Templates and Template Stacks
You use templates to configure the settings that enable firewalls to operate on the network. Templates enable you to define a common base configuration using the
Devicetabs on Panorama. For example, you can use templates to manage interface and zone configurations, server profiles for logging and syslog access, and network profiles for controlling access to zones and IKE gateways. When defining a template, consider assigning firewalls that are the same hardware model and require access to similar network resources, such as gateways and syslog servers.
If your network has groups of firewalls with some group-specific settings and some settings that are common across groups, you can simplify management by assigning the firewalls to a template stack for each group. A template stack is a combination of templates: the assigned firewalls inherit the settings from every template in the stack. This enables you to avoid the redundancy of adding every setting to every template. The following figure illustrates an example deployment in which you assign data center firewalls in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to a stack that has one template with global settings, one template with APAC-specific settings, and one template with data center-specific settings. To manage firewalls in an APAC branch office, you can then re-use the global and APAC-specific templates by adding them to another stack that includes a template with branch-specific settings. Templates in a stack have a configurable priority order that ensures Panorama pushes only one value for any duplicate setting. Panorama evaluates the templates listed in a stack configuration from top to bottom, with higher templates having priority. The following figure illustrates a data center stack in which the data center template has a higher priority than the global template: Panorama pushes the idle timeout value from the data center template and ignores the value from the global template.
To accommodate firewalls that have unique settings, you can use templates (single or stacked) to push a limited common base configuration to all firewalls, and in individual firewalls configure firewall-specific settings. Alternatively, you can push a broader common base configuration and in the individual firewalls override certain pushed settings with firewall-specific values. When you override a setting, the firewall saves that setting to its local configuration; Panorama no longer manages the setting. To restore template values after overriding them, you can use Panorama to force the template configuration onto a firewall. For example, after defining a common NTP server in a template and overriding the NTP server configuration on a firewall to accommodate its local time zone, you can later revert to the NTP server defined in the template.
You cannot use templates to set firewall modes: virtual private network (VPN) mode, multiple virtual systems mode (multi-vsys mode), and operational mode (normal, Federal Information Processing Standards [FIPS], or Common Criteria [CC]). For details, see Template Capabilities and Exceptions. However, you can assign firewalls that have non-matching modes to the same template or stack. In such cases, Panorama pushes mode-specific settings only to firewalls that support those modes. As an exception, you can configure Panorama to push the settings of the default vsys in a template to firewalls that don’t support virtual systems or have none configured.
For the relevant procedures, see Manage Templates and Template Stacks.
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