Iron Skillet Overview

Welcome to the Iron Skillet day one configuration templates library.

The next-generation firewall configuration templates are based on existing best practice recommendations from Palo Alto Networks.

Instead of extensive and detailed ‘how to’ documentation, the templates provide an easy to implement configuration model that is use case agnostic. The emphasis is on key security elements such as dynamic updates, security profiles, rules, and logging that should be consistent across deployments.

Why use day one templates?

Palo Alto Networks has expertise in both security prevention and its own product portfolio. Best practice documentation is designed to provide knowledge sharing of this expertise to customers and partners. This sharing helps improve security posture across various scenarios.

The templates play a complementary role by taking common best practices recommendations and compiling them into pre-built day one configurations that can be readily loaded into Panorama or a next-generation firewall. The benefits include:

  • Faster time to implement
  • Reduce configuration errors
  • Improve security posture

Using the templates

The templates are available on GitHub at https://github.com/PaloAltoNetworks/iron-skillet/tree/panos_v8.0.

Select the branch specific to the software release for your deployment.

The library consists of a set of xml and set configuration templates grouped by:

  • panos for stand-alone next-gen firewall deployments
  • panorama for Panorama system and managed device configurations

The templates in each device-type folder include:

  • snippets for more granular configuration elements
  • full config file to use for bootstrap or full import + load into a device
  • set commands for traditional CLI configuration

Quick start using loadable configurations

The repo contains a set of ready-to-go loadable configurations that use iron-skillet placeholder values. Formats include both xml and set commands.

The xml file can be imported and loaded easily to Panorama or a firewall. The set command model requires ‘copy-and-paste’ from the CLI.

More information for loading and editing these configurations can be found at: Default Loadable Configurations.

Excel set command spreadsheet

Also included for easy loading is an Excel formula-based spreadsheet with set commands. A variable value worksheet can be edited to update the spreadsheet using localized values for various configuratino attributes.

More information for using the spreadsheet can be found at: Formula-based Excel Spreadsheet.

Jinja-based xml snippet and set command templates

Scripting or automation-centric users may prefer to use the base template files. These are variable-based templates using a jinja {{ variable }} notation.

The xml snippets with metadata are designed to use API-based configuration loading into Panorama or the firewall and can be coupled with workflow tools for repeatable deployments.

Sample utilities are provided in the tools directory to create loadable configurations using these base templates.

See the sections Creating Loadable Configurations and Loading the XML templates for more information.

Note

Day one templates are not complete configuration templates. To insert the device into the network requires interface, zone, routing, and other settings outside the scope of the day one templates. Also not included are use-case specific items such as whitelist security rules, userID settings, and decryption policies that can be deployment and use case specific.

What is next after loading a template?

Based on the deployment scenario, the next steps may include:

  • GUI configuration of additional configuration elements specific to the deployment use case
  • API/scripted loading of additional configuration elements

In cases where the use case configuration has been merged with the templates, no further actions may be required. A key example would be interface, NAT, zone, and security rule additions for a simple Internet gateway deployments.

Where can I find complete reference use case configurations?

The initial release of the templates are use case agnostic. However, as the community creates and shared reference configurations, they will be shared across the community as an extension of the iron-skillet configurations.