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Exact RAM specifications of PIX 506e?

Posted on 2006-06-06
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I've been trawling the web and can't get an answer to this one.

What's the RAM sped? I'm after a 32MB upgrade, and since support from Cisco isn't too much of an issue, am willing to use good OLD PC ram. Anyone know what it takes?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:georgemason
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by:ravenpl
ID: 16845381
So far I know it's regular PC66 SDRAM
506e has two RAM slots.
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by:georgemason
ID: 16845408
Fair enough, but there are many more parameters than that.... Registered or not? Buffered or unbuffered? Need more info, have already bought the wrong thing once!
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16845458
I haven't been able to find an upgrade for the 506. I know it takes SD-RAM but all the ones I have seen have come with 32MB already and this is the maximum it can take. Is this the difference with the 506E?
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Keith Alabaster earned 189 total points
ID: 16845484
<<Cisco PIX 506E Firewall
The 506E is a newer, enhanced model of the earlier 506 versions and is intended for remote-office/branch-office (ROBO) locations. This model, similar to the 501, has a fixed physical configuration, supporting two 10/100MHz Ethernet interfaces and a single console port for configuration. The 506E, however, has a 300MHz Intel Celeron processor with a maximum of 32MB of RAM and 8MB of flash memory. The throughput and processor speed are double that of the 501 model, resulting in a compact and efficient firewall package. Lastly, a USB port is reserved for future enhancements.
>>

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by:giltjr
ID: 16848731
Well, the 505E (as Keith has pointed out) come with 32MB and only supports 32MB.  So installing more memory may not work.

However if you are willing to try:

Are there any identifying numbers on the current memory?  Is there only one slot and one memory stick? The number on the chips may help if that is the only thing you have.

What did you buy that did not work?  Based on 300MHz and knowing Cisco, I would assume that PC66 SDRAM Registered ECC.
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by:ravenpl
ID: 16849742
Again, so far I know It's regular PC66 - not registered, not ECC.
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by:georgemason
ID: 16850754
Interesting. Now you mention it I can't find many stores selling ram for the 506e. Although this eBay advertiser claims his RAM works in a 506e.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Cisco-PIX-Mem-32MB-RAM-64MB-Upgrade-506E-515-515E_W0QQitemZ9725694518QQcategoryZ64019QQcmdZViewItem

Now I'm REALLY confused!
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by:giltjr
ID: 16853531
He also states that it is a genuine Cisco 32MB RAM stick originally for a 515
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16853819
As my last... :)
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by:georgemason
ID: 16857760
Got this back from en Ebay seller. Sounds like you can upgrade the RAM without issue if you use the right stuff. He doesn't say what the RAM specs are, but then I didn't ask him I suppose....

**** begin quote ****
Thank you for your email. The PIX-506E has two DIMM slots and generally shipped with 32MB of RAM. You can place the other DIMM slot with a 32MB RAM giving you 64MB Total. This should work fine, the RAM we sell is actual Cisco RAM. We have sold hundreds of PIX-506E Firewalls with 64MB RAM. You shouldn’t have any problems. I am not too sure about the articles you noted. We have CCIE, CCSP and a bunch of CCNA engineers on staff that fully understand the limitations of the of firewalls.

Just please be sure to make sure that you have a PIX-506E and not a PIX-506 since the PIX-506 has only one DIMM slot. You can also open your case and take a look as well. If there are 2 DIMM slots then you should be safe.

Just to let you know RAM will not increase performance on your firewall that much. Since encryption is handled but your CPU since it needs to encrypt or decrypt the 3DES / AES encryption.  If you don’t have much concurrent traffic and just a few site to site tunnels then you should be fine. If you see a decrease in performance you might need to upgrade to a PIX-515-R down the road.
**** end quote ****
 
Question is, given this info, will it even make any difference given the load which it's going to be under, namely: 2 VLANs supporting DMZ with MTA and OWA servers, an internal LAN consisting of 10 PCs (some of which have been known to run peer-to-peer file sharing apps - eeek!) and 10-15 remote users with laptops connecting to dynamic VPNs to get their mail and sync some files here and there. I don't expect much concurrency on the VPNs and the link is only 8Mbps/800kbps ADSL.
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by:giltjr
ID: 16857885
What is the current memory usage patterns?  Are you having problems?
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by:georgemason
ID: 16857936
No, no problems, the machine hasn't been installed yet. I'm wondering whether it's worth buying the memory and installing it in the PIX before taking it to the client. On balance I reckon it's probably not worth it though.
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by:giltjr
giltjr earned 186 total points
ID: 16858511
Have you opened the box up yet to see if it has two DIMM slots.  Cicso's doc says it can only have 32MB max.  So I would assume either 1 DIMM with 32MB or 2 DIMM with 16 MB each.

I found 1 diagram that shows the 506/506E "motherboard" and it shows 2 DIMM slots.  From what I can tell the 506E is just a 506 with faster processor (300Mhz vs. 200 Mhz).

According to this:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2030/products_installation_guide_chapter09186a008021d6e5.html

The 506's memory is not upgradable.  If you want you can take your chances though.
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by:giltjr
ID: 16951213
Thanks.  If you accecpted my answer because you found that the box can't be upgraded, then you really should unaccept my answer and accept Keith's.  He is the one that originally quoted that the 506E is fixed at 32MB.
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by:georgemason
ID: 16951719
Very fair of you. I'll do just that.
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by:georgemason
ID: 16951727
(although I think it can be upgraded, but it's not a supported configuration by Cisco)
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by:georgemason
ID: 16951734
Hate to sound totally stupid but how does one unaccept a question??
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by:giltjr
ID: 16952490
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by:georgemason
ID: 16952539
Have requested the reopen, thanks giltjr
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16953614
I appreciate the sentiments Gitltjr but as we are all nice people here how about a split....
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by:georgemason
ID: 16953633
OK, split points it is. How gentlemanly!
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by:georgemason
ID: 16953651
There we go. All done. Thanks to you all for your input.
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16953660
:)  The points are only for fun. The good part of the result is that you have the answer you need; future users will have an answer to refer to.

This is the purpose of experts-exchange and why we all give our free-time to contribute. :)

Regards

Keith
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 16953670
Thanks :)
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by:giltjr
ID: 16953737
Thanks for the split georgemason and thanks for suggesting it Keith.  This site is all about helping and getting help.  The points, although nice, are just for fun.
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