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Fundamental ACL & Service Policy related questions

Hi All,

apologies in advance for seemingly stupid questions but I was forced to ask them as I have ALWAYS had great difficulty in using debug on Cisco platforms. Nothing ever shows up when I set up debug despite configuring "logging console" and setting the level to 7 etc. I have no clue why that is and if it's because all debugging messages go to the debug log instead of being prnted on the console, or what it is...I just don't get it. When I'm saying logging console...please print it on the console! Anyway, that rant aside...

I have a VERY simple topology like so

                                                                                    A few servers in this VLAN


ISP <---> 3560G (Physical Routed Port) <--> SVI (VLAN)


                                                                                    ASA5520 <--> Internal VLAN

With regards to ACLs and their direction, when an ACL is applied to a physical port (or in cases where QoS is enabled and a service-policy) is applied to either a routed physical port on the 3560, saying that the policy is applied in the "in" direction (or 'input' in case of service-policy) does that mean 'inbound' in either direction? As in IF that routed port is my direct connection to the ISP, and I set up "ip access-group myacl in" (or service-policy input myPolicymap) ...will that be applicable if the traffic enters that port from the ISP side OR from the internal network side, or "IN" for it is always JUST the ISP side because it's assuming that all traffic generated from inside the network going out to the Internet is implcitly allowed UNLESS an ACL somewhere in the network restricts that?

then, in case of an SVI...I believe just like the physical routed port, I can ONLY implement an "Inbound" ACL on this as well. So when I implement either a Heirarchical policy-map or just an access-group "in", then what is "IN" ...traffic entering this VLAN from the internal network and those public servers going out to the Internet AND Traffic entering this VLAN from the ISP/Internet via the physical routed Port OR is it JUST the latter, or is it just the former?

Now Lastly, when I have the physical ports to which the ASA and each of those physical servers are connected to sitting on the public VLAN, if I apply port-based ACLs or service-policies to them, then again, what direction is the "IN" ACL applied? Both? i.e. traffic coming into it from the public servers and the Internal network through the ASA, and the Internet OR just the traffic coming into it from the Internet, but the traffic going out from the servers to the Internet is not subjected to this ACL or service-policy

Again, very sorry for a dumb question but I'm seeing bizzare things in my network so was just wondering before I decide on what kind of security I want to plan/design

Thanks in advance


The mystical difference between debug output going to the console versus showing up in syslog is "logging debug-trace".  On goes to syslog, "no logging debug-trace" goes to console.  I've been bit by this one myself.

ACLs on physical ports have directionality like the cable plug: "in" is from the cable entering into the switch or firewall, "out" is leaving the device to run along the cable to somewhere else.  On Catalyst switches port ACLs are inbound (receiving packets) only.  Obviously, on directly connected devices, one devices out is the other devices in.

ACLs on SVI's depend on whether your are running a base image or services image; services images can do IPv4 and IPv6 in both directions.  However, port ACL's trump routed ACL's; if both exist, the port ACL is the only one applied.  I think if a directly connected port has no port ACL, no ACL is applied at all; routed ACL's on SVI's only apply to transitions between VLANs inside the switch, not to traffic entering physical ports.

-- Jim Leinweber, WI State Lab of Hygiene

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