PA equivalent of ASA packet tracer?

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PA equivalent of ASA packet tracer?

L0 Member

One of the more useful features in troubleshooting on the PIX/ASA (which we used until recently) is the packet tracer, which allows us to enter source/destination IP/port, etc and check to see if a given connection is allowed or blocked, and by which rule. Is there an equivalent feature in the PA units?


L2 Linker

Hi Phil,

We have a very useful packet capture tool embedded in Panos (Monitor tab -->packet capture in GUI).

You can configured several filters and capture traffic in different process stage. (receive, transmit, drop and firewall)

To get security rule matching for a given traffic, you can also use the  #test security-policy-match command from CLI.

Best Regards


Speaking of which, what about decrypted traffic?

Can that be captured aswell, and if not - if filing this as a feature request, does the hardware support this in some way (or would it just be a waste of time to describe this feature request)?

I guess it could be done because Wildfire can get a copy of files transmitted by ssl/https and send for analyze.

L2 Linker

I'll revive this question - as the answers didn't actually relate.


The Cisco ASA packet tracer allows you to propose a hypothetical flow and runs it through the engine as if it were real. Evaluating the NAT and route dicisions which would likely apply in addition to the policy/ACL allow/deny logic.


It was very helpful to see if your configured configuration should pass traffic you are planning for prior to the actual traffic arriving.

Well it is not that easy with Layer 7 firewall.

If you want to test application sharepoint-admin then session ca go through many steps like incomplete, web-browsing, sharepoint-base, and then get's to sharepoint-admin.


So test would also need to check if every application your requested application depends on is permitted.


But test capability is there.

Enterprise Architect, Security @ Cloud Carib Ltd
Palo Alto Networks certified from 2011

Another good point mate! Not easy to simulate Layer 7 traffic

I know what you are thinking of in the ASA and I don't think there is a Palo equivalent.


You can source your ping/traceroute and the system will tell you the logical response.  


> ping source <ip-address-on-dataplane> host <destination-ip-address>


> traceroute source <ip-address-on-dataplane> host


But as everyone else stated this will only tell you basic networking/services and not check any of the layer 7 policies in place. 


I think most are missing the point of the original question. 

In Cisco's ASA, Packet tracer allows you to query traffic flow using the current ACL/Rules in place.

so for argument sake, say user on is trying to connect to say on port 443, but claims the firewall is blocking them. You can emulate that traffic. This is a vital tool for rule querying. 

The command below would check as to successful, or dropped

#packet-tracer input inside tcp 2222 443 detail

this is up to layer 4 of the OSI, which gives good details on: known route/path, NAT and whether there is a supporting rule. If the packet gets dropped, there is good information which points out where and why it was dropped. Which gives guidance on what needs to be added to resolve it.

I have found the monitor tab to be lacking when compared to packet trace

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