HA Ports on Palo Alto Networks Firewalls

Learn about HA ports available on Palo Alto Networks® firewalls.
When connecting two Palo Alto Networks® firewalls in a high availability (HA) configuration, we recommend that you use the dedicated HA ports for HA Links and Backup Links. These dedicated ports include: the HA1 ports labeled HA1, HA1-A, and HA1-B used for HA control and synchronization traffic; and HA2 and the High Speed Chassis Interconnect (HSCI) ports used for HA session setup traffic. The PA-5200 Series firewalls have multipurpose auxiliary ports labeled AUX-1 and AUX-2 that you can configure for HA1 traffic.
You can also configure the HSCI port for HA3, which is used for packet forwarding to the peer firewall during session setup and asymmetric traffic flow (active/active HA only). The HSCI port can be used for HA2 traffic, HA3 traffic, or both.
The HA1, HA2, and AUX links provide synchronization for functions that reside on the management plane. Using the dedicated HA interfaces on the management plane is more efficient than using the in-band ports as this eliminates the need to pass the synchronization packets over the dataplane.
If your firewall does not have dedicated HA ports, you can configure data ports as HA interfaces. If your firewall does have dedicated HA ports but does not have a dedicated HA backup port, you can also configure data ports as backups to dedicated HA ports.
Whenever possible, connect HA ports directly between the two firewalls in an HA pair (not through a switch or router) to avoid HA link and communications problems that could occur if there is a network issue.
Use the following table to learn about dedicated HA ports and how to connect the HA Links and Backup Links:
Model
Front-Panel Dedicated Port(s)
PA-800 Series, PA-3000 Series, and PA-5000 Series Firewalls
  • HA1 and HA2—Ethernet 10Mbps/100Mbps/1000Mbps ports used for HA1 and HA2 in both HA Modes.
    • For HA1 traffic—Connect the HA1 port on the first firewall directly to the HA1 port on the second firewall in the pair or connect these ports together through a switch or router.
    • For HA2 traffic—Connect the HA2 port on the first firewall directly to the HA2 port on the second firewall in the pair or connect these ports together through a switch or router.
PA-3200 Series Firewalls
  • HA1-A and HA1-B—Ethernet 10Mbps/100Mbps/1000Mbps ports used for HA1 traffic in both HA Modes.
    • For HA1 traffic—Connect the HA1-A port on the first firewall directly to the HA1-A port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
    • For a backup to the HA1-A connection—Connect the HA1-B port on the first firewall directly to the HA1-B port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
      If the firewall dataplane restarts due to a failure or manual restart, the HA1-B link will also restart. If this occurs and the HA1-A link is not connected and configured, then a split brain condition occurs. Therefore, we recommend that you connect and configure the HA1-A ports and the HA1-B ports to provide redundancy and to avoid split brain issues.
  • HSCI—The HSCI port is a Layer 1 SFP+ interface that connects two PA-3200 Series firewalls in an HA configuration. Use this port for an HA2 connection, HA3 connection, or both.
    The traffic carried on the HSCI ports is raw Layer 1 traffic, which is not routable or switchable. Therefore, you must connect the HSCI ports directly to each other (from the HSCI port on the first firewall to the HSCI port on the second firewall).
PA-5200 Series Firewalls
  • HA1-A and HA1-B—Ethernet 10Mbps/100Mbps/1000Mbps ports used for HA1 traffic in both HA Modes.
    • For HA1 traffic—Connect the HA1-A port on the first firewall directly to the HA1-A port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
    • For a backup to the HA1-A connection—Connect the HA1-B port on the first firewall directly to the HA1-B port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
  • HSCI—The HSCI port is a Layer 1 interface that connects two PA-5200 Series firewalls in an HA configuration. Use this port for an HA2 connection, HA3 connection, or both.
    The HSCI port on the PA-5220 firewall is a QSFP+ port and the HSCI port on the PA-5250, PA-5260, and PA-5280 firewalls is a QSFP28 port.
    The traffic carried on the HSCI port is raw Layer 1 traffic, which is not routable or switchable. Therefore, you must connect the HSCI ports directly to each other (from the HSCI port on the first firewall to the HSCI port on the second firewall).
PA-5200 Series Firewalls (continued)
  • AUX-1 and AUX-2—The auxiliary SFP+ ports are multipurpose ports that you can configure for HA1, management functions, or log forwarding to Panorama. Use these ports when you need a fiber connection for one of these functions.
    • For HA1 traffic—Connect the AUX-1 port on the first firewall directly to the AUX-1 port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
    • For a backup to the AUX-1 connection—Connect the AUX-2 port on the first firewall directly to the AUX-2 port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
PA-7000 Series Firewalls
For HA2 or HA2/HA3 traffic, the PA-7000 Series firewalls synchronize sessions across the NPCs one-for-one.
  • HA1-A and HA1-B—Ethernet 10Mbps/100Mbps/1000Mbps ports used for HA1 traffic in both HA Modes.
    • For HA1 traffic—Connect the HA1-A port on the first firewall directly to the HA1-A port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
    • For a backup to the HA1-A connection—Connect the HA1-B port on the first firewall directly to the HA1-B port on the second firewall in the pair or connect them together through a switch or router.
      You cannot configure an HA1 connection on the NPC data ports or the management (MGT) port.
  • HSCI-A and HSCI-B—The HSCI ports are Layer 1 QSFP+ interfaces that connect two PA-7000 Series firewalls in an HA configuration. Use these ports for an HA2 connection, HA3 connection, or both.
    The traffic carried on the HSCI ports is raw Layer 1 traffic, which is not routable or switchable. Therefore, you must connect these ports as follows:
    • For HA2 and HA3 traffic—Connect the HSCI-A port on the first firewall directly to the HSCI-A port on the second firewall.
    • For a backup to the HSCI-A connection—Connect the HSCI-B port on the first firewall directly to the HSCI-B port on the second firewall.

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