Destination NAT Example—One-to-One Mapping

The most common mistakes when configuring NAT and security rules are the references to the zones and address objects. The addresses used in destination NAT rules always refer to the original IP address in the packet (that is, the pre-translated address). The destination zone in the NAT rule is determined after the route lookup of the destination IP address in the original packet (that is, the pre-NAT destination IP address).
The addresses in the security policy also refer to the IP address in the original packet (that is, the pre-NAT address). However, the destination zone is the zone where the end host is physically connected. In other words, the destination zone in the security rule is determined after the route lookup of the post-NAT destination IP address.
In the following example of a one-to-one destination NAT mapping, users from the zone named Untrust-L3 access the server in the zone named DMZ using the IP address
Before configuring the NAT rules, consider the sequence of events for this scenario.
  • Host sends an ARP request for the address (the public address of the destination server).
  • The firewall receives the ARP request packet for destination on the Ethernet1/1 interface and processes the request. The firewall responds to the ARP request with its own MAC address because of the destination NAT rule configured.
  • The NAT rules are evaluated for a match. For the destination IP address to be translated, a destination NAT rule from zone Untrust-L3 to zone Untrust-L3 must be created to translate the destination IP of to
  • After determining the translated address, the firewall performs a route lookup for destination to determine the egress interface. In this example, the egress interface is Ethernet1/2 in zone DMZ.
  • The firewall performs a security policy lookup to see if the traffic is permitted from zone Untrust-L3 to DMZ.
    The direction of the policy matches the ingress zone and the zone where the server is physically located.
    The security policy refers to the IP address in the original packet, which has a destination address of
  • The firewall forwards the packet to the server out egress interface Ethernet1/2. The destination address is changed to as the packet leaves the firewall.
For this example, address objects are configured for webserver-private ( and Webserver-public ( The configured NAT rule would look like this:
The direction of the NAT rules is based on the result of route lookup.
The configured security policy to provide access to the server from the Untrust-L3 zone would look like this:

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