Configure High Availability Airwall Gateways (v2.2.8 and later)

Configuring high-availability (HA) Airwall Gateways in v2.2.8 and later. For v2.2-v2.2.5, see Configure High Availability for Airwall Gateways (v2.2-v2.2.5).

The high-availability architecture for Airwall Gateways distinguishes between the following Airwall Gateway roles:

  • Primary vs. secondary: These roles are assigned when the HA pairing is created. The Primary Airwall Gateway is the one that is added to the overlay in the Conductor. The secondary Airwall Gateway has no configuration on its own with the exception of identity-related information and port configuration. The primary and secondary role assignment can’t be changed during the lifetime of the HA pairing.
  • Active vs. standby: At any given time only one Airwall Gateway is active and participating in overlay network communications. The active Airwall Gateway maintains a heartbeat on a dedicated Ethernet link. If the active Airwall Gateway fails to send heartbeat messages to the standby, the standby takes over the overlay network communications for the HA pair.

Before You Begin

Before you configure a High-availability (HA) pair, you must:

  • Have a Conductor set up and running.
  • Configure and connect the physical or virtual v2.2.8 or later Airwall Gateways you wish to configure for high availability. You need two physical or two virtual Airwall Gateways. See Set up physical Airwall Gateways for more information.
  • Connect both Airwall Gateways to the same underlay and overlay network.
Note: Cloud Airwall Gateways do not support HA.

Create a High-availability Airwall Gateway pairing

High availability Airwall Gateway pairing is supported in v2.2 and later.

To configure High-availability Airwall Gateways, you need to:

  1. For virtual Airwall Gateways only – Add an ethernet port
  2. Connect the Airwall Gateways
  3. Pair the Airwall Gateways for High Availability
  4. Make sure the Overlay Port Group settings match
These steps are described in more detail below.

1  For Virtual Airwall Gateways only – Add an ethernet port

For virtual Airwall Gateways, you need to add an ethernet port for the heartbeat the high-availability Airwall Gateways use to communicate status. See your Hypervisor for instructions on adding a network port.

2 Connect the Airwall Gateways

You can configure a pair of physical or virtual Airwall Gateways as a high-availability pair.
  1. Select the primary Airwall Gateway and select or add an HA Port Group
    1. At the top right of the Ports tab, select Edit Settings.
    2. Select an available HA Port Group, or, to create one, go to Ports and select an available port, and create an HA Port Group. The port group sets up a virtual connection between the Airwall Gateways you’re configuring as an HA pair. A virtual Airwall Gateway is expandable up to six (6) ports. You must configure one port for HA heartbeats with the HA role.
  2. Repeat step 1 with the secondary Airwall Gateway.
  3. If you are using physical Airwall Gateways, physically connect the primary to the secondary using an ethernet cable between the dedicated HA ethernet ports on both Airwall Gateways with an ethernet cable (so you have both a port and a physical connection between the two Airwall Gateways).
  4. If you are using virtual Airwall Gateways, connect the port created above to each other in the virtual network. See your Hypervisor help for instructions.
Next, you will pair the Airwall Gateways.

3 Pair the Airwall Gateways for High Availability

  1. Open the page for the Airwall Gateway you want to be Active in the HA pairing.
  2. Open the HA tab and select Edit Settings.
  3. Under Select a high-availability backup Airwall Gateway, select the secondary/standby Airwall Gateway.
  4. If the port configuration on the selected secondary Airwall Gateway is different from the configuration on the primary Airwall Gateway, you will see an alert with the option to transfer the configuration of the primary Airwall Gateway to the secondary Airwall Gateway. Select Synchronize port configurations to copy the configuration from the primary to the secondary Airwall Gateway.
    Port replication alert with Synchronize port configurations button
  5. Set HA Heartbeat settings for an Airwall Gateway HA pair.
  6. Check Swap roles after failover if you want the standby Airwall Gateway to remain active in the event of a failover. If this is not checked, the failed Airwall Gateway will automatically become active again once it back online.
  7. Check Trigger fail-over when network is unavailable if you want to initiate a failover if the Airwall Gateway detects that it has no network connectivity. With this option checked, the standby will become active if the current active Airwall Gateway has no underlay connectivity on any underlay port group but the standby still does.
  8. Next to HA floating IPs, select the + (plus sign), and enter an IP address that the HA-pair will share. This IP address will be advertised by the Conductor to all peer Airwall Gateways, but only the active Airwall Gateway owns it. This IP address should be routable and in the same subnets as the underlay IPs of the HA-pair. You may skip this if the HA Airwall Gateways always communicate through a relay. You can configure more than one floating IP if the HA Airwall Gateways have multiple underlay ports.
    Set HA floating IPs
  9. Select Update Settings.
The shared High Availability (HA) IP address is a virtual IP address that moves between the two Airwall Gateways and is only set on the active one, so that remote Airwall Gateways have a consistent destination IP address for their connections to the HA Pair. The shared HA IP address must be a static IP address assigned for this specific purpose.

4 Make sure the Overlay Port Group settings match

  1. Check the Overlay Port Group of your primary Airwall Gateway for an IP address or any other configured settings (such as DHCP, source NAT, etc).
  2. The Conductor displays an alert on the Port configuration and HA tabs if there are discrepancies between the port configurations. Click Synchronize port configurations to replicate the configuration of the primary Airwall Gateway to the secondary. Note that the secondary Airwall Gateway must be online to replicate the settings.
    Port replication alert

Test the High-Availability Pair

The HA tab on either HA-paired Airwall Gateway displays the setup of the HA pair, identifying the primary and secondary, along with their current roles and status. Immediately after setting up the HA pair, the status displays Setting up. After a few seconds, the status of both Airwall Gateways will change: to OK (tunneling) on the active and to OK (monitoring) on the standby.

You can manually reverse the active and standby roles by selecting Swap Roles. This option initiates a failover from the current active Airwall Gateway to the standby, and permanently reverse the roles irrespective of the Swap roles after failover setting.

You can also see that the Airwall Gateways are paired on the Dashboard.

Remove a High-Availability Pairing

You remove an HA pairing from the primary Airwall Gateway.
  1. Open the page for the primary Airwall Gateway, and on the HA tab, select Edit Settings.
  2. Select Remove HA pairing.
  3. Select Update Settings.
When an HA Pair is removed, the primary Airwall Gateway stays in the Overlay Network and the secondary Airwall Gateway is removed from the Overlay network.