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Archived Manual Chapter: 3-DNS Reference Guide version 4.2: Introduction
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Getting started

The 3-DNS Reference Guide includes information about the features of the 3-DNS® system. It also contains information about system configuration files and variables, command line syntax, scripts and utilities, and other 3-DNS objects. Use the 3-DNS Reference Guide for help in configuring a specific feature of the 3-DNS. For load balancing and networking solutions, see the 3-DNS Administrator Guide.

Using the Administrator Kit

The 3-DNS Administrator Kit provides simple steps for quick, basic configuration, and also provides detailed information about more advanced features and tools, such as the 3dnsmaint command line utility. The information is organized into the guides described as follows.

  • Configuration Worksheet
    Use the Configuration Worksheet to gather the IP addresses, default routes, administrative account, and server information you need to configure the 3-DNS. The Setup utility prompts you for this information when you configure the 3-DNS for the first time.
  • Hardware poster
    The hardware poster is a graphical representation of the physical components of the 3-DNS.
  • 3-DNS Administrator Guide
    The 3-DNS Administrator Guide provides examples of common wide-area load balancing solutions supported by the 3-DNS. For example, in the Administrator Guide, you can find everything from a basic DNS request load balancing solution to a more advanced content acceleration load balancing solution. The Administrator Guide also covers general network administration issues, such as installing the hardware and setting up the networking configuration.
  • 3-DNS Reference Guide
    The 3-DNS Reference Guide provides basic descriptions of individual 3-DNS objects, such as wide IPs, pools, virtual servers, load balancing modes, the big3d agent, resource records, and production rules. It also provides syntax information for 3dnsmaint commands, configuration utilities, the wideip.conf file, and system utilities.

Note: If you are configuring the 3-DNS module on the BIG-IP, use the BIG-IP Reference Guide and hardware poster to set up and configure the hardware.

Stylistic conventions

To help you easily identify and understand certain types of information, this documentation uses the stylistic conventions described below.

Warning: All examples in this documentation use only non-routable IP addresses. When you set up the solutions we describe, you must use IP addresses suitable to your own network in place of our sample IP addresses.

Identifying new terms

When we first define a new term, the term is shown in bold italic text. For example, a virtual server is the combination of an IP address and port that maps to a set of back-end servers.

Identifying references to objects, names, and commands

We make a variety of items bold to help you easily pick them out of a block of text. These items include web addresses, IP addresses, utility names, and portions of commands, such as variables and keywords. For example, the nslookup command requires that you include at least one <ip_address> variable.

Identifying references

We use italic text to denote a reference to another document or another section in the current document. In references where we provide the name of a book as well as a specific chapter or section in the book, we show the book name in bold, italic text, and the chapter/section name in italic text to help quickly differentiate the two. For example, you can find information about planning the 3-DNS configuration in the 3-DNS Administrator Guide, Chapter 2, Planning the 3-DNS Configuration.

Identifying command syntax

We show actual, complete commands in bold Courier text. Note that we do not include the corresponding screen prompt, unless the command is shown in a figure that depicts an entire command line screen. For example, the following command shows the current status of the 3-DNS daemons:

3ndc status

Table 1.1 explains additional special conventions used in command line syntax.

Command line conventions used in this manual

Item in text



Continue to the next line without typing a line break.

< >

You enter text for the enclosed item. For example, if the command has <your name>, type in your name.


Separates parts of a command.

[ ]

Syntax inside the brackets is optional.


Indicates that you can type a series of items.

Finding help and technical support resources

You can find additional technical documentation about the 3-DNS in the following locations:

  • Release notes
    The release note for the current version of the 3-DNS is available from the home page of the Configuration utility. The release note contains the latest information for the current version, including a list of new features and enhancements, a list of fixes, and a list of known issues.
  • Online help for 3-DNS features
    You can find help online in three different locations:

    • The Configuration utility home page has PDF versions of the guides included in the Administrator Kit. Software upgrades for the 3-DNS replace the guides with updated versions as appropriate.
    • The Configuration utility has online help for each screen. Just click the Help button in the toolbar.
    • Individual commands have online help, including command syntax and examples, in standard UNIX man page format. Simply type man followed by the command (for example man 3dpipe), and the 3-DNS displays the syntax and usage associated with the command.

  • Third-party documentation for software add-ons
    The Configuration utility contains online documentation for the third-party software included with the 3-DNS, including NameSurfer and GateD.

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