Best practices for HA PANs and switch stack

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Best practices for HA PANs and switch stack

L4 Transporter

For this scenario, assume a simple setup. Two firewalls in HA and two switches in a stack. Also assume the firewalls are in active/passive. Consider the below setup, each firewall has one physical link to separate switch members of the stack.


In this configuration, if switch member 1 fails and firewall 1 is the active firewall, does it automatically failover to firewall 2 if there is no link/path monitoring configured? Or are we to assume that without link/path monitoring, switch 1 failing and firewall 1 would remain active firewall and traffic to the internet would fail?

I typically always use the below configuration. Each switch has a port aggregate (802.3ad) and 1 connection in that LAG connects to each member switch. This utilizes double the ports but I was under the assumption the first scenario would only work with link/path monitoring. I also typically do the design so I can withstand any firewall failing AND any switch failing at the same time.


Finally, in the bottom configuration, does anyone have recommendation as far as setting up distribution configs on the switch side? (eg. mac src / dest). Are those needed?


Thanks.. though my question is in relation to distribution algorithms for the 802.3ad channel.

Hi Mac,

On the switch there is no Etherchannel, its an individual Ethernet Ports.

Aggregate interface exist on PANW Firewall. You can leave it to default as its outgoing traffic from firewall. It doesnt matter which switch recieves it.


Hardik Shah

So you're suggesting to have the aggregate on the firewall but have that aggregate connect to standard interfaces on the switch with no port-channeling configured? The switch doesn't have to be configured for an 802.3ad aggregation as well?

That is right Mackwage, Firwewall in aggregate, and it goes to stand alone port of Switch. And it will work just fine.

Let me know if my answer is Helpful.

L7 Applicator

Check out the full sample design in the Design Guide example 4.6 on page 80 and following.  I think this is the scenario for your setup.

Designing Networks with Palo Alto Networks Firewalls

Steve Puluka BSEET - IP Architect - DQE Communications (Metro Ethernet/ISP)
ACE PanOS 6; ACE PanOS 7; ASE 3.0; PSE 7.0 Foundations & Associate in Platform; Cyber Security; Data Center
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