Organizations need to be resilient to occasional outages and issues with their internet service provider. Many choose to have two internet service providers to ensure that their network and business operations don’t suffer for no fault of their own. The Palo Alto Firewall can instantly detect an internet outage on the primary ISP and switch to the secondary ISP with minimal issue.
We need to ensure that an outage at our primary ISP will not significantly disrupt our organization’s productivity. We can configure Path Monitoring that continuously monitors the availability of the routes out of our primary ISP. If a ping fails to return, we can automatically failover our traffic to using the secondary ISP with only slight disruption to existing sessions.
On the Palo Alto Networks Firewall
High level steps on the firewall for ISP redundancy and traffic failover:
1. Setup default routes for each ISP and Path Monitoring for the primary ISP
2. Configure NAT policy rules
3. Commit and Verify Configuration
For demonstration purposes, let’s assume that:
Primary ISP – Ethernet 1/4 – 10.10.10.78/24
Secondary ISP – Ethernet 1/5 – 10.10.20.99/24
Primary Default Gateway – 10.10.10.11
Secondary Default Gateway – 10.10.20.22
1. Default Routes and Path Monitoring
Let’s start by setting up our primary default route and path monitoring.
Next Hop: IP Address 10.10.10.11
Now that we have the default route, let’s configure path monitoring for this route.
Source IP: 10.10.10.78/24 – (The address block we have for our Primary ISP)
Destination: 10.10.10.11 – (Our default gateway)
We can hypothetically ping anything on the internet to monitor this path, but let’s stick to the default gateway.
Let’s configure our secondary route. We’ll make sure to give this route a higher metric so that it’s only used if the primary route is deemed inaccessible.
Now that this is configured, if a ping fails to return, the primary route will be removed from the routing table and the secondary route will be active. If the firewall finds that the primary path has returned pings for 60 seconds, it will once again become the active route.
- 2. NAT Configuration
We want to ensure that we are translating to the correct public IP based on which interface and ISP we are using. Both internet providers have been placed in the same security zone, for further network segmentation, we could create a zone for each provider.
- 3. Commit and Verify
Now, we’ll commit our changes. In the top right, we’ll hit “Commit to Device”
Once that is complete, we can go to our routing table and verify the path monitoring. The Static Route Monitoring tab will tell us that status of our monitored route. Below is the instance in which the path is down and the primary route has been taken out of the routing table so that the secondary route may be used.
If you want to implement this in your environment and would be more comfortable having someone with experience help you in the process, contact your Sun Management account rep to schedule one of our certified Palo Alto Networks engineers to assist with setting up ISP redundancy on the firewall.
If you want to test this on your own and do not have access to a lab environment to do so, contact your Sun Management account rep to get pricing on a lab bundle. The PA-220 and VM-50 appliances are excellent platforms for testing things such as this and there are specific part numbers for lab equipment that are more heavily discounted than the same appliance for use in production.
Sun Management is a Value Added Reseller (VAR) focusing on Network and Internetwork Security Requirements. We work primarily in the Mid Atlantic area: Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), District of Columbia (DC), West Virginia (WV), Delaware (DE) and Pennsylvania (PA). Our credentials include Palo Alto Networks Services Provider, Palo Alto Networks Certified Training Partner, and Palo Alto Networks Certified Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) using CORTEX XSOAR in a multi-tenant environment.
We address requirements concerning Network Detection and Response (NDR); internal and external TLS and SSL requirements for complete data visibility; End Point Detection and Response (EDR); Gramm Leach Bliley Act, HIPPA, Sarbanes Oaxley and PCI DSS; penetration testing and firewall optimization; and Data Protection by tracking all Data Flows within the network, across applications, between users/servers and in the cloud. Contact us at (888) 773-9422 to setup a POC or if you just want more information.
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