Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS)

The Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) plug-in applies firewalls to OpenStack objects such as projects, routers, and router ports.

The central concepts with OpenStack firewalls are the notions of a firewall policy and a firewall rule. A policy is an ordered collection of rules. A rule specifies a collection of attributes (such as port ranges, protocol, and IP addresses) that constitute match criteria and an action to take (allow or deny) on matched traffic. A policy can be made public, so it can be shared across projects.

Firewalls are implemented in various ways, depending on the driver used. For example, an iptables driver implements firewalls using iptable rules. An OpenVSwitch driver implements firewall rules using flow entries in flow tables. A Cisco firewall driver manipulates NSX devices.

FWaaS v2

The newer FWaaS implementation, v2, provides a much more granular service. The notion of a firewall has been replaced with firewall group to indicate that a firewall consists of two policies: an ingress policy and an egress policy. A firewall group is applied not at the router level (all ports on a router) but at the port level. Currently, router ports can be specified. For Ocata, VM ports can also be specified.

FWaaS v1

FWaaS v1 was deprecated in the Newton cycle and removed entirely in the Stein cycle.

FWaaS Feature Matrix

The following table shows FWaaS v2 features.



Supports L3 firewalling for routers


Supports L3 firewalling for router ports


Supports L2 firewalling (VM ports)


CLI support


Horizon support


* A firewall group can be applied to all ports on a given router in order to effect this.

For further information, see the FWaaS v2 configuration guide.