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Secondary SRX node is always going to disabled state when fabric link connection is done via Cisco 4500/6500 switch

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Article ID: KB15141 KB Last Updated: 04 Mar 2017Version: 5.0
Summary:
When two SRX nodes have fabric link between them, connected through Cisco 4500/6500 switch, secondary node is always going to disabled state. This problem may occur in Junos version 10.0 or below.
Symptoms:
In the following topology:
SRX ---fab0----------------------Cisco6500----------------------fab1---SRX

Secondary SRX is always going to disabled state. When you check "show chassis cluster statistic" you see that no probes have been received on both nodes:
Fabric link statistics:
    Probes sent: 944
    Probes received: 0


Both fabric links are physically UP and they are connected in the same VLAN on the switch as only two ports members of that VLAN. If you configure fabric link interfaces as normal L3 interfaces, traffic is flowing between two nodes without any problems

Solution:
By default, Cisco 4500/6500 switches are performing IP header checksum in multilayer switching.

Fabric link probes have following format (as displayed in Wireshark):


In Junos version 10.0 and below, the fabric link probes are using Juniper proprietary IP datagrams, where IP Total Length field is set to 0 (zero). Wireshark will always assume that this is a faulty IP datagram and will not read other fields. Other network equipment might do the same as IP header can be reported as bogus.

This is the error that you might see on the Cisco 4500/6500 switch:
%MLS_STAT-SP-4-IP_CSUM_ERR: IP checksum errors

Also, when you check switch ports that are connected to SRX fabric ports, you will see only incoming packets (packets received from SRX), but no outgoing packets (fabric link probes that should be switched from one SRX to another)
Switch#show interfaces ge0/22
GigabitEthernet0/22 is up, line protocol is up
    Hardware is GigabitEthernet, address is 0007.abcd.abcd (bia 0007.abcd.abcd)
    MTU 1500 bytes, BW 1000000 Kbit, DLY 10 usec,
    reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
    Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
    Keepalive not set
    Auto-duplex (Full), Auto Speed (1000), 1000BaseTX/FX
    ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
    Last input never, output 00:00:00, output hang never
    Last clearing of "show interface" counters 2d18h
    Queueing strategy: fifo
    Output queue 0/40, 0 drops; input queue 0/75, 0 drops
    5 minute input rate 9000 bits/sec, 1 packets/sec
    5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
        5021 packets input, 6493552 bytes
        Received 0 broadcasts, 0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
        1 input errors, 0 CRC, 1 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored
        0 watchdog, 0 multicast
        0 input packets with dribble condition detected
        0 packets output, 0 bytes, 0 underruns
        0 output errors, 0 collisions, 0 interface resets
        0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred
        0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier


Important: if you see output packet counter increasing, and the problem is still present, please check if your port is running STP BPDU hello messages and/or DTP probes (if port is dynamically access and not static access port)

To resolve this issue, disable multilayer switching IP header checksum:

Switch(config)#no mls verify ip checksum

After this command is enabled, output counter for both ports on switch will start incrementing, and SRX devices will start receiving fabric link probes.
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