Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

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L4 Transporter

Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

Bit of a curly one which I'm not sure of the answer on.

We're hitting our PA2020's pretty hard in the SSL VPN department (now hitting up to 50 or 60 clients at a time), a reasonably recent ramp-up owing to some business expansion - also have several IPSEC VPN's running through the same box.

I'm noticing that in my performance graphing, the firewall regularly drops SNMP packets - no response to SNMP queries - you can see from this graph

Palo Alto Primary - Traffic - ethernet1/1

Notice the gaps in the graph lines - these are periods where the device gives no response to SNMP.

I'm trying to figure out WHY this could be happening, and the only thing I can think of is maybe some of the SSL VPN or IPSEC processing is being done on the management plane (and SNMP gets dumped if it's too busy because it's a low priority).

This is a concern, not because of the SNMP (I don't really care if I miss a bit of data on that), but because there is the potential for a lot more demand for SSL VPN users within the organisation - and if this *is* the cause of the issue, I'm going tobe in deep do-do.

So - is the SSL processing done on the management plane or the data plane?

If it's the management plane, I can use this an an excuse to maybe convince the boss to upgrade me to 3000 series boxes. :-)

Thanks


Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
L2 Linker

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

Hello,

ikemgr/keymgr or sslvpn processes are handled by Management plane.

View solution in original post


All Replies
Highlighted
L4 Transporter

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

You link doesn't work, can you attach a screenshot ?

Highlighted
L2 Linker

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

Hello,

ikemgr/keymgr or sslvpn processes are handled by Management plane.

View solution in original post

Highlighted
L7 Applicator

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

As hparikh mentions, these setup processes are in the management plane, but the traffic for the user is in the data plane processing.

As far as capacity goes, each of the PA platforms has an upper limit on the number of SSL vpn connections that it can support.  This is in large part to keep the box from being overloaded.  You should feel comfortable going up to these levels.  And be aware of where that limit is to plan upgrades.

Product selector has this limit information.

Product Selection

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
Highlighted
L4 Transporter

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

Thank you. Short and simple answer.

Highlighted
L4 Transporter

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

Steven Puluka wrote:

As hparikh mentions, these setup processes are in the management plane, but the traffic for the user is in the data plane processing.

As far as capacity goes, each of the PA platforms has an upper limit on the number of SSL vpn connections that it can support.  This is in large part to keep the box from being overloaded.  You should feel comfortable going up to these levels.  And be aware of where that limit is to plan upgrades.

Product selector has this limit information.

Product Selection

I'm not pushing even close to the stated limits for the device - and yet I'm seeing issues with the management plane responding to SNMP, and continued excessive CPU usage (beyond the well known 5 minute indexing spikes).

It's not an obvious performance issue - yet - but if the box is working hard enough to regularly drop SNMP, then I'm obviously getting close to putting it under a load it can't reasonably deal with.

Perhaps once I bite the bullet and upgrade to V6 (with it's reported fix for the log indexing issue which has been in 4.x and 5.x) this may settle down.

Thanks for your input.

Highlighted
L7 Applicator

Re: Where is SSL processing done - data plane or management plane?

You can check which processes are using how much cpu while at the peak times and see what the culprit is.

show system resources

I believe the ssl daemon has ssl in the name if I remember correctly.

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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