Firewall failover with pfsync and CARP

Thursday, 1 April 2004, 12:24 PM EST

On most networks, the firewall is a single point of failure. When the firewall goes down, inside users are unable to surf the web, the website goes dead to the outside world, and email grinds to a halt. The 3.5 release of OpenBSD includes a number of components which can be used to solve this problem, by placing two firewalls in parallel. All traffic passes through the primary firewall; when it fails the backup firewall assumes the identity of the primary firewall, and continues where it left off. Existing connections are preserved, and network traffic continues as if nothing had happened.

By Ryan McBride at Countersiege.

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