Quick Note on 8.1.0 Deployments

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Quick Note on 8.1.0 Deployments

Cyber Elite
Cyber Elite

Since its release we've seen an uptick in folks deploying 8.1.0 to their firewalls, and that's a great thing. I just want to throw out a word of caution before doing so however; while 8.1.0 is one of the most stable base releases Palo Alto Networks has published, you need to do your homework before deploying this in any environment. 


LAB Devices:

If you have access to any sort of LAB equipment, this is where you should be installing 8.1.0. Start testing your configuration in a LAB environment so that you can have a knowledgeable estimate of when you feel comfortable deploying 8.1 to your production equipment. 

If you happen to utilize your LAB equipment in a Change Management process, take note that you are running a different version of PAN-OS when you actually test changes. Something that didn't work in your 8.1.0 LAB may work perfectly fine on 8.0.8 that you have running on your production equipment. On the other hand, something that works out perfectly fine on 8.1.0, may not function on 8.0.8 due to a bug being patched between versions. 


Production Devices:

If you do not have access to LAB equipment to verify that your production configuration will actually fully function on 8.1.0, I would personally highly advise you to keep 8.1.0 off your production equipment. 

Limitations of 8.1.0 are fairly small, however there are 13 pages of known issues within 8.1.0 along with 3 known issues specific to a WF-500 appliance. Before you contend with loading 8.1.0 on production equipment you should take the time to go through all of these known issues and decide if your environment would actually experience them and if you can work around them until they are patched in future maintenance releases. Causing an outage because you want to utilize the awesome SSL Decryption Broker, or the awesome new hit counters, is likely not going to go well. 


Generally this boils down to following Palo Alto's recommended upgrade procedure and just doing your own due diligence before upgrading to 8.1. I think there are a few people that are getting wrapped up in the truly amazing feature improvements of 8.1, and throwing best practices out the window. If you don't have LAB equipment to properly test things out, let those of us that do find all of the bugs before causing an outage due to wanting a new software upgrade quickly. 

If you truly want 8.1 and just simply can't wait to upgrade, I'd at least make a post here about what your configuration looks like prior to upgrading. We have a lot of people within these forums that have been running 8.1.0 since the beta was released on LAB equipment and home deployments that can likely take a glance at what you are doing and at least give you some real-world experience on what you should expect. 



L1 Bithead

Great Advice of course.  Management at my company is chomping at the bit for a more secure Linux deployment of Global Protect.  My test device has it working well, removing the need for the X-Auth PSK and implementing a Public Certificate authentication mechanism was key.  Unfortunately, that part isn't supported on the pre 8.1 OS as "Linux" isn't a valid OS option on the Portal Config.


PS, use spell check!  Some people in management see misspelling and the author's credibility is instantly diminished regardless of the years of experience.


I really wish spellcheck on Live was automatic like most other message boards. I've sent the original post through Word, so hopefully the spelling is at least somewhat correct. Honestly though, I don't think many management personnel are visiting the Live forums. 

L4 Transporter

I've been playing with PAN-OS 8.1 on a PA-200 and a PA-220 of which there is a site-to-site VPN tunnel between them.  The upgrade went well overall (from 8.0.8 to 8.1.0) however I have run into two things, one more troubling than the other:


  • LDAP - After the update to 8.1 my the LDAP attribute is required and if empty LDAP authentication will fail.  In our case I needed to add sAMAccountName to complete one phase of authentication for my Global Protect clients.

  • Site-to-Site VPN - After the update to 8.1, traffic accross the IPSec site-to-site VPN is sluggish and simple functions such as logging into Active Directory no longer work as it did before.  I have even went as far as to create a special rule to disable server response inspection for SMB traffic yet no dice.  Other protocols such as HTTPS, RDP, SSH all seem to run fine yet Microsoft workstations have issues logging into the domain.  Overall it seems to be a bit slower than before as well. 

    [Update] As of today they can read from shares but cannot write to them.  The intersting thing is that this seems to only affect Microsoft SMB shares via the domain controller.  SMB shares on other devices (such as QNAP which I think uses Samba) work without issue.  Time to open a support case.

There are the two issues that I have expereince so far.  The VPN issue is troubling and I may have to revert to 8.0.8 if i cant figure this one out.  If anyone has any ideas, I would gladly listen to them.


Did you get any specific details from support on the SMB issue?  Perhaps a way to work around it without downgrade?

Like what you see?

Show your appreciation!

Click Like if a post is helpful to you or if you just want to show your support.

Click Accept as Solution to acknowledge that the answer to your question has been provided.

The button appears next to the replies on topics you’ve started. The member who gave the solution and all future visitors to this topic will appreciate it!

These simple actions take just seconds of your time, but go a long way in showing appreciation for community members and the LIVEcommunity as a whole!

The LIVEcommunity thanks you for your participation!