Troubleshooting CARP and Bridge InterfacesΒΆ

Warning

Combining CARP and bridging is strongly discouraged.

If a High Availability cluster is created with systems that have bridged interfaces, switches will often (correctly) detect the Layer 2 loop created by that configuration and shut down one of the switch ports.

Symptoms of this include traffic continuing to flow through a secondary node even when the primary node is online and running.

By using a proper port priority and path cost, the switch can be trained to prefer the correct port.

Configuration example for a Cisco Switch:

interface FastEthernet0/1
 description Firewall - Primary - DMZ Port
 switchport access vlan 20
 spanning-tree vlan 20 port-priority 64
 no cdp enable
interface FastEthernet0/2
 description Firewall - Secondary - DMZ Port
 switchport access vlan 20
 spanning-tree vlan 20 cost 500
 no cdp enable

See also this forum thread.

The bridge settings on pfSense may also need to have their spanning tree options changed in a similar manner.