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Secure and Fast Re-establishment of IPsec Sessions in Failover Scenarios

Recovering from failure of IPsec gateways maintaining large numbers of SAs may take several minutes, if they need to re-establish the IPsec SAs by re-running the key management protocol, IKEv2. A similar problem arises in the event of a network outage resulting in the failure of several gateways and servers. The latency involved in this approach is significant, leading to a need for a faster and yet secure failover solution.

There are a number of proprietary solutions for some part of this problem in the industry, however, those solutions do not interoperate. Applications that need IPsec failover capability, such as Mobile IPv6 have solutions under development for interoperable Home Agent (HA) failover. Without interoperable (client to server and server to server) IPsec failover capability, Home Agent failover solutions are incomplete. Thus, there is a need for an interoperable means of performing SA uploads and retrieval so that such IPsec redundancy can be implemented in an interoperable fashion.

This project studies the problem and explores the design, implementation and evaluation aspects of an IPsec/IKEv2 gateway failover approach.

Project Partners: 
Nokia Siemens Networks, CheckPoint Inc., Nokia.