I have two core switches with layer 3 connectivity to the server farm switches (4506).
I'm suggesting installing the two appliances as layer3 mode. If I understood the layer3 mode well, one port of each ACE appliance will be connected to the core switch (trunk) with the same VLAN as the core and assign interface VLAN from the ACE appliance and the other port of the ACE will be connected to the server farm switches as kayer2 (access servers VLAN).
All the requests destined for virtual server IP will go to the ACE appliance and the ACE appliance will forward them to the real servers.
1-Is this a good suggested design?
2-What is the Layer2 mode?
3-Does the two appliances synchronizes each other in case one packet is forwarded to the first core switch and the second packet is forwarded to the second core switch for the same session?
It all depends on design. You can implement it using:
1) Bridge mode
2) Routed mode with MSFC on client side.
3) Routed mode with MSFC on server side,
4) One-armed design.
Layer-2 ( bridge mode) means that servers default gateway is the HSRP ip on MSFC. All traffic bridges through ACE and it requires no extra config for direct access to servers or server initiated sessions.
Apart from this, the advantage is possibility of RHI (route health injection).
The disadvantage can be possible of L2 loops if misconfigured. Thus, ensure to allow bpdu through ACE explicitly.
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