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Manual Chapter: Using Local Traffic Policies with Analytics
Manual Chapter
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Using Local Traffic Policies with Analytics

Overview: Using local traffic policies with Analytics

When you attach an Analytics (AVR) profile to a virtual server, the BIG-IP® system can gather, log, notify, and display statistical information about the traffic. You can associate a local traffic policy with a virtual server to further define which transactions to include or exclude in the statistics. Rules in the local traffic policy can enable or disable AVR for whatever type of traffic you want to define. You might want to do this to save system resources by not deploying Analytics on parts of the traffic that you are not interested in monitoring.

This implementation shows how to create an Analytics profile to store statistics locally. It then describes how to create a local traffic policy and add rules to the policy so that the Analytics module saves statistics for all traffic except that which has a URI containing the word index. (In this case, you are not interested in monitoring traffic directed towards index pages.)

Other options are available for configuring local traffic policies with Analytics. By following through the steps in this example, you can see the other options that are available on the screens, and can adjust the example for your needs.

Task Summary

Collecting application statistics locally

You need to provision the Application Visibility and Reporting (AVR) module before you can collect application statistics locally.
Note: Newer browsers (Internet Explorer 9 or later, Firefox 3.6 or later, or Chrome 14 or later) support viewing Analytics charts with no additional plug-in. If using older browsers (Internet Explorer 8 or earlier, Firefox 3.5 or earlier, or Chrome 13 or earlier), Adobe® Flash® Player (version 8 or later) must be installed on the computer where you plan to view Analytics charts.
You can configure the BIG-IP® system to collect specific application statistics locally.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > Analytics .
    Tip: If Analytics is not listed, this indicates that Application Visibility and Reporting (AVR) is not provisioned, or you do not have rights to create profiles.
    The Analytics screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Analytics profile screen opens.
  3. In the Profile Name field, type a unique name for the Analytics profile.
  4. Select the Custom check box.
  5. For the Statistics Logging Type setting, verify that Internal is selected. If it is not, select it.
    Selecting Internal causes the system to store statistics locally, and you can view the charts on the system by starting at the Main tab, and clicking Statistics > Analytics .
  6. You can use the default values for the rest of the General Configuration settings.
  7. In the Included Objects area, specify the virtual servers for which to capture application statistics:
    1. For the Virtual Servers setting, click Add.
    2. From the Select Virtual Server popup that displays, select the virtual servers to include and then click Done.
    Note: Only virtual servers previously configured with an HTTP profile display in the list (because the data being collected applies to HTTP traffic). Also, you can assign only one Analytics profile to a virtual server; therefore, the list displays only virtual servers that have not been assigned an Analytics profile.
    Special considerations apply if using Analytics on a BIG-IP system with both Application Security Manager™ and Access Policy Manager®, where security settings (in Portal Access webtop or an iRule) redirect traffic from one virtual server to another. In this case, you need to attach the Analytics profile to the second virtual server to ensure that the charts show accurate statistics.
  8. In the Statistics Gathering Configuration area, select the Custom check box.
  9. In the Statistics Gathering Configuration area, for Collected Metrics, select the statistics you want the system to collect:
    Option Description
    Max TPS and Throughput Collects statistics showing the maximum number of transactions occurring per second and the amount of traffic moving through the system (maximum request and response throughput is collected and recorded separately). In the Details table of the Analytics: HTTP Transactions screen, if you drill down into a specific entity, the system displays the maximum TPS. Drilling down in the Request Throughput details displays the maximum request throughput for each entity; and drilling down in the Response Throughput details displays the maximum response throughput for each entity.
    Page Load Time Tracks how long it takes an application user to get a complete response from the application, including network latency and completed page processing.
    Note: End-user response times and latencies can vary significantly based on geography and connection types.
    User Sessions Stores the number of unique user sessions. For Timeout, select the number of minutes of user inactivity to allow before the system considers the session to be over.

    For Cookie Secure Attribute, specify whether to secure session cookies. Options are Always, the secure attribute is always added to the session cookie; Never, the secure attribute is never added to the session cookie; or Only SSL, the secure attribute is added to the session cookie only when the virtual server has a client SSL profile (the default value).

  10. In the Statistics Gathering Configuration area, for Collected Entities, select the entities for which you want the system to collect statistics:
    Option Description
    URLs Collects the requested URLs.
    Countries Saves the name of the country where the request came from, and is based on the client IP address criteria.
    Client IP Addresses Saves the IP address where the request originated. The address saved also depends on whether the request has an XFF (X-forwarded-for) header and whether the HTTP profile accepts XFF headers.
    Client Subnets Saves statistics for predefined client subnets. Client subnets can be added in the Subnets area of the default Analytics profile.
    Response Codes Saves HTTP response codes that the server returned to requesters.
    User Agents Saves information about browsers used when making the request.
    Methods Saves HTTP methods in requests.
  11. Click Finished.
The BIG-IP system collects the statistics specified in the Analytics profile. You can view the statistics by clicking Statistics > Analytics .

Creating a local traffic policy for Analytics

You can create a local traffic policy to define which traffic should be included (or excluded) from Analytics statistics collection. This example creates one rule that looks at all traffic and excludes traffic that has the word "index" in the URI.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Policies > Policy List .
    The Policy List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Policy screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the policy.
  4. For the Strategysetting, select first-match to apply the actions in the first rule that matches.
  5. For the Requires setting, select http from the Available list, and move the entry to the Selected list using the Move button.
  6. For the Controls setting, select avr from the Available list, and move the entry to the Selected list using the Move button.
    This local traffic policy is specifically for controlling Analytics.
  7. In the Rules area, click Add to create a rule that defines when traffic is handled by the security policy.
  8. In the Rule Name field, type the word index.
  9. In the Conditions area, define the application traffic to which this rule applies. Specify the following values and use the default values for the rest.
    1. From the Operand list, select http-uri.
    2. From the Selector list, select path.
    3. From the Condition list, select contains; then, in the Value field below, type index and click Add.
    4. Under the word Missing, click Add.
      The http-uri condition is added to the list of conditions.
  10. In the Actions area, define the action to apply to the traffic. Specify the following values and use the default values for the rest.
    1. From the Target list, select avr.
    2. From the Action list, select disable.
    3. Above the list of actions, click Add.
  11. Click Finished to add the rule to the local traffic policy.
    The policy properties screen opens.
  12. Create a default rule that enables Analytics for all other traffic.
    1. In the Rules area, click Add.
    2. In the Rule Name field, type the word default.
    3. Leave the default values for the Condition setting, which means apply this rule to traffic that does not meet the other rule.
    4. From the Target list, select avr.
      The system automatically sets Event to request and Action to enable, which are the settings we want to use in this case.
    5. Click Finished.
You have created a local traffic policy that controls Analytics. It looks at all traffic and disables statistics gathering for any request that includes the word index in the URI. For all other traffic, statistics are collected.

Associating a local traffic policy with a virtual server

After you create a local traffic policy, you associate that policy with the virtual server created to handle application traffic.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the virtual server you want to modify.
  3. On the menu bar, click Resources.
  4. In the Policies area, click the Manage button.
  5. For the Policies setting, from the Available list, select the local traffic policy you previously created, and move it to the Enabled list.
  6. Click Finished.

Implementation results

When you have completed the steps in this implementation, you have configured the BIG-IP® system to store statistics locally. A local traffic policy instructs the Analytics module to save statistics for all traffic except that which has a URI containing the word index.

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