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Archived Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Administrator guide v4.0: Using Link Aggregation with Tagged VLANs
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Using Link Aggregation with Tagged VLANs



Introducing link aggregation with tagged VLANs

You can use the BIG-IP Controller in an aggregated two-interface load balancing topology. This topology contains two interfaces (links), 4.1 and 5.1, aggregated together. There are two tagged VLANs, VLAN1 and VLAN2, passing traffic to and from the switch. A virtual server on VLAN2 load balances connections to the servers on VLAN2.

Thus, both links are on both VLANs, and inbound and outbound traffic can use either interface.

Aggregating the two links has two advantages:

  • It increases the bandwidth of the individual NICs in an additive manner.
  • If one link goes down, the other link can handle the traffic by itself.

    This chapter describes two configurations, the two-network configuration and the single-network configuration.

    Note: This configuration requires a switch with VLAN tagging and link aggregation capabilities.

Using the two-network aggregated tagged VLAN topology

Figure 15.1 shows a two-IP network topology, with one network connected to the external VLAN, and a separate network connected to the internal VLAN.

Figure 15.1 An example of an aggregated two-interface load balancing configuration

Configuring the two-network topology

To configure the BIG-IP Controller for the two-network solution, you must complete the following tasks:

  • Aggregate the links.
  • Create VLAN tags.
  • Create a pool of web servers that you want to load balance.
  • Create a virtual server that load balances the web servers.

    Note: This example assumes that are using the default internal and external VLAN configuration with self IP addresses on each VLAN that are on the same IP network on which you are installing the controller.

Aggregating the links

The first task for this solution is to aggregate the links.

To perform link aggregation using the Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click Network.
    The VLANs screen opens.
  2. Click on the Trunks tab.
    The Trunks screen opens.
  3. On the Trunks screen, click the Add button.
    The Add Trunk screen opens.
  4. Select the link that is to be the controlling link from the Available Interfaces list and click controlling >>. The interface will appear at the top of the Aggregated Interfaces list.
  5. Select the remaining link from the Available Interfaces list and click aggregate >>. The interface appears in the Aggregated Interfaces list below the controlling link.

    Configuration note

    · For this example, aggregate interfaces 4.1 and 5.1, using 4.1 as the controlling link.

To aggregate links from the command line

You can aggregate links using the trunk flag:

b trunk <controlling_if> define <if_list>

For this example, to aggregate 4.1 and 5.1, using 4.1 as the controlling link, type:

b trunk 4.1 define 4.1 5.1

Creating VLAN tags

After you aggregate the links, you can create the VLAN tags.

Warning: You should perform this task from the console. If you attempt to change the tags from a remote workstation, you will be disconnected.

To create VLAN tags using the Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click Network.
    The VLAN screen opens.
  2. Click on the VLAN name in the list.
    The properties screen for the VLAN opens.
  3. Specify the tagged interfaces by selecting them from the Resources list and clicking tagged >>. (It is not necessary to fill in a VLAN tag number. This is done automatically.)

    Configuration note

    · For this example, add the controlling interface 4.1 to the tagged list for both VLANS, external and internal.

To create VLAN tags from the command line

Using the tagged flag, you can create a tagged VLAN mapping for an interface, or interfaces, to a VLAN:

b vlan <vlan_name> interfaces add tagged <if_list>

To add interfaces 4.1 and 5.1 as tagged interfaces to VLANS external and internal, type:

b vlan external interfaces add tagged 4.1

b vlan internal interfaces add tagged 4.1

Tip: You only need to specify the controlling interface in this command, in this case 4.1.

Creating the pool of web servers to load balance

After you create the network environment for the BIG-IP Controller, you can create the pool of web servers you want to load balance.

To create a pool using the Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click Pools.
    The Pools screen opens.
  2. In the Pools screen, click the Add button to start the Add Pool wizard.

    Configuration note

    · For this example, the pool contains the web servers 10.0.10.1, 10.0.10.2, 10.0.10.31, and 10.0.0.4.

