Redundant Switch Firewall Setup using HP/CheckPoint

Posted on 2013-11-14
Last Modified: 2014-03-17
I am converting our existing switch network to a redundant setup so that we can remove the network level single point of failure. There are three types of devices in play: 2 CheckPoint 4400's, 2 HP 2910s and 2 HP 5120s (actually more, but not necessary for this purpose). The plan is have each firewall plugged into each HP 2910 (core switches). Each HP LAN switch would also be plugged into each HP 2910. Finally, each server would be setup with Microsoft NIC Teaming and plugged into each LAN switch. I believe this would allow any one network component to fail with minimal or no downtime. All of this is diagramed on the attached Visio.

So my question is, aside from configuring the firewalls (already setup as redundant), what needs to happen on the switches? Obviously I need to enable Spanning Tree (I used stp mode MSTP). Do I need to configure a region or device priority? Is there a better way to set this up (such as IRF)?Network Layout
Question by:pdinfotech
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39649467
I'd do it slightly different...

Don't connect each firewall to both switches.  Just connect each one to one switch.  You can configure active/passive on the Checkpoints and let them deal with redundancy that way.

The rest of it looks ok.  Just remember to use active/passive on the server as you can't aggregate across both switches unless you use something like multi-chassis etherchannel.

STP is a must here so make sure you get it right.  MST is good, but you usually need to configure at least one region.  Nominate one core switch as the root.

Author Comment

ID: 39651089
OK, makes sense. Would the rest of the switches then be part of the same region? Also, will there be any issues putting the 2910's and 5120's in the same region since they are fairly different on features, commands, etc.
LVL 46

Accepted Solution

Craig Beck earned 500 total points
ID: 39651098
Yes, feature set shouldn't be an issue.  The layout is what dictates how you arrange and configure your STP deployment.

Author Comment

ID: 39651886
So assuming I use MSTP, should I drop all the switches in the same region? The actual layout would have 10x 5120's with 2x in each rack. Devices on each pair would have traffic on the switch pair as well as traffic to other racks. None of the 5120's would connect to each other, rather they would all plug into the two core switches (2910's).
LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39651975
One region will be fine.  You can map VLANs to separate instances if you want to, within the region.

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