Cisco’s New 1600/2600/4600 FMC’s….Just how different are they?


So… I’m writing my new Cisco CCNP Security Firepower book and just finished my Cisco FMC chapter….in that chapter I create a table outlining the difference between a 1000/2500/4500 and 1600/2600/4600…finding the answer to this question was not easy at all.

So just how different are they? The answer is surprising little…

Let’s take a quick look at the difference in the hardware FMC’s. The older and new FMC’s are pretty similar as with same number of sensors managed as well as the same amount of ram, but with some small CPU differences, however, the new FMC’s have a more storage and hot swappable drives. In addition to the small CPU changes and added drives, they added two 10G LAN interfaces, however, with that said, the EPS/FPS are still the same.

NOTICE: Update from Cisco 9/11/19:

  1. – There are no datasheets for the new HW.  The HW data is listed in the Hardware Installation Guide: Cisco Firepower Management Center 1600, 2600, and 4600 Hardware Installation Guide
    1. The new FMC HW is very similar in price and performance to the 1500/2500/4500. The main driver for the HW refresh was the UCS M4 EOL, which the older models were based on. The newer models are based on UCS C220 M5.

Didn’t Change:

Up to 50 sensors managed
30 million maximum IPS events
90 Million Connection Events
900 GB event storage
32 GB Ram
Events Per Second: 12,000
Network map up to 50K hosts, 50K users

Whats new from FMC1000/1600

One Intel E5-2620 V4 CPU / 1 Intel Xeon 4110 processor
Two 900-GB SAS drives / Two 1.2-TB 10-K SAS HDDs RAID 1
100-Mbps/1-Gbps Ethernet / 100-Mbps/1-Gbps/10-Gbps Ethernet

Didn’t Change:

Up to 300 sensors managed
60 million maximum IPS events
300 Million Connection Events
1.8 TB event storage
64 GB Ram
Events Per Second: 12,000
Network map up to 150K hosts, 150K users

Whats new from FMC2500/2600

Two Intel E5-2620 V4 / Two Intel Xeon 4110 processors
Four 600-GB SAS drives / Four 600-GB 10-K SAS HDDs RAID 5
100-Mbps/1-Gbps Ethernet / 100-Mbps/1-Gbps/10-Gbps Ethernet

Didn’t Change:

Up to 750 sensors managed
300 million maximum IPS events
1 Billion Connection Events
3.2 TB event storage
128 GB Ram
Events Per Second: 20,000
Network map up to 600K hosts, 600K users

Whats new from FMC4500/4600

Two Intel E5-2640 V4 CPUs / Two Intel Xeon 4116 processors
Six 800-GB SSDs / Ten 1.2-TB SAS SSDs RAID 6
100-Mbps/1-Gbps Ethernet / 100-Mbps/1-Gbps/10-Gbps Ethernet


So did you think that you’d just go out and put in a requisition for the new hardware FMC’s and your network analysis would finally sing like a bright new summer day after a good rain? Nah…that’s not going to happen yet…not that I can see. The changes just aren’t major enough…


  1. Any guides on how to replace FMC1000 H/A units with FMC1600 H/A units?

    How to get all devices to register with new FMC1600?

    1. you can set up both FMC’s on the same management channel, and then migrate all the configuration over to the 1600.
      however, you need to bring the devices into the 1600 one at a time, so there is downtime involved. But the migration is very helpful for sure! Hope this helps.

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