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Fortigate HA over two internal switches (two core setups)



I have got a fairly simple question, the situation is as following.


We have two core server/network-rooms inside the same building.

Each room has a FortiGate Firewall and a MikroTik or HPE core-switch.

Between these two switches we ran a 10Gbit fiber.


Can I setup HA (Active/Passive) on a Fortigate 70F or 80F over a VLAN between these two sever/network-rooms over the core-switches instead of directly interconnecting the heartbeat interfaces?


The last thing we want is issues like a split brain. How stable is a solution like this?


Best regards,




Hi @tim86 ,


Please refer to below article on the best practices using Heart Beat interface in FortiGate FGCP cluster



Let me know if you still have some questions.


Best Regards,



Hi @tim86 

FortiGate HA setup requirement :

To successfully form an HA cluster, you must ensure that the members have the same:
• Firmware version
 Model: the same hardware model or VM model
• Licensing: includes the FortiGuard license, VDOM license, FortiClient license, and so on
• Hard drive configuration: the same number and size of drives and partitions
• Operating mode: the operating mode-NAT mode or transparent mode—of the management VDOM



You can configure HA (Active/Passive) on a FortiGate 70F or 80F using a VLAN over your core-switches. While this is less conventional than a direct connection, it's feasible provided the switches and the fiber link are highly reliable. The main concern is avoiding a split-brain scenario, where both units believe they're active. To mitigate this, ensure the VLAN traffic for HA is prioritized and the connection has low latency. It's crucial to monitor the setup and test failover scenarios before going live. Although this setup adds a layer of complexity, if the underlying network is reliable and you've prioritized HA traffic, it can be a robust solution. Always refer to Fortinet's documentation and consider seeking support if unsure.

Siddhanth Poojary