Follow provisioning requirements and best practices for
These are the provisioning requirements
and best practices for HA clustering.
Provisioning Requirements and Best Practices
members must be the same firewall model and run the same PAN-OS
upgrading, firewall members will continue to synchronize sessions
with one member at a different version.
It is highly recommended and a best practice to use Panorama
to provision HA cluster members to keep all configuration and policies
synchronized among all cluster members.
HA cluster members must be licensed for the same components
to ensure consistent policy enforcement and content inspection capabilities.
The licenses must expire at the same time to prevent mismatched
licenses and loss of functionality.
All cluster members should be running with the same version
of dynamic Content Updates for consistent security enforcement.
HA cluster members must share the same zone names in order for
sessions to successfully fail over to another cluster member. For
example, suppose sessions going to an ingress zone named
dropped because the link is down. For those sessions to fail over
to an HA firewall peer in the cluster, that peer must also have
a zone named
Client-to-server and server-to-client flows must go back to
the same firewall under normal (non-failure) conditions in order
for security content scanning to occur. Asymmetric traffic won’t
be dropped, but it cannot be scanned for security purposes.
Session Synchronization Best Practices
Dedicated HA communication
interfaces should be used over dataplane interfaces. HSCI interfaces
aren’t used for HA4. This allows separation of HA pair and cluster
session synchronization to ensure maximum bandwidth and reliability
for session syncing.
HA4 should be adequately sized if you use dataplane interfaces.
This ensures best effort session state synchronizing between cluster
Best practice is to have a dedicated cluster network for the
HA4 communications link to ensure adequate bandwidth and non-congested,
low-latency connections between cluster members.
Architect your networks and perform traffic engineering to avoid
possible race conditions, in which a network steers traffic from the
session owner to a cluster member before the session is successfully
synced between the firewalls. Layer2 HA4 connections must have sufficient
bandwidth and low latency to allow timely synchronization between
HA members. The HA4 latency must be lower than the latency incurred
when the peering devices switch traffic between cluster members.
Architect your networks to minimize asymmetric flows. Session
setup requires one cluster member to see the complete TCP three-way
Health Check Best Practices
On HA pairs in a cluster,
configure an Active/Passive pair with HA backup communication links
for HA1, HA2, and HA4. Configure an Active/Active pair with HA backup
communications links for HA1, HA2, HA3, and HA4.
Configure HA4 backup links on all cluster members.