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[EOL/EOE] [ScreenOS] Unable to manage Backup firewall even with 'set flow mac-cache mgt' from remote subnet



Article ID: KB21398 KB Last Updated: 23 Apr 2021Version: 4.0

Note: A product listed in this article has either reached hardware End of Life (EOL) OR software End of Engineering (EOE).  Refer to End of Life Products & Milestones for the EOL, EOE, and End of Support (EOS) dates.


Customer is unable to manage backup device running on ScreenOS from a single remote subnet even though they have configured ‘set flow mac-cache mgt’ command on the device.

A customer is unable to manage the backup firewall from a remote subnet, through manage IP assigned to E1/1. The command ‘set flow mac-cache mgt’ was configured on the backup.Traffic is hitting the interface E1/1, however the reverse route is pointing to E1/2, which is inactive.

Example command and debug output:

get interface
Name       IP Address             Zone
   mgt         MGT
eth1/1      Untrust
eth1/2         Trust

Routing Table :
  ID         IP-Prefix        Interface  Gateway       P      Pref  Mtr   Vsys
   7      eth1/2       H      0     0     Root
 * 2      mgt       H      0     0     Root
   8    eth1/2  S      20    1     Root
 * 3     eth1/1       C      0     0     Root
* 1      mgt       C      0     0     Root
   4   eth1/1       H      0     0     Root
   6       eth1/2       C      0     0     Root
get nsrp
group priority preempt holddown inelig       master            PB          other members myself uptime
    0       100          no           3         no            10523776     myself              00:15:41
total number of vsd groups: 1
Total iteration=945,time=1811211,max=389190,min=1054,average=1916
RTO mirror info:
run time object sync: disabled
route synchronization: disabled
ping session sync: enabled
coldstart sync done
nsrp data packet forwarding is disabled

In the debug, it is noticed that the firewall is caching the route; however a reply packet is not generated.
**st: <Untrust|ethernet1/1|Root|0> 4814cc0: 3d1d:>,1,60
01387.0: ethernet1/1(i) len=74:00101863902a->002283a0aa87/0800 ->
vhl=45, tos=00, id=15645, frag=0000, ttl=127 tlen=60
icmp:type=8, code=0

****** 01387.0: <Untrust/ethernet1/1> packet received [60]******
ipid = 15645(3d1d), @04814cc0
packet passed sanity check.
flow_decap_vector IPv4 process
no session found
flow_first_sanity_check: in <ethernet1/1>, out <N/A>
existing vector list 20-2884c6a4.
create a self session (flag 0x206), timeout=60sec.
handle cleartext reverse route
search route to (self,> in vr trust-vr for vsd-0/flag-3000/ifp-ethernet1/1
cached route 0 for
no route to (> in vr trust-vr/0
ifp2 ethernet1/1, out_ifp ethernet1/1, flag 00000601, tunnel ffffffff, rc 0
cache src mac in session for reverse direction
flow got session.
flow session id 524274
flow_main_body_vector in ifp ethernet1/1 out ifp N/A
flow vector index 0x20, vector addr 0x2884c6a4, orig vector 0x2884c6a4
post addr xlation:>
packet is for self, copy packet to self
copy packet to us.

For the ‘set flow mac-cache mgt’ command to work, an active route for the source subnet (doesn’t matter to which interface it is pointing), is required because the reply packet is handled by kernel protocol stack at first and in current implementation, the kernel protocol stack does not care about the status of 'set flow mac-cache mgt'.

The kernel always looks up the route table. If kernel cannot find an active route, the packet is dropped. There must be an active route for the source subnet, although it is not necessary to use the interface specified in this route, as the outgoing interface for the reply traffic.

As per KB13985 - After upgrade to ScreenOS 6.2.0, the VSI state of a backup device changes from Inactive to Down. Why?, in ScreenOS 6.2 or later, if NSRP data forwarding is disabled and there is no manage IP on the interface, then the route linked to that interface is shown as down. In this case as the route for source subnet is pointing to E1/2 and there was no manage-ip configured on that interface, it is shown as down. After configuring a manage-ip on E1/2, the route becomes active and backup device is accessible from that source subnet.

Modification History:

2021-04-23: Article tagged as EOL/EOE

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