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Archived Manual: BIG-IP Controller Administrator Guide, version 2.1

Original Publication Date: 09/26/2007

This article has been archived, and is no longer maintained.

Introduction to the BIG/ip Controller

Welcome to the BIG/ip Controller

BIG/ip Controller specifications

Internet protocol and network management support
Security features
Configuration scalability
Configuration and monitoring tools
Load balancing options
IP packet filtering and rate classes
Configurable persistence for e-commerce and dynamic
content sites
BIG/ip Controller platform options

Finding help and technical support resources

What's new in version 2.1

New redundant system features
New persistence features
Secure network address translations
Multiple interface cards
Wildcard ports
Extended Content Verification for transparent nodes
VLAN trunks
Enhancements to configuration and monitoring tools

Managing your network traffic

A basic web site and e-commerce configuration
A basic intranet configuration

Preparing for the Installation

Planning the BIG/ip Controller installation

Planning for a quick setup installation

Planning for a standard or advanced installation

Choosing a load balancing mode
Setting up node ping and service checking
Setting up network address translations and IP forwarding
Setting up redundant systems
Setting up persistence features
Configuring multiple network interface cards
Using IP filters and rate filters
Setting up the SNMP agent
Setting up large configurations

Configuring virtual servers and nodes

Mapping virtual servers to nodes
Setting properties for virtual servers and nodes

Preparing additional network components

Working with router configurations
Setting up the servers to be load balanced
Preparing administrative workstations
Preparing web site content

Setting up the Hardware

Unpacking and installing the hardware

Reviewing the hardware requirements
Familiarizing yourself with the BIG/ip Controller hardware
Environmental requirements and usage guidelines
Installing and connecting the hardware

Running the First-Time Boot utility

Gathering the information
Starting the First-Time Boot utility
Defining a root password
Defining a host name
Configuring a default route
Configuring a time zone
Configuring the interfaces
Configuring settings for a BIG/ip redundant system
Configuring remote administration
Configuring settings for the BIG/ip web server
Confirming your configuration settings
Committing your configuration settings to the system

Defining additional host names

Preparing workstations for command line access

Downloading the F-Secure SSH client from
the BIG/ip web server
Downloading the F-Secure SSH client using FTP
Setting up the F-Secure SSH client on a Windows 95
or Windows NT workstation
Setting up the F-Secure SSH client on a UNIX workstation

Getting Started with a Basic Configuration

Setting up a basic configuration

Configuring virtual servers

Using standard or wildcard virtual servers
Using optional virtual server properties
Activating Transparent Node mode
Defining standard virtual servers
Defining wildcard virtual servers

Allowing access to ports and services

Configuring the timer settings

Setting the node ping timer
Setting the timer for reaping idle connections
Setting the service check timer
Service checking for wildcard servers and ports

Changing the load balancing mode

Using Ratio mode

Configuring network address translations and IP forwarding for nodes

Defining a standard network address translation (NAT)
Defining a secure network address translation (SNAT)
Setting up IP forwarding

Configuring Extended Content Verification service checking

ECV service check properties
Writing regular expressions for ECV service checks
Setting up ECV service check in the F5 Configuration utility
Manually configuring and testing the /etc/bigd.conf file

Configuring persistence for e-commerce and other dynamic content sites

Setting up SSL persistence
Setting up simple persistence

Configuring and synchronizing redundant systems

Synchronizing configurations between controllers
Configuring fail-safe settings

Addressing general networking issues

Addressing routing issues
Configuring Sendmail
Configuring DNS on the BIG/ip Controller

Working with Special Features

Introducing special features

Using advanced service check options

Setting up advanced ECV service checks
Introducing EAV service checks
Setting up EAV service checks
EAV service check for SQL-based services

Using advanced persistence options

Using HTTP cookie persistence
Using destination address affinity (sticky persistence)
Using persist mask on a virtual server
Maintaining persistence across virtual servers that use
the same virtual addresses
Maintaining persistence across all virtual servers

