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Configure Policy-Based Routing

To send network traffic, a router usually examines the destination address in the packet and looks at the routing table to find the next-hop destination. In some cases, you want to send traffic to a different path than the default route specified in the routing table. You can configure a policy with a specific external interface to use for all outbound traffic that matches that policy. This technique is known as policy-based routing. Policy-based routing takes precedence over other multi-WAN and virtual BOVPN interface settings.

Policy-based routing can be used when you have more than one external interface and have configured your Firebox for multi-WAN or if you configure a virtual BOVPN interface. With policy-based routing, you can make sure that all traffic for a policy always goes out through the same external interface, even if your multi-WAN or virtual BOVPN interface configuration is set to send traffic in a round-robin configuration. For example, if you want email to be routed through a particular interface, you can use policy-based routing in the SMTP-proxy or POP3-proxy definition.

Policy-Based Routing, Failover, and Failback

When you use policy-based routing with multi-WAN failover, you can specify whether traffic that matches the policy uses another external interface when failover occurs. The default setting is to drop traffic until the interface is available again.

Failback settings (defined on the Multi-WAN tab of the Network Configuration dialog box) also apply to policy-based routing. If a failover event occurs, and the original interface later becomes available, the Firebox can send active connections to the failover interface, or it can fail back to the original interface. New connections are sent to the original interface.

If you select a virtual BOVPN interface for policy-based routing, the failover and failback settings are not available.

Restrictions on Policy-Based Routing

  • Policy-based routing is available only if multi-WAN is enabled or if you have configured a virtual BOVPN interface. When either of these features are enabled, the policy configuration automatically includes fields to configure policy-based routing.
  • By default, policy-based routing is not enabled.
  • Policy-based routing does not apply to IPSec traffic, but does apply to traffic destined for the trusted or optional network (incoming traffic).
  • Policy-based routing can only use an external interface. You cannot specify an interface that is configure for static NAT or 1-to-1 NAT, or any interface type other than external.
  • The external interface you select must be a member of the alias or network that you set in the To list for your policy.

Add Policy-Based Routing to a Policy

To add policy-based routing to a policy, from Fireware Web UI:

  1. Select Firewall > Firewall Policies.
  2. Select the check box for a policy and select Action > Edit Policy.
    Or, double-click a policy.
    The Edit page appears.
  3. Select the Use policy-based routing check box.

  1. To specify the interface to use to send outbound traffic that matches the policy, from the adjacent drop-down list, select an external interface name.
  2. (Optional) Configure policy-based routing with multi-WAN failover as described in the subsequent section.
    If you do not select Failover and the interface you set for this policy becomes inactive, traffic is dropped until the interface becomes available again. The Failover option is not available if you select a BOVPN virtual interface for policy-based routing.
  3. Click Save.

To add policy-based routing to a policy, from Policy Manager:

  1. Open Policy Manager.
  2. Select a policy and click Policy Manager Modify Policy button.
    Or, double-click a policy.
    The Edit Policy Properties dialog box appears.
  3. Select the Use policy-based routing check box.

Screen shot of Policy-based routing settings from a Policy Properties dialog box

  1. To specify the interface to use to send outbound traffic that matches the policy, from the adjacent drop-down list, select an external interface name.
  2. (Optional) Configure policy-based routing with multi-WAN failover as described in the subsequent section.
    If you do not select Failover and the interface you set for this policy is becomes inactive, traffic is dropped until the interface becomes available again. The Failover option is not available if you select a virtual BOVPN interface for policy-based routing.
  3. Click OK.

Configure Policy-Based Routing with Failover

You can set the interface you specified for this policy as the primary interface, and define other external interfaces as backup interfaces for all non-IPSec traffic. If the primary interface you set for a policy is not active, traffic is sent to the backup interface or interfaces you specify.

To configure policy-based routing with failover, from Fireware Web UI:

  1. On the Edit page for the policy, below the Use policy-based routing check box, select the Use Failovercheck box.
  2. In the subsequent list, select the check box for each interface you want to use in the failover configuration.
  3. To set the order for failover, select an item in the list and click Move Up or Move Down.
    The first interface in the list is the primary interface.
  4. Click Save.

To configure policy-based routing with failover, from Policy Manager:

  1. In the Edit Policy Properties dialog box, select Failover.
  2. To specify backup interfaces for this policy, click Configure.
    The Policy Failover Configuration dialog box appears.

Policy Failover Configuration dialog box

  1. In the Include column, select the check box for each interface you want to use in the failover configuration. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to set the order for failover. The first interface in the list is the primary interface.
  2. Click OK to close the Policy Failover Configuration dialog box.
  3. Click OK to close the Edit Policy Properties dialog box.
  4. Save the Configuration File.

See Also

About Multi-WAN

About Policy Properties

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