To create a pool from the command line

To create a pool from the command line, type the following command:

b pool mywebpool { member <server1> member <server2> ... }

In this example, you create the pool name mywebpool with the members 10.0.10.1, 10.0.10.2, 10.0.10.31, and 10.0.0.4:

b pool mywebpool { member 10.0.10.1 member 10.0.10.2 member 10.0.10.3 member 10.0.10.4 }

Creating the virtual server to load balance the web servers

After you create the pool of web server you want to load balance, you can create the virtual server.

To create a virtual server in the Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click Virtual Servers.
    The Virtual Servers screen opens.
  2. In the Virtual Servers screen, click the Add button to start the Add Virtual Server wizard.

    Configuration note

    · For this example, the virtual server address is 10.0.10.30 and the pool is mywebpool.

To create a virtual server from the command line

To create the virtual server for this example from the command line, use the following syntax:

b virtual <addr:service> use pool <pool>

To create the virtual server for this solution, you would type:

b virtual 10.0.10.30:80 use pool mywebpool

Using the one-network aggregated tagged VLAN topology

Figure 15.2 shows a single IP network topology. The one-network topology is identical to the two-network topology in all respects except that in the one-network solution, the internal and external VLANs connect to members of the same IP network. This requires that the two VLANs be grouped in order to be able to exchange packets directly.

Figure 15.2 An example of an aggregated two interface load balancing configuration with one IP network

Configuring the one-network topology

You configure the one-network topology in exactly the same way as the two-network topology (allowing for the fact that the virtual server address will now belong to the same network as the servers), with one additional step: the internal and external VLANs need to be grouped. Therefore, to configure the BIG-IP Controller for this solution, you must complete the following tasks:

  • Configure the VLAN tags, load balancing pool, virtual server and trunk exactly as in the two-network configuration.
  • Group the internal and external VLANs.

Creating a VLAN group

Create a VLAN group that includes the internal and external VLANs. Packets received by a VLAN in the VLAN group are copied onto the other VLAN. This allows traffic to pass through the BIG-IP Controller on the same IP network.

Tip: A VLAN group name can be used anywhere a VLAN name can be used.

To create a VLAN group using the Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click Network.
    The VLANs screen opens.
  2. In the VLANs screen, click the VLAN Groups tab.
    The VLAN Groups screen opens.
  3. In the VLAN Groups screen, click the Add button to add the VLAN group.

    Configuration notes

    · For this example, the VLAN group name is myvlangroup.

    · Make sure the Proxy Forwarding check box is checked.

    · Add the internal and external VLANs to the VLAN group.

To create a VLAN group from the command line

To create a VLAN group from the command line, type the following command:

b vlangroup myvlangroup { vlans add internal external }

For this example, the VLAN group name is myvlangroup.

Creating a self IP for the VLAN group

Next, create a self IP address for the VLAN group.

To create a self IP address for a VLAN group using the Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click Network.
    The VLANs screen opens.
  2. In the Network screen, click the Self IP Addresses tab.
    The Self IP Addresses screen opens.
  3. In the Self IP Addresses screen, click the Add button to start the Add Self IP Address wizard.

    Configuration notes

    · For this example, the self IP address you add for the VLAN group is 10.0.10.20.

    · When you choose the VLAN to which you want to apply the self IP address, select the VLAN group you created that contains the internal and external VLANs

To create a self IP address for a VLAN group from the command line

To create a self IP address on the VLAN group, use the following command syntax:

b self <addr_name> vlan <vlan_name>

To create the self IP address in this example, type the following command:

b self 10.0.10.20 vlan myvlangroup

Additional configuration options

Whenever a BIG-IP Controller is configured, a number of options are available to the user:

  • You have the option in all configurations to configure a redundant BIG-IP Controller for fail-over. Refer to Redundant Systems in the BIG-IP Reference Guide, Chapter 1, Configuring the BIG-IP Controller.
  • All configurations have health monitoring options. Refer to Health Monitors in the BIG-IP Reference Guide, Chapter 1, Configuring the BIG-IP Controller.
  • When you create a pool, there is an option to set up persistence and a choice of load balancing methods. Refer to Pools in the BIG-IP Reference Guide, Chapter 1, Configuring the BIG-IP Controller.

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