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New Member

PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over


I have a PIX 515-E UR-FO bundle running 6.2(2) that's failing over when it shouldn't. Originally I narrowed down the failing over to right after I do a write mem but since then it's happened outside of that scenario as well.

I'm doing stateful failover with the hi-speed serial cable and a crossover cable connecting the 2 PIXs. None of my interfaces are set for "auto" duplexing and the config is < 30k lines. The MTU setting on all interfaces are 1500.

I've also double checked the configuration on my switches that connect to the PIXs and they're as simple as can be so there are no errors. Below is the failover portion of my config, nothing really out of the ordinary though I couldn't find what the "failover timeout 0:00:00" does or means. Also, the primary IP addresses are just .1's.


failover timeout 0:00:00

failover poll 8

failover ip address outside

failover ip address inside

failover ip address dmz2

failover ip address dmz1

failover ip address mgmt

failover ip address fover

failover link fover

Any help would be appreciated. Otherwise, I might have to blow away the configs on both PIXs and start from scratch. Thanks.


New Member

Re: PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over

One more thing I forgot to mention: I checked all the HW specs and licenses and they're the same on both boxes with the exception of the 3DES license.

I hope this isn't the problem because I specifically asked the CIsco engineer during my license key upgrade on how that would effect failover and he said it wouldn't with the exception of any 3DES IPSEC connections.


New Member

Re: PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over

Hi s,

I was wondering if you have found a solution to this problem? I have a customer with the same issue. My config looks the same as yours except I have failover poll 15 and I also have these additional commands:

failover lan unit primary

failover lan interface Failover

failover lan key ********

failover lan enable

I am running the same version of code but I don't have the high speed serial cable because the pix's are in seperate buildings.

I would be grateful if you can share anything you have found on this problem.



New Member

Re: PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over

I am having the same problem..... anyone has any solution?


Daya Rajaratnam

New Member

Re: PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over

Greetings. I had the same problem initially and was told it was due to not having Cisco switches on the interfaces. :) Well, once we finally tracked things down, it was due to having ports that we weren't currently using (if3, etc) still up. Once we shutdown these unused interfaces, our failover stopped happing unnecessarily.



Re: PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over

Hi all,

I have a failover bundle which is working fine and as far as I can see your configurations look okay. I see two different solutions used in this threat, one with serial failover cable and crossover cable and one without the serial cable with the failover link configured. Both could work, but in your case it doesn't

It is very important to remember that all enabled interfaces use hello packets to determine if both units could reach eachother. If you enable an interface on the primary unit and it is not connect to the network (line protocol down) the primary unit expects to receive hello packets and to see the line protocol up. If it sees the line protocol down or does not receive the hello packets on one of its enabled interfaces it tries to do a failover. I believe this is could be the case for you. Also remember that if you do not need statefull failover there is no need for the crossover cable (can not imagine why you would not have statefull failover, but still).

I'm not sure if a 3DES license on one unit and no license on the other unit could cause problems, but I assume the Cisco engineer knew what he was talking about, so, let's assume it doesn't affect the failover concept.

In the reply of dayar you can also see that enabled interfaces with no connected network is most likely causing this problem.

Best regards,

Leo Mourits


Re: PIX 515E Incorrectly failing over


Have two very good URL's for you, in which failover is discribed in detail. In this documents you will find information about the failover timeout, and also on the hello packets I spoke about in my other reply. The URL's:

Hope this helps,

Leo Mourits