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Manual Chapter: Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® version 9.2.2 Global Traffic Management: Essential Configuration Tasks - 2
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2

Essential Configuration Tasks


Reviewing the essential configuration tasks

After you have completed the Setup Utility, you can integrate the Global Traffic Manager into your network. Integrating the GTM system into your network requires that you complete the following tasks:

  • Configure system-level settings
    System-level settings include tasks such as: configuring a listener, which allows the Global Traffic Manager to identify the network traffic for which it is responsible; assigning an NTP server, and establishing synchronization with other Global Traffic Managers.
  • Configure the physical aspects of your load balancing network
    Physical aspects of your network include resources such as: Data centers, servers, and virtual servers.
  • Configure the logical aspects of your load balancing network
    Logical aspects of your network include pools of virtual servers; wide IPs, which consist of one or more pools; and health monitors, which determine the availability of pools, