Virtual clusters

Virtual clustering and load balancing or VDOM partitioning

There are two ways to configure load balancing for virtual clustering. The first is to set the HA mode to active- active. The second is to configure VDOM partitioning. For virtual clustering, setting the HA Mode to active-active has the same result as active-active HA for a cluster without virtual domains. The primary unit receives all sessions and load balances them among the cluster units according to the load balancing schedule. All cluster units process traffic for all virtual domains.

In a VDOM partitioning virtual clustering configuration, the HA mode is set to active-passive. Even though virtual clustering operates in active-passive mode you can configure a form of load balancing by using VDOM partitioning to distribute traffic between both cluster units. To configure VDOM partitioning you set one cluster unit as the primary unit for some virtual domains and you set the other cluster unit as the primary unit for other virtual domains. All traffic for a virtual domain is processed by the primary unit for that virtual domain. You can control the distribution of traffic between the cluster units by adjusting which cluster unit is the primary unit for each virtual domain.

For example, you could have 4 VDOMs, two of which have a high traffic volume and two of which have a low traffic volume. You can configure each cluster unit to be the primary unit for one of the high volume VDOMs and one of the low volume VDOMs. As a result each cluster unit will be processing traffic for a high volume VDOM and a low volume VDOM, resulting in an even distribution of traffic between the cluster units. You can adjust the distribution at any time. For example, if a low volume VDOM becomes a high volume VDOM you can move it from one cluster unit to another until the best balance is achieved.

From the web-based manager you configure VDOM partitioning by setting the HA mode to active-passive and distributing virtual domains between Virtual Cluster 1 and Virtual Cluster 2. You can also configure different device priorities, port monitoring, and remote link failover, for Virtual Cluster 1 and Virtual Cluster 2.

The device priorities for virtual cluster 1 and virtual cluster 2 are not synchronized between the FortiGate units in the virtual cluster. You must configure these device pri- orities separately for each cluster unit.

From the CLI you configure VDOM partitioning by setting the HA mode to a-p. Then you configure device priority, port monitoring, and remote link failover and specify the VDOMs to include in virtual cluster 1. You do the same for virtual cluster 2 by entering the config secondary-vcluster command.

Failover protection does not change. If one cluster unit fails, all sessions are processed by the remaining cluster unit. No traffic interruption occurs for the virtual domains for which the still functioning cluster unit was the primary unit. Traffic may be interrupted temporarily for virtual domains for which the failed unit was the primary unit while processing fails over to the still functioning cluster unit.

If the failed cluster unit restarts and rejoins the virtual cluster, VDOM partitioning load balancing is restored.


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