Using advanced redundant system features

Mirroring connection and persistence information
Using gateway fail-safe
Using network-based fail-over
Setting a specific BIG/ip Controller to be the preferred active unit

Configuring advanced Transparent Node mode options

Port translation
Node ping
Configuring routes for Transparent Node mode
Using standard virtual servers in Transparent Node mode
Using FTP in Transparent Node mode
Setting up ECV service checks for transparent devices
Viewing final destination addresses in the printed connection table

Using specialized load balancing modes

Understanding individual load balancing modes
Setting the load balancing mode

Controlling network access and traffic flow with filters

IP filters
Rate filters and rate classes

Working with more than two interface cards

Configuring additional interfaces with the First-Time Boot utility
Specifying an interface for a virtual address
Specifying an interface for a NAT address
Specifying an interface for a SNAT address
Routing with multiple NICs
Editing httpd.conf for network administration with
the BIG/ip web server

Optimizing large configurations

Reducing ARP traffic on the external network
Reducing the number of node pings and service checks issued
by the BIG/ip Controller

Using alternative network configurations

Setting up 802.1q VLAN trunk mode
Out of path routing

Monitoring and Administration

Monitoring and administration utilities provided
on the BIG/ip Controller

Using the BIG/pipe command utility as a monitoring tool

Monitoring the BIG/ip Controller
Monitoring virtual servers, virtual addresses, and services
Monitoring nodes and node addresses
Monitoring NATs
Monitoring SNATs

Working with the BIG/stat utility

Working with the BIG/top utility

Working with the Syslog utility

Removing and returning items to service

Removing the BIG/ip Controller from service
Removing individual virtual servers, virtual addresses, and ports
from service
Removing individual nodes and node addresses from service
Viewing the currently defined virtual servers and nodes

Viewing system statistics and log files

Viewing system statistics
Viewing log files

Printing the connection table

Changing passwords for the BIG/ip Controller

Changing the BIG/ip Controller password
Changing passwords and adding new user IDs
for the BIG/ip web server

Working with the BIG/store database

Using bigdba

Configuring SNMP

Working with SNMP on the BIG/ip Controller

Preparing the BIG/ip Controller for SNMP

Downloading the MIBs
Understanding configuration file requirements

Configuring the BIG/ip SNMP agent

Configuring SNMP settings
Configuring options for the checktrap script

Configuration Files

Configuration files for the BIG/ip Controller

BIG/pipe Command Reference

BIG/pipe commands

-? B-4

alias B-5

configsync B-7

conn B-8

-d B-9

-f B-10

failover B-11

gateway B-12

-h and -help B-13

interface B-14

lb B-19

maint B-20

mirror B-21

nat B-22

node B-24

persist B-27

port B-29

-r B-31

ratio B-32

-s B-34

snat B-35

summary B-40

timeout_node B-43

timeout_svc B-45

tping_node B-47

tping_svc B-48

treaper B-50

udp B-52

-v B-54

version B-55

vip B-56

Backward compatible commands

BIG/ip System Control Variables

Setting BIG/ip system control variables

sysctl C-3

bigip.vipnoarp C-4

bigip.bonfire_mode C-5

bigip.bonfire_compatibility_mode C-6

bigip.fastest_max_idle_time C-7

bigip.max_sticky_entries C-8

net.inet.ip.forwarding C-9

bigip.halt_reboot_timeout C-10

net.inet.ip.sourcecheck C-11

bigip.webadmin_port C-12

bigip.persist_time_used_as_limit C-13

bigip.persist_on_any_vip C-14

bigip.persist_on_any_port_same_vip C-15

bigip.open_3dns_lockdown_ports C-16

bigip.tcphps_mss_override C-17

bigip.open_telnet_port C-18

bigip.open_ftp_ports C-19

bigip.open_ssh_port C-20

bigip.open_rsh_ports C-21

bigip.verbose_log_level C-22

System Utilities

sod D-2

bigd D-6

big3d D-11

Services and Port Index