (FXOS and ASA) independently comes from strict compliance. The client needs to put controls to everything that can be accessed, and being able to manage both of them in the out of band channel.

@zheka_pefti as far as I know there is no way to dedicate the physical ports (serial console vs. management) in the way you are asking.

hi marvin,

it's already 2022, have you heard/read that ASA in 'appliance mode' still having some bugs?

i'll be deploying FPR 2120 to replace ASA 5500-x and would like to immediately setup and run these devices.

is there an advantage in running 'platform' vs 'appliance' mode other than complete HW control in platform mode?

i don't see myself tinkering the internal HW via FXOS. are all interfaces enabled by default in 'appliance' mode?

@johnlloyd_13 i haven't seen any issues with appliance mode; but then again I don't know how widely it's deployed. My customers are almost all running FTD these days (or planning to migrate to it).

@Marvin Rhoads my device is in appliance mode. How do I set it for platform mode? you change it from the console as described in this guide:
Short version:

conf t

no fxos mode appliance

wr mem