When you enable BFD, BFD establishes a session from one endpoint (the firewall) to its BFD peer at the endpoint of a link using a three-way handshake. Control packets perform the handshake and negotiate the parameters configured in the BFD profile, including the minimum intervals at which the peers can send and receive control packets. BFD control packets for both IPv4 and IPv6 are transmitted over UDP port 3784. BFD control packets for multihop support are transmitted over UDP port 4784. BFD control packets transmitted over either port are encapsulated in the UDP packets.
After the BFD session is established, the Palo Alto Networks implementation of BFD operates in asynchronous mode, meaning both endpoints send each other control packets (which function like Hello packets) at the negotiated interval. If a peer does not receive a control packet within the detection time (calculated as the negotiated transmit interval multiplied by a Detection Time Multiplier), the peer considers the session down. (The firewall does not support demand mode, in which control packets are sent only if necessary rather than periodically.)
When you enable BFD for a static route and a BFD session between the firewall and the BFD peer fails, the firewall removes the failed route from the RIB and FIB tables and allows an alternate path with a lower priority to take over. When you enable BFD for a routing protocol, BFD notifies the routing protocol to switch to an alternate path to the peer. Thus, the firewall and BFD peer reconverge on a new path.
A BFD profile allows you to Configure BFD settings and apply them to one or more routing protocols or static routes on the firewall. If you enable BFD without configuring a profile, the firewall uses its default BFD profile (with all of the default settings). You cannot change the default BFD profile.
When an interface is running multiple protocols that use different BFD profiles, BFD uses the profile having the lowest
Desired Minimum Tx Interval. See BFD for Dynamic Routing Protocols.
Active/passive HA peers synchronize BFD configurations and sessions; active/active HA peers do not.
PAN-OS also supports RFC 5881, http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5881.txt. In this case, BFD tracks a single hop between two systems that use IPv4 or IPv6, so the two systems are directly connected to each other. BFD also tracks multiple hops from peers connected by BGP. PAN-OS follows BFD encapsulation as described in RFC 5883, https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5883.txt. However, PAN-OS does not support authentication.
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