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LAN Failover via direct fiber cable


PIX V635 Failover environment :

when using 2 PIX in failover mode, it is recommended (or more) not to connect the 2 PIX via a cross-over cable, but to use 1 or more intermediate switches ;

Question :

for tests purposes, should a failover configuration using a direct cross-over fiber cable (between 2 PIX Fiber GE ports) or a direct cross-over copper cable (betwwen 2 PIX copper FE ports) work ?

or should we understand that such a configuration will never work, even for a simple test ?

1 Reply 1


Will the cross-over cable work?....Yes, but...

The PIX will pass traffic and support you testing purposes as long as the failover cable is within spec (I've seen a number of copper failover and state cables that are about 10 inches in length..i.e. out of spec physically).

The problem with a cross over cable for the failover link and the reason an intermediate switch is recommended is, "What happens when one of the failover interfaces on the Primary or Standby fails?

The standby will miss hellos from the primary, and begin testing, but which interface is down? The first test the firewalls will perform is a Link UP/Down test....once again, who has failed? Because the firewalls will be able to communicate on other interfaces there will be no failover. So what happens? To quote the manual, "If the firewall does not receive a response on the failover link only, then the unit does not failover. The failover link is marked as failed. You should restore the failover link as soon as possible because the unit cannot fail over to the standby while the failover link is down."

Will it pass traffic? Yes. Do you derive all the HA benifits of failover? No.

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