Applies To:

Show Versions Show Versions

Archived Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Getting Started guide v3.0: Introduction to the Getting Started Guide
Manual Chapter
Table of Contents   |   Next Chapter >>

This article has been archived, and is no longer maintained.



1

Introduction to the BIG/ip Controller Getting Started Guide



Welcome to the BIG/ip Controller Getting Started Guide

Welcome to the BIG/ip® Controller Getting Started Guide. This guide describes how to set up the BIG/ip Controller hardware and how to use the First-Time Boot utility for basic software configuration. This book is the first in a series of three guides:

  • BIG/ip Controller Getting Started Guide
    Use this guide for hardware configuration and basic software configuration.
  • BIG/ip Controller Administrator Guide
    Use this guide for advanced software configuration and administration of the BIG/ip Controller.
  • BIG/ip Controller Reference Guide
    Use this guide for reference information including the BIG/pipe command line commands, BIG/ip configuration utilities, and system utilities.

BIG/ip Controller specifications

The BIG/ip Controller is a network appliance that manages and balances traffic for networking equipment such as web servers, cache servers, routers, firewalls, and proxy servers. A variety of useful features meets the special needs of e-commerce sites, Internet service providers, and managers of large intranets. The system is highly configurable, and its web-based and command line configuration utilities allow for easy system set up and monitoring.

Adding a BIG/ip Controller to your network ensures that your network remains reliable. The BIG/ip Controller continually monitors the servers and other equipment it manages, and never attempts to send connections to servers that are down or too busy to handle the connection. The BIG/ip Controller uses a variety of methods to monitor equipment, from simple pings to more advanced methods, such as Extended Content Verification that verifies whether a server returns specific site content. The BIG/ip Controller also offers several layers of redundancy that ensure its own reliability.

Configuration scalability

The BIG/ip Controller is a highly scalable and versatile local area load balancing solution. You can actually configure a single BIG/ip Controller to manage up to 10,000 virtual servers, though most common configurations are significantly smaller. The number of servers, firewalls, or routers that a single BIG/ip Controller can load balance is limited only by the capacity of your network media, such as Ethernet. The BIG/ip Controller supports a variety of media options, including Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and FDDI. The maximum number of concurrent connections that a BIG/ip Controller can manage is determined by the amount of RAM in your particular BIG/ip Controller hardware configuration.

BIG/ip Controller platform options

The BIG/ip Controller platform offers three different systems, each of which can run as a stand-alone controller, or as a redundant controller pair:

  • The BIG/ip LB Controller
    The BIG/ip LB Controller provides basic load balancing features. Note that the BIG/ip LB Controller does not support all of the features documented in this guide. BIG/ip LB Controllers distributed in the US also support encrypted administrative connections using SSL for connections to the web-based F5 Configuration utility.
  • The BIG/ip HA Controller
    In addition to the basic load balancing features supported on the BIG/ip LB Controller, the BIG/ip HA Controller supports advanced features, such as Extended Content Verification, and also supports high-end security for administrative shell connections. BIG/ip HA Controllers distributed in the US also support encrypted administrative connections using SSH for shell connections and SSL for connections to the web-based F5 Configuration utility.
  • The BIG/ip HA+ Controller
    The BIG/ip HA+ Controller supports the same features as the BIG/ip HA Controller. In addition to the software features, the HA+ controller offers high-end hardware for high traffic sites.

Note: BIG/ip Controllers distributed outside of the United States, regardless of system type, do not support encrypted communications. They do not include the F-Secure SSH client, nor do they support SSL connections to the BIG/ip web server. Instead, you can use the standard Telnet, FTP, and HTTP protocols to connect to the unit and perform administrative functions.

Finding help and technical support resources

In addition to this getting started guide, you can find technical documentation about the BIG/ip Controller in the following locations:

  • BIG/ip Controller Administrator Guide
    Use this guide for advanced software configuration and administration of the BIG/ip Controller.
  • BIG/ip Controller Reference Guide
    Use this guide for reference information including the BIG/pipe command line commands, BIG/ip configuration utilities, and system utilities.
  • Release notes
    The release note for the current version of the BIG/ip Controller is available on the BIG/ip web server. The release note contains the latest information for the current version, including a list of new features and enhancements, a list of fixes, and, in some cases, a list of known issues. You can obtain the latest version of the release notes from http://tech.f5.com.
  • Online help for BIG/ip Controller features
    You can find help online in three different locations:
    • The BIG/ip web server has a PDF version of this guide. Note that some BIG/ip Controller upgrades replace the online administrator guide with an updated version of the guide.
    • The web-based F5 Configuration utility has online help for each screen. Simply click the Help button on the toolbar.
    • Individual BIG/pipe commands have online help, including command syntax and examples, in standard UNIX man page format. Simply type the command key word followed by the question mark option (-?), and the BIG/ip Controller displays the syntax and usage associated with the command.
  • Third-party documentation for software add-ons
    The BIG/ip web server contains online documentation for all third-party software included with the BIG/ip Controller, such as GateD.
  • Technical support via the World Wide Web
    The F5 Networks Technical Support web site, http://tech.F5.com, provides the latest technical notes, answers to frequently asked questions, and updates for administrator guides (in PDF format). To access this site, you need to obtain a customer ID and a password from the F5 Help Desk.
Table of Contents   |   Next Chapter >>

Was this resource helpful in solving your issue?




NOTE: Please do not provide personal information.



Incorrect answer. Please try again: Please enter the words to the right: Please enter the numbers you hear:

Additional Comments (optional)