PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR for VM-Series Now Available

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Attention: VM-Series customers. The first PAN-OS Accelerated Feature Release (XFR) is now available. Learn what PAN-OS XFR releases are and which features are in the first ever XFR release. Got questions? Get answers on LIVEcommunity!

PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR for VM-Series Now AvailablePAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR for VM-Series Now Available


We are thrilled to announce the first ever PAN-OS XFR feature release for the VM-Series firewall. You may be asking yourself, what is an “XFR release”?  XFR stands for "accelerated feature release." To keep up with the rapid rate of change in public and private cloud environments, we've introduced PAN-OS XFR releases to deliver new VM-Series firewall features more frequently than regular PAN-OS releases can accommodate.


In PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR, customers using VM-Series to secure AWS C5 or M5 instances and customers using VM-Series to secure Cisco ENCS 5400 environments will see major throughput performance improvements. Customers using (or considering using) VMware NSX-T for micro-segmentation can now augment their east-west traffic security between VMs and containers with threat prevention capabilities from VM-Series.


Here’s a look at the features delivered in PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR:


VM-Series Feature



Who should Care

Performance Improvements for AWS C5/M5 Instances using DPDK


Support for Intel DPDK on AWS C5/M5 instances to improve throughput performance. Provides throughput improvements of 50-100% to improve cost-performance ratio for all use cases.

Customers using AWS C5 or M5 instances who want to improve performance.

DPDK Support for VM-Series on Cisco ENCS 5400

Cisco ENCS

Support for Intel DPDK on Cisco Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) 5400 to improve throughput performance.

Customers using Cisco ENCS 5400 who want to improve performance.

VMware NSX-T East-West (Beta)



Beta support for NSX-T East-West use cases. Customers can now secure container East-West (inter-Pod) traffic, construct DAG based policies on top of NS-groups, and manage up to 16 NSX-T environments from a single Panorama.

Sign up for beta here: Registration for Beta VM-Series NSX Beta

Customers using NSX-T who want to secure East-West traffic.


You can find the in-depth release notes for PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR on TechDocs.


Are there any special considerations to be aware of?

Yes. If you upgrade to the PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR release, you must also upgrade to subsequent PAN-OS XFR maintenance releases until the next regular PAN-OS release is available.  There will be PAN-OS XFR maintenance releases that keep PAN-OS XFR releases in sync with regular PAN-OS maintenance releases. All PAN-OS XFR features will be aggregated into the following PAN-OS regular release.


How long will a PAN-OS XFR release be supported?

PAN-OS XFR releases will be supported for 12 months from the date of each release, at which point you must upgrade to the next regular PAN-OS release in order to continue using your XFR features. 


PAN-OS XFR Release Upgrade CadencePAN-OS XFR Release Upgrade Cadence

Should I upgrade to an XFR release?

If there are specific features of interest in the PAN-OS 9.0.3 XFR release, then you should upgrade. Otherwise, you can remain on your current PAN-OS release cadence.


For any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to your Palo Alto Networks account team.

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