Active-active HA cluster in Transparent mode

Activeactive HA cluster in Transparent mode

This section describes a simple HA network topology that includes an HA cluster of two generic FortiGate units installed between an internal network and the Internet and running in Transparent mode.


Example Transparent mode HA network topology

The figure below shows a Transparent mode FortiGate HA cluster consisting of two FortiGate units (FGT_ha_1 and FGT_ha_2) installed between the Internet and internal network. The topology includes a router that performs NAT between the internal network and the Internet. The cluster management IP address is


Transparent mode HA network topology

Port3 and port4 are used as the heartbeat interfaces. Because the cluster consists of two FortiGate units, you can make the connections between the heartbeat interfaces using crossover cables. You could also use switches and regular ethernet cables.


General configuration steps

This section includes web-based manager and CLI procedures. These procedures assume that the FortiGate units are running the same FortiOS firmware build and are set to the factory default configuration.

In this example, the configuration steps are identical to the NAT/Route mode configuration steps until the cluster is operating. When the cluster is operating, you can switch to Transparent mode and add basic configuration settings to cluster.


General configuration steps

1. Apply licenses to the FortiGate units to become the cluster.

2. Configure the FortiGate units for HA operation.

  • Optionally change each unit’s host name.
  • Configure HA.

2. Connect the cluster to the network.

3. Confirm that the cluster units are operating as a cluster.

4. Switch the cluster to Transparent mode and add basic configuration settings to the cluster.

  • Switch to Transparent mode, add the management IP address and a default route.
  • Add a password for the admin administrative account.
  • View cluster status from the web-based manager or CLI.

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This entry was posted in FortiOS 5.4 Handbook and tagged , on by .

About Mike

Michael Pruett, CISSP has a wide range of cyber-security and network engineering expertise. The plethora of vendors that resell hardware but have zero engineering knowledge resulting in the wrong hardware or configuration being deployed is a major pet peeve of Michael's. This site was started in an effort to spread information while providing the option of quality consulting services at a much lower price than Fortinet Professional Services. Owns PacketLlama.Com (Fortinet Hardware Sales) and Office Of The CISO, LLC (Cybersecurity consulting firm).

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