Groups and SuperGroups

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Groups and SuperGroups

L1 Bithead

I work for a global enterprise that has around a dozen PA 7000 series FWs running between 2 & 6 vSystems each. We have many address groups with more than 500 members, and several "SuperGroups," containing two, or more, of those large groups.

 

Let's say

address-groupgroup-1contains500members
address-groupgroup-2contains550members
address-groupgroup-3contains600members
address-groupgroup-4contains650members
address-groupgroup-5contains1000members
address-groupSuperGroupcontainsaddress-groups1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

 

Which is the best way to write a security policy for these groups:

Rule Namesource-zoneaddressdest-zoneaddressapplicationservicesactionlogging
1internalSuperGroupexternal8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermitwhatever
2internalgroup-1
group-2
group-3
group-4
group-5
external8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermitwhatever
3ainternalgroup-1external8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermitwhatever
3binternalgroup-2external8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermitwhatever
3cinternalgroup-3external8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermitwhatever
3dinternalgroup-4external8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermitwhatever

3e

 

internalgroup-5external8.8.8.8DNSApplication-defaultpermit

whatever

 

i.e. Is combing, or nesting, groups in to super-groups OK? Is there an impact on performance, or anything else, doing this?

      Is listing groups, rather than having a super-group, a better way to do it?

      Is it better just to have separate rules for each group, like 3a through 3e?

 

The only difference in the above rules is how the source addresses are configured: in a super-group, a list of groups, or using multiple rules, one address-group per rule.

 

Looking forward to your replies.

 

Thanks,

Ian

1 REPLY 1

L5 Sessionator

Ian,

 

No documented changes in performance here, but firewalls do have maximum rules per device.  

 

I do have an opinion/preference on this, though. Having the single list items from a troubleshooting/debug perspective makes your life easier. Also from a reporting perspective, if I needed to see all traffic touching a particular rule, having it more granular allows for more focused, quicker investigations. 

 

Screen Shot 2021-09-07 at 12.17.08 PM.png

 

Using options 1 or 2 in the above case means I won't be able to find out which devices are touching which rules. If I lump EDLs or regions together, I just see the rule is hit. 

 

If your network team comes to you with a ticket of some servers having stability and reachability issues, if you have a really pervasive outbound rule, it could muddy the water some. Hope this helps!

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