Sonicwall Firewall looses internet connection randomly

I am having problems with one of my remote offices looses their internet connections several times a day. They loose connectivity with our main office servers, and also the msn messenger and web access goes down. A "break" lasts for about 3 to 4 minutes. I have spoken to the ISP , who claims that they cannot se any breaks on the line and everything seems fine.

Both firewalls are TZ180's

When the firewall is down i can not reach it through the vpn connection , or through https via the internet. Hence i conclude that it is not only the vpn connection that is down , but the whole firewall.

On the remote firewall i have the following error message(s) :

22      04/03/2009 08:59:13.483      IKE negotiation aborted due to timeout              
23      04/03/2009 08:58:40.483      IKE Initiator: No response - remote party timeout, 500, 500              
24      04/03/2009 08:58:23.483      IKE Initiator: No response - remote party timeout, 500, 500              
25      04/03/2009 08:58:12.483      IKE Initiator: No response - remote party timeout, 500, 500              
26      04/03/2009 08:58:06.633      IKE Initiator: Start Main Mode negotiation (Phase 1), 500, 500

while on the main office firewall is get the following error messages :

04/03/2009 08:58:22.016      Info      VPN IKE      IKE Responder: Remote party timeout - Retransmitting IKE request., 500, 500      VPN Policy: GS Bildeler Bergen       

04/03/2009 08:58:12.704      Warning      VPN IKE      Received packet retransmission. Drop duplicate packet, 500, 500      VPN Policy: GS Bildeler Bergen       

04/03/2009 08:58:12.016      Info      VPN IKE      IKE Responder: Remote party timeout - Retransmitting IKE request., 500, 500      VPN Policy: GS Bildeler Bergen       

04/03/2009 08:58:06.864      Info      VPN IKE      IKE Responder: Received Main Mode request (Phase 1), 500, 500

I suspect these error messages rely only to vpn communication, but i can not see any other error messages that gives me any reason why the firewall looses internet connection.

This problem is starting to annoy me :), any help is deeply appreciated.

Yours sincerly
Stein Arvid Lid
Who is Participating?
_Lid_Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Turned out it was a problem with the ISP's telephone central.
SteveNetwork ManagerCommented:
if i was you first thing i'd be setting up is a constant 'ping' to their IP address. if you've got MRTG / PRTG or the like, graph it.. so you can see what is happening with the link itself..

maybe you have a device on the internet between the two sites that is playing up.. (happens a lot)..

do a traceroute from your site to the end customers.. print it out..

next time the link goes down, do a ping test of about 100 pings to each IP in order from your's to the end site and see which one is playing up.. if none of them are and the vpn is still timing out, i'd be looking at a firmware upgrade on the sonicwall .. then test again..

Do you have a Linux machine available? If so, get and run something like SmokePing, or Nagios. This will keep a regular watch on the remote site via any accessable route (SmokePing pings, of course, but Nagios can be told to check for web server, pop server, etc., when you tell it what to expect).

You need to find out - is the *network* connection dying, is the router dyign, or is the Sonicwall playing up?

If you can't watch it constantly, take some manual ping and traceroute readings when you know the ilne is up, then, next time it's down, run the same tests and compare results.

Do they reboot anythign at the remote site to "fix" it or does it just come back by itself?

Whilst it's down, can you gety them to look at the lights on the router, the firewall, etc? Is there anyone at the remote site who can be tasked to run some tests looking outwards when its' down, e.g. ping the firewall, ping the router, ping an internet server, ping YOUR firewall...

Break it down into simple steps, test each step, narrow down the affected step...
Nagios is they way to go.  In addition to what ccomley has said, Nagios can do more than ping and check for responses on public ports, it does more complicated stuff like downloading a file and testing it's contents - if it's what you expect then your web server and apps are in good shape, etc.  Nagios will also email you on status change (both down and up), and there's a Nagios add-on for Firefox which constantly monitors and alerts you if the browser is open.  Nagios will also keep a history.

Steve :)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.