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Troubleshooting Security Policies


Synchronizing Policies Between Routing Engine and Packet Forwarding Engine


Description: Security policies are stored in the routing engine and the packet forwarding engine. Security policies are pushed from the Routing Engine to the Packet Forwarding Engine when you commit configurations. If the security policies on the Routing Engine are out of sync with the Packet Forwarding Engine, the commit of a configuration fails. Core dump files may be generated if the commit is tried repeatedly. The out of sync can be due to:

  • A policy message from Routing Engine to the Packet Forwarding Engine is lost in transit.

  • An error with the routing engine, such as a reused policy UID.

Environment: The policies in the Routing Engine and Packet Forwarding Engine must be in sync for the configuration to be committed. However, under certain circumstances, policies in the Routing Engine and the Packet Forwarding Engine might be out of sync, which causes the commit to fail.

Symptoms: When the policy configurations are modified and the policies are out of sync, the following error message displays - error: Warning: policy might be out of sync between RE and PFE <SPU-name(s)> Please request security policies check/resync.


Use the show security policies checksum command to display the security policy checksum value and use the request security policies resync command to synchronize the configuration of security policies in the Routing Engine and Packet Forwarding Engine, if the security policies are out of sync.

Checking a Security Policy Commit Failure


Description: Most policy configuration failures occur during a commit or runtime.

Commit failures are reported directly on the CLI when you execute the CLI command commit-check in configuration mode. These errors are configuration errors, and you cannot commit the configuration without fixing these errors.


To fix these errors, do the following:

  1. Review your configuration data.

  2. Open the file /var/log/nsd_chk_only. This file is overwritten each time you perform a commit check and contains detailed failure information.

Verifying a Security Policy Commit


Description: Upon performing a policy configuration commit, if you notice that the system behavior is incorrect, use the following steps to troubleshoot this problem:


  1. Operational show Commands—Execute the operational commands for security policies and verify that the information shown in the output is consistent with what you expected. If not, the configuration needs to be changed appropriately.

  2. Traceoptions—Set the traceoptions command in your policy configuration. The flags under this hierarchy can be selected as per user analysis of the show command output. If you cannot determine what flag to use, the flag option all can be used to capture all trace logs.

You can also configure an optional filename to capture the logs.

If you specified a filename in the trace options, you can look in the /var/log/<filename> for the log file to ascertain if any errors were reported in the file. (If you did not specify a filename, the default filename is eventd.) The error messages indicate the place of failure and the appropriate reason.

After configuring the trace options, you must recommit the configuration change that caused the incorrect system behavior.

Debugging Policy Lookup


Description: When you have the correct configuration, but some traffic was incorrectly dropped or permitted, you can enable the lookup flag in the security policies traceoptions. The lookup flag logs the lookup related traces in the trace file.