The Cisco Adaptative Security Appliance (ASA) is Cisco’s main firewall and network security product. It mainly provides firewall and VPN services, but its native features can be enhanced with the addition of FirePOWER NGIDS services on top of it.
Even when used on top of an ASA in the same appliance, the FirePOWER NGIDS is never really merged within the ASA but stays a separate module. For instance, the ASA and the FirePOWER each have their own separate CLI shell, each with their own different syntax and logic. In fact FirePOWER is not a Cisco development but has been acquired when Cisco merged with SourceFire, hence the (personal) feeling of an “alien” product plugged into the ASA.
For CCNA Security students, while you must know ASA and be comfortable with its usage, as for now you only need to know what FirePOWER is and why it is used …