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Cisco ASA and PIX Firewall Handbook by Dave Hucaby

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7-1. Firewall Failover Overview

When a single firewall is used in a network, the security it provides generally has the following attributes:

  • Lower cost— Only one hardware platform and a software license are needed.

  • Single point of failure— If the firewall hardware or software fails, no traffic can be forwarded from one side to the other.

  • Performance is limited— The total throughput of the stateful inspection process is limited to the firewall's maximum performance.

If one firewall is potentially a single point of failure, it is logical to think that two firewalls would be better. Cisco firewalls can be made more available when they are configured to work as a failover pair. Firewall failover can operate in two different fashions: active-standby ...

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