Right now we have the 5.4 (FireSIGHT) and 6.0 Firepower versions. The name changed with v6 but it’s really an updated version of the same system which runs on a FMC (MC) and manages ASA with FirePOWER or Firepower devices.
6.01 (Dulce Vida) is in the works which contains minor updates to v6 but still the same overall.
In March Cisco will release Firepower Threat Defense (FTD). This will be the converged management platform of which you speak. With FTD you can manage ASA (except ASA5585) and the 9300 and 4100 appliances. You can’t manage any S3 Firepower devices. This means it won’t work with the existing 7000 or 8000 hardware.
The initial release of FTD will be a bit light on ASA features and these will be added as things move forward. However, for the next couple of years at least you can count on two Firepower systems, one that manages the NGFW on S3 devices, 5585 and other ASAs and one that is limited to lower end ASAs plus the 9300 and 4100.
No idea what “version” they’re going to start with on FTD. It would be a lot less confusing if they would start on 1.0 but marketing being what it is they will probably start at 6 or something like that. I’m ready for confusion to reign.
In the June timeframe we’ll see Firepower 6.1 which will contain the thing everyone is missing in 6.x right now – FMC High Availability There are also some other features planned for Firepower later in the year to expand the management scalability past the current 300 devices per manager.Biggest challenge for the future is going to be keeping the two versions straight when talking with people. Don’t know what that means for exams either.