Configuring NP4 traffic offloading

Configuring NP4 traffic offloading

Offloading traffic to a network processor requires that the FortiGate unit configuration and the traffic itself is suited to hardware acceleration. There are requirements for path the sessions and the individual packets.

NP4 session fast path requirements

Sessions must be fast path ready. Fast path ready session characteristics are:

  • Layer 2 type/length must be 0x0800 (IEEE 802.1q VLAN specification is supported)
  • Layer 3 protocol must be IPv4
  • Layer 4 protocol must be UDP, TCP or ICMP
  • Layer 3 / Layer 4 header or content modification must not require a session helper (for example, SNAT, DNAT, and TTL reduction are supported, but application layer content modification is not supported)
  • Firewall policies must not include proxy-based security features (proxy-based virus scanning, proxy-based web filtering, DNS filtering, DLP, Anti-Spam, VoIP, ICAP, Web Application Firewall, or Proxy options).
  • If the FortiGate supports NTurbo, firewall policies can include flow-based security features (IPS, Application Control CASI, flow-based antivirus, or flow-based web filtering) .
  • Origin must not be local host (the FortiGate unit)

 

If you disable anomaly checks by Intrusion Prevention (IPS), you can still enable NP4 hardware accelerated anomaly checks using the  fp-anomaly field of the

config system interface CLI command. See Offloading NP4 anomaly detection on page 1270Offloading NP4 anomaly detection on page 1270

If a session is not fast path ready, the FortiGate unit will not send the session key to the network processor(s). Without the session key, all session key lookup by a network processor for incoming packets of that session fails, causing all session packets to be sent to the FortiGate unit’s main processing resources, and processed at normal speeds.

If a session is fast path ready, the FortiGate unit will send the session key to the network processor(s). Session key lookup then succeeds for subsequent packets from the known session.

 

Packet fast path requirements

Packets within the session must then also meet packet requirements.

  • Incoming packets must not be fragmented.
  • Outgoing packets must not require fragmentation to a size less than 385 bytes. Because of this requirement, the configured MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) for network processors’ network interfaces must also meet or exceed the network processors’ supported minimum MTU of 385 bytes.

If packet requirements are not met, an individual packet will use FortiGate unit main processing resources, regardless of whether other packets in the session are offloaded to the specialized network processor(s).

In some cases, due to these requirements, a protocol’s session(s) may receive a mixture of offloaded and non- offloaded processing.

For example, FTP uses two connections: a control connection and a data connection. The control connection requires a session helper, and cannot be offloaded, but the data connection does not require a session helper, and can be offloaded. Within the offloadable data session, fragmented packets will not be offloaded, but other packets will be offloaded.

Some traffic types differ from general offloading requirements, but still utilize some of the network processors’ encryption and other capabilities. Exceptions include IPsec traffic and active-active high availability (HA) load balanced traffic.

 

Mixing fast path and non-fast path traffic

If packet requirements are not met, an individual packet will be processed by the FortiGate CPU regardless of whether other packets in the session are offloaded to the NP4.

Also, in some cases, a protocol’s session(s) may receive a mixture of offloaded and non-offloaded processing.

For example, VoIP control packets may not be offloaded but VoIP data packets (voice packets) may be offloaded.


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