Not running active/active for increase performance because I know you get maybe 20% on that. I am using it because I have two active core switches and it becomes a load share game. Do ditch HSRP and use what for LAN side? thats the real challenge.
Be aware, there are some pretty specific restrictions/caveats with floating IPs especially when it comes to NAT. If you don't have asynchronous routing and you aren't utilizing ECMP, Active/Passive is the way to go.
Avoid the stacking because in-service upgrades give me PTSD. No NAT because they are Core Firewalls. Would like to use ECMP but it seems to be a headache. And even with Active/Passive and HSRP there is still the issue that there is a 50 percent chance that the active firewall will send the return traffic to the standby HSRP node.
I'm lost on why you think you are going to hit the standby HSRP node? HSRP is going to give you an address that you can target as your next-hop address for routing. If you want to use HSRP, then you remove ECMP. If you want to use ECMP, then you remove HSRP.
Yes, yes, and double yes.
Or you could stack your switches downstream from the 9500s and push Layer 3 out toward the access layer. Then you would pretty much be using them as routers and you can ECMP all day long.
How do you figure? If each palo is learning each HSRP group VLAN via a routing protocol and both core switches own an SVI for that vlan, network is now connected. So OSPF will see the same subnet for a single vlan on each core switch as connected and based on ecmp will have a 50/50 shot of sending it the right node.
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