Templates and Template Stacks

Overview of template and template stack configuration functionality.
You use templates and template stacks to configure the settings that enable firewalls to operate on the network. Templates are the basic building blocks you use to configure the Network and Device tabs on Panorama™. You can use templates to define interface and zone configurations, to manage the server profiles for logging and syslog access, or to define VPN configurations. Template stacks give you the ability to layer multiple templates and create a combined configuration. Template stacks simplify management because they allow you to define a common base configuration for all devices attached to the template stack and they give you the ability to layer templates to create a combined configuration. This enables you to define templates with location- or function-specific settings and then stack the templates in descending order of priority so that firewalls inherit the settings based on the order of the templates in the stack.
Both templates and template stacks support variables. Variables allow you to create placeholder objects with their value specified in the template or template stack based on your configuration needs. Create a template or template stack variable to replace IP addresses, Group IDs, and interfaces in your configurations. Template variables are inherited by the template stack and you can override them to create a template stack variable. However, templates do not inherit variables defined in the template stack. When a variable is defined in the template or template stack and pushed to the firewall, the value defined for the variable is displayed on the firewall.
To accommodate firewalls that have unique settings, you can use templates to override the template stack configuration. Alternatively, you can push a broader, common base configuration and then override certain pushed settings with firewall-specific values on individual firewalls. When you override a setting on the firewall, the firewall saves that setting to its local configuration and Panorama no longer manages the setting. To restore template values after you override them, use Panorama to force the template or template stack configuration onto the firewall. For example, after you define a common NTP server in a template and override the NTP server configuration on a firewall to accommodate a local time zone, you can later revert to the NTP server defined in the template.
When defining a template stack, consider assigning firewalls that are the same hardware model and require access to similar network resources, such as gateways and syslog servers. This enables you to avoid the redundancy of adding every setting to every template stack. The following figure illustrates an example configuration in which you assign data center firewalls in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to a stack 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.
Template Stacks
Template_Stacks.png
You cannot use templates or template stacks to set firewall modes: virtual private network (VPN) mode, multiple virtual systems (multi-vsys) mode, or operational modes (normal or FIPS-CC mode). 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 that don’t have any virtual systems configured.
For the relevant procedures, see Manage Templates and Template Stacks.

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