Operating a cluster

Operating a cluster

With some exceptions, you can operate a cluster in much the same way as you operate a standalone FortiGate unit. This chapter describes those exceptions and also the similarities involved in operating a cluster instead of a standalone FortiGate unit.

 

Operating a cluster

The configurations of all of the FortiGate units in a cluster are synchronized so that the cluster units can simulate a single FortiGate unit. Because of this synchronization, you manage the HA cluster instead of managing the individual cluster units. You manage the cluster by connecting to the web-based manager using any cluster interface configured for HTTPS or HTTP administrative access. You can also manage the cluster by connecting to the CLI using any cluster interface configured for SSH or telnet administrative access.

The cluster web-based manager dashboard displays the cluster name, the host name and serial number of each cluster member, and also shows the role of each unit in the cluster. The roles can be master (primary unit) and slave (subordinate units). The dashboard also displays a cluster unit front panel illustration.

You can also go to System > HA to view the cluster members list. This includes status information for each cluster unit. You can also use the cluster members list for a number of cluster management functions including changing the HA configuration of an operating cluster, changing the host name and device priority of a subordinate unit, and disconnecting a cluster unit from a cluster. See Cluster members list on page 1480.

You can use log messages to view information about the status of the cluster. SeeClusters and logging on page 1472. You can use SNMP to manage the cluster by configuring a cluster interface for SNMP administrative access. Using an SNMP manager you can get cluster configuration information and receive traps.

You can configure a reserved management interface to manage individual cluster units. You can use this interface to access the web-based manager or CLI and to configure SNMP management for individual cluster units. See Managing individual cluster units using a reserved management interface on page 1465.

You can manage individual cluster units by using SSH, telnet, or the CLI console on the web-based manager dashboard to connect to the CLI of the cluster. From the CLI you can use the execute ha manage command to connect to the CLI of any unit in the cluster.

You can also manage individual cluster units by using a null-modem cable to connect to any cluster unit CLI. From there you can use the execute ha manage command to connect to the CLI of each unit in the cluster.

 

Operating a virtual cluster

Managing a virtual cluster is very similar to managing a cluster that does not contain multiple virtual domains. Most of the information in this chapter applies to managing both kinds of clusters. This section describes what is different when managing a virtual cluster.

If virtual domains are enabled, the cluster web-based manager dashboard displays the cluster name and the role of each cluster unit in virtual cluster 1 and virtual cluster 2.

The configuration and maintenance options that you have when you connect to a virtual cluster web-based manager or CLI depend on the virtual domain that you connect to and the administrator account that you use to connect.

If you connect to a cluster as the administrator of a virtual domain, you connect directly to the virtual domain. Since HA virtual clustering is a global configuration, virtual domain administrators cannot see HA configuration options. However, virtual domain administrators see the host name of the cluster unit that they are connecting to on the web browser title bar or CLI prompt. This host name is the host name of the primary unit for the virtual domain. Also, when viewing log messages the virtual domain administrator can select to view log messages for either of the cluster units.

If you connect to a virtual cluster as the admin administrator you connect to the global web-based manager or CLI. Even so, you are connecting to an interface and to the virtual domain that the interface has been added to. The virtual domain that you connect to does not make a difference for most configuration and maintenance operations. However, there are a few exceptions. You connect to the FortiGate unit that functions as the primary unit for the virtual domain. So the host name displayed on the web browser title bar and on the CLI is the host name of this primary unit.

 

Managing individual cluster units using a reserved management interface

You can provide direct management access to all cluster units by reserving a management interface as part of the HA configuration. Once this management interface is reserved, you can configure a different IP address, administrative access and other interface settings for this interface for each cluster unit. Then by connecting this interface of each cluster unit to your network you can manage each cluster unit separately from a different IP address. Configuration changes to the reserved management interface are not synchronized to other cluster units.

The reserved management interface provides direct management access to each cluster unit and gives each cluster unit a different identity on your network. This simplifies using external services, such as SNMP, to separately monitor and manage each cluster unit.

The reserved management interface is not assigned an HA virtual MAC address like other cluster interfaces. Instead the reserved management interface retains the per- manent hardware address of the physical interface unless you change it using the config system interface command.

The reserved management interface and IP address should not be used for managing a cluster using FortiManager. To correctly manage a FortiGate HA cluster with FortiManager use the IP address of one of the cluster unit interfaces.

If you enable SNMP administrative access for the reserved management interface you can use SNMP to monitor each cluster unit using the reserved management interface IP address. To monitor each cluster unit using SNMP, just add the IP address of each cluster unit’s reserved management interface to the SNMP server configuration. You must also enable direct management of cluster members in the cluster SNMP configuration.

If you enable HTTPS or HTTP administrative access for the reserved management interfaces you can connect to the web-based manager of each cluster unit. Any configuration changes made to any of the cluster units is automatically synchronized to all cluster units. From the subordinate units the web-based manager has the same features as the primary unit except that unit-specific information is displayed for the subordinate unit, for example:

  • The Dashboard System Information widget displays the subordinate unit serial number but also displays the same information about the cluster as the primary unit
  • On the Cluster members list (go to System > HA) you can change the HA configuration of the subordinate unit that you are logged into. For the primary unit and other subordinate units you can change only the host name and device priority.
  • Log Access displays the logs of the subordinate that you are logged into fist, You use the HA Cluster list to view the log messages of other cluster units including the primary unit.

If you enable SSH or TELNET administrative access for the reserved management interfaces you can connect to the CLI of each cluster unit. The CLI prompt contains the host name of the cluster unit that you have connected to. Any configuration changes made to any of the cluster units is automatically synchronized to all cluster units. You can also use the execute ha manage command to connect to other cluster unit CLIs.

The reserved management interface is available in NAT/Route and in Transparent mode. It is also available if the cluster is operating with multiple VDOMs. In Transparent mode you cannot normally add an IP address to an interface. However, you can add an IP address to the reserved management interface.


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