FortiOS Carrier active-passive HA provides failover protection for the GTP tunnels. This means that an active-passive cluster can provide FortiOS Carrier firewall services even when one of the cluster units encounters a problem that would result in complete loss of connectivity for a stand-alone FortiOS Carrier firewall. This failover protection provides a backup mechanism that can be used to reduce the risk of unexpected downtime, especially for mission-critical environments.
FortiOS HA synchs TCP sessions by default, but UDP sessions are not synchronized by default. However synchronizing a session is only part of the solution if the goal is to continue GTP processing on a synchronized session after a HA switch. For that to be successful we also need to synch the GTP tunnel state. So, once the master completes tunnel setup then the GTP tunnel is synchronized to the slave.
GTP traffic will only flow without interruption on a HA switch if bidirectional GTP policies have been configured: an internal (GTP server) to external (all) UDP port GTP policy, and an external (all) to internal (GTP server) UDP port GTP policy. If either policy is missing then traffic may be interrupted until traffic flows in the opposite direction.
For more information on HA in FortiOS, see the High Availability (HA) Guide or the FortiOS Administration Guide.