An introduction to the FGCP

An introduction to the FGCP

A FortiGate HA cluster consists of two to four FortiGate units configured for HA operation. Each FortiGate unit in a cluster is called a cluster unit. All cluster units must be the same FortiGate model with the same FortiOS firmware build installed. All cluster units must also have the same hardware configuration (for example, the same AMC modules installed in the same slots, the same number of hard disks and so on) and be running in the same operating mode (NAT/Route mode or Transparent mode).

You can create an FGCP cluster of up to four FortiGate units.

In addition the cluster units must be able to communicate with each other through their heartbeat interfaces. This heartbeat communication is required for the cluster to be created and to continue operating. Without it, the cluster acts like a collection of standalone FortiGate units.

On startup, after configuring the cluster units with the same HA configuration and connecting their heartbeat interfaces, the cluster units use the FortiGate Clustering Protocol (FGCP) to find other FortiGate units configured for HA operation and to negotiate to create a cluster. During cluster operation, the FGCP shares communication and synchronization information among the cluster units over the heartbeat interface link. This communication and synchronization is called the FGCP heartbeat or the HA heartbeat. Often, this is shortened to just heartbeat.

The cluster uses the FGCP to select the primary unit, and to provide device, link and session failover. The FGCP also manages the two HA modes; active-passive (failover HA) and active-active (load balancing HA).

About the FGCP

FortiGate HA is implemented by configuring two or more FortiGate units to operate as an HA cluster. To the network, the HA cluster appears to function as a single FortiGate unit, processing network traffic and providing normal security services such as firewalling, security profile services, and VPN services.

Having trouble configuring your Fortinet hardware or have some questions you need answered? Check Out The Fortinet Guru Youtube Channel! Want someone else to deal with it for you? Get some consulting from Fortinet GURU!

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).

2 thoughts on “An introduction to the FGCP

  1. Danilo Arias

    Hi, thanks for sharing this information, however I wanted to make a query, that timer is only modified when there is a drop in monitored ports and does not increase over time is fixed? My question is why in his example I see that when the monitored port is reconnected, the teacher’s time is shorter in 136 seconds.

    Thanks and forgive my english but use google translate


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.