Nexus 3K & Check Point FW HA Config

I need help configuring HA between a single Check Point 12K firewall (77.20) and two Cisco Nexus 3K switches (latest rev) in Primary/Secondary mode.  There is a vpc between the two switches.  The goal is to have a connection from each Nexus switch going to a port channel bond on the Check Point firewall (2 ports).

I can handle the Check Point side, I just need to know the correct way to set the Nexus switches up so that if one connection is down (as in the Nexus switch fails) traffic to/from the CP FW fails over automatically to the other Nexus switch.  If I need to have 2 ports from each Nexus going to 4 total ports on the CP that is also a good solution.

In top of the points, the correct solution will also get a $25.00 Starbucks (or the coffee of your choice) gift card.  I need this answer by Tuesday 7/14 so I am very motivated!

Note: These switches are all copper ports except for the interconnects between them.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
Well, vPC is not that hard to set up... Nah, that's a lie.  It's really a bit of a pain. :-)

First, you'll need two 10g peer links between the two 3K's. You can do it with one, but that is highly discouraged.

Next, you'll need a keepalive link between the two 3K's. There's not much traffic being sent over this link so it's doesn't need to be dedicated.  But you can NOT use the peer links!  Many people will use the management ports and that's fine. You will need to remember that the management ports are on a different VRF though.

Then you just build the vPC config and once you're done, configure the remote device. In your case the Checkpoint.

The following config snippet is from the Cisco vPC Quickstart Guide.

In this example, the management ports are used for the keepalive links.  Don't forget the include the "vrf management" or it won't work.  E1/30 and 31 are the peer links between the vPC peers.  E1/49&50 are going to the client or remote device. So that device will have 4-ports to make up the channel.  You can use one from each peer as well.
Switch 1
n3k-1# conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
n3k-1(config)# feature vpc
n3k-1(config)# feature lacp
n3k-1(config)# vpc domain 1
n3k-1(config-vpc-domain)# peer-gateway  
n3k-1(config-vpc-domain)# peer-keepalive destination vrf management
n3k-1(config-vpc-domain)# int e1/30-31
n3k-1(config-if-range)# channel-group 12 mode active
n3k-1(config-if-range)# int po 12
n3k-1(config-if)# vpc peer-link
n3k-1(config-if)# switchport mode trunk  (if you have more than one VLAN over the vPC)
n3k-1(config)# int e1/49-50
n3k-1(config-if-range)# channel-group 1234 mode active
n3k-1(config-if-range)# int po 1234
n3k-1(config-if)# vpc 1234
n3k-1(config-if)# switchport mode trunk

Open in new window

Switch 2
n3k-2# conf t
n3k-2(config)# feature vpc
n3k-2(config)# feature lacp
n3k-2(config)# vpc domain 1
n3k-2(config-vpc-domain)# peer-keepalive destination vrf management
n3k-2(config-vpc-domain)# int e1/30-31
n3k-2(config-if-range)# channel-group 12 mode active
n3k-2(config-if-range)# int po 12
n3k-2(config-if)# vpc peer-link
n3k-2(config-if)#switchport mode trunk
n3k-2(config)# int e1/49-50
n3k-2(config-if-range)# channel-group 1234 mode active
n3k-2(config-if-range)# int po 1234
n3k-2(config-if)# vpc 1234
n3k-2(config-if)# switchport mode trunk

Open in new window


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
netbonesAuthor Commented:
Hey Thanks.

However I already have the two switches setup that way, what I need is the configuration between the switches and the CheckPoint FW.  My problem is that I assume I need to have a channel bond established on the CP device, but that doesn't translate (to me) back to each switch, since it would in effect break the channel bond (because one leg goes to one switch, the other to the other switch) and the Nexus boxes won't see it as a port channel.
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
I'm really sorry, but I don't understand.

You would configure the CP device the same way you would if there was a channel to a single device.
ON-DEMAND: 10 Easy Ways to Lose a Password

Learn about the methods that hackers use to lift real, working credentials from even the most security-savvy employees in this on-demand webinar. We cover the importance of multi-factor authentication and how these solutions can better protect your business!

netbonesAuthor Commented:
It's me that doesn't understand!  So I have 2 ports on the CP box, configured as a port channel and a single IP associated to that bond.

I have 2 Nexus switches in Primary/Secondary mode with a vpc established between the two of them.  

I take port one on the channel bond of the CP box and plug it into a port on Nexus 1, and do the same with port 2  and plug it into a port on the Nexus 2.

Is that really all I need to do, no other configuration on the Nexus boxes?
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
Yes. That's really all there is to it.  The existence of vPC is completely transparent to the remote device.  As far as your CP device is concerned, it just a channel to another, single device.
netbonesAuthor Commented:
I'll be testing the config on Wednesday. Assuming all is well I'll PM you to get your email address to send the Starbucks card to!  Thanks -
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

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.