ISA Server Detected Routes…

March 12, 2009

Another common ISA alert that I often get questions about is the following:

“ISA Server detected routes through the network adapter [network interface] that do not correlate with the network to which this network adapter belongs. When networks are configured correctly, the IP address ranges included in each array-level network must include all IP addresses that are routable through its network adapters according to their routing tables. Otherwise valid packets may be dropped as spoofed. The following ranges are included in the network’s IP address ranges but are not routable through any of the network’s adapters: [address ranges];. Note that this event may be generated once after you add a route, create a remote site network, or configure Network Load Balancing and may be safely ignored if it does not re-occur.

The routing table for the network adapter [network interface] includes IP address ranges that are not defined in the array-level network [network object], to which it is bound. As a result, packets arriving at this network adapter from the IP address ranges listed below or sent to these IP address ranges via this network adapter will be dropped as spoofed. To resolve this issue, add the missing IP address ranges to the array network. The following IP address ranges will be dropped as spoofed: [network object][address ranges];”

Essentially what this alert means is that there is a there is a mismatch between the configuration of the network object in the ISA management console and the routing table of the corresponding network interface. If you are not experiencing any network connectivity issues, or you just made changes to your network configuration, you can probably safely disregard this message. You will not, in most cases, see this message again. If you are seeing this alert on a consistent basis however, you might wish to look at your networking configuration more closely. For the networking to work correctly on the ISA firewall, each network interface should contain routes that correspond to any networks that are reachable through that particular network interface. The network objects in the ISA management console should be configured to include this network and all reachable networks as well. This is critical because if the routing table is configured to include networks that are not included in the ISA network object, the ISA firewall will reject this traffic as spoofed.

There are times when you will have network objects configured with addresses or networks that do not have routes associated with them, and in which case you will see this alert. A case in point would be when a situation arises that you need to exclude a particular address , address range, or subnet that your underlying routing infrastructure routes through another gateway. A common scenario that I have encountered is when registered IP addresses are used for private connectivity over dedicated circuits when connecting to business partners. In this case I would include the IP address(es) of the business partner in the ‘Internal’ network object so that my web proxy and firewall clients would bypass the ISA firewall when communicating with hosts on these networks.