LACP with Palo Alto Firewalls

Today’s task was get LACP working on a Palo Alto, so traffic and fault tolerance could be spread across multiple members of a Cisco 3750X switch stack.  The default settings on the Palo Alto surprised me a bit, as I was expecting it to default to active and enable fast timers, but this was easy to set:


Unfortunately during testing, it still took a good minute for failover to work.  This is because the standby unit disables interfaces until going active, so there’s a delay of 30-40 seconds for LACP bundling plus an additional 25-50 seconds for Spanning-Tree.  Working around Spanning-Tree was easy: just use Edge port aka PortFast.  Note it should be enabled at the channel level and ‘trunk’ must be added for it to work on trunk ports:

interface Port-channel4
 description Palo Alto Firewall - LACP
 switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
 switchport mode trunk
 logging event trunk-status
 logging event bundle-status
 spanning-tree portfast trunk

Speeding up LACP took a bit more research.  Apparently, only data center grade Cisco switches like the Catalyst 6500 and Nexus line support LACP 1-second fast timers out of the box.  The Catalyst 3750 however will support fast timers on the bleeding edge 15.2(4)E train.

Upon testing, the failover downtime due to LACP bundling is now under 10 seconds:

Jul 20 17:58:22 PST: %EC-5-UNBUNDLE: Interface Gi4/1/1 left the port-channel Po31
Jul 20 17:58:22 PST: %EC-5-UNBUNDLE: Interface Gi3/1/1 left the port-channel Po31
Jul 20 17:58:30 PST: %EC-5-BUNDLE: Interface Gi3/1/2 joined port-channel Po32
Jul 20 17:58:32 PST: %EC-5-BUNDLE: Interface Gi4/1/2 joined port-channel Po32





2 thoughts on “LACP with Palo Alto Firewalls

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s