Matt Pson Just another dead sysadmin blog


Clustering Juniper SRX240 gateways

So unboxing a pair of Juniper SRX240's at work today (actually not really, they were the re-branded Dell versions but as far as I'm told it's only the color of the chassis and the logo that differs). These units will hopefully replace some various old Linux firewall systems that we still have around - old habits and old hardware that has served us wonderfully for several years now.

Still waiting for some literature to arrive I thought that I could cluster them and take them down to the datacenter where they should live before we started to to work on the final security configuration.

Juniper provides a handy guide named "SRX Getting Started - Configure Chassis Cluster (High Availability) on a SRX240 device" (link) and it looked easy enough. It was not. Much because the configuration steps in that document was obviously not written for the current factory installed configuration in 10.3R2.11 (the version our units was shipped with).

Let's just say that if you follow it, and you aren't very familiar with clustering SRX devices, you will end up with several errors and a particular one that says "ge-0/0/0 - HA management interface cannot be configured" (or something like that) and your configuration can't be commited. Deadlock. Interestingly enough you can not restore the factory configuration (using the button at the front of the unit) either if you have issued the "set chassis cluster" command since it'll complain about the configuration. You first need a working configuration, then remove the clustering, then restore the default configuration, then do it the right way. Oh well...

Never mind my first attempt, I'll describe how to do it the right in a way that works. Quick and easy:

1. Boot the unit as you would the first time after unboxing it (or as in my case after carefully restoring it to factory default with some troubles...).

2. Login as root and enter configuration mode then:

delete system autoinstallation
delete system services dhcp
delete system services web-management http interface vlan.0
delete system services web-management https interface vlan.0
delete interfaces interface-range interfaces-trust
delete interfaces ge-0/0/0
delete interfaces vlan
delete security zones security-zone trust
delete security nat
delete security zones security-zone untrust
delete security policies
delete vlans

(actually instead of 'delete interfaces ge-0/0/0' I managed to do 'delete interfaces' removing all ge-0/0/* interfaces but it worked anyway)

'delete interfaces interface-range interfaces-trust' gave me an error but I've seen it mentioned in several documents so I included it here, I guess it's for another version of configuration than the one I had.

3. If you haven't setup a password for root do so now:

set system root authentication plain-text

4. Do 'commit check', if there still are any errors use 'delete' to remove those sections of the configuration and then do a 'commit'.

5. Do the same thing on the other unit that will be part of your cluster.

6. Now you are probably ready to start configuring your cluster using the Juniper document I linked at the start. Don't forget that you should connect ge-0/0/1 on both units as well as ge-0/0/2 (for the FAB links). I did this when they were rebooting after giving the 'set chassis cluster' command.

After doing it this way configuration was smooth and the cluster worked as expected. Tomorrow we'll throw some security configuration at it and see it in action - I have no doubts it'll do fine for what we'll use it for.

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