[fw-wiz] PIX 515E F/O memory upgrade

Hi all

We're in the planning process to upgrade our PIXen from 6.3 to 7. Our first step is to upgrade memory from 64Mb to 128Mb and need to find out a couple of things.

We are running 515E with 6.3.5 and full stateful failover via dedicated ethernet interface and failover cable. Routing tables are static with no learning from routers and ip addresses are hardcoded. There are no MAC addresses specified in the config. We run both ISAKMP and PPTP VPN connections for a handful of staff members connecting from the Internet.

Firstly, we are aware that VPN connections will disconnect on failover, we've experienced this in the past. Are there any other sessions that will be dropped during a forced failover.

Secondly, there is conflicting information in the docs. The 6.3 Command Reference states that the two devices must be identical wrt version, flash size, ram size etc. The Upgrade to 7.0 guide and the Hardware Installation Guide both state that there must be at least the same amount of memory. Since we will be upgrading the standby unit to 128Mb first and then failing over from the primary unit, the second statement will be fulfilled. Can anyone comment on this as to who is correct or if we will need momentary downtime with complete loss of connectivity.

Natuarally we are scheduling a maintenance window with the possibility of downtime, but if we know that there will absolutely be downtime or not, it may affect the granting of this window.

The upgrade from 6.3 to 7.0 firmware is planned for early next year and is a separate schedule from the memory upgrades.

Thanks in advance.

Any comments (good or bad) are welcome.


Bruce Smith

Unix/Linux Engineer

ICT Services
Summerstrand Campus (North)
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth
South Africa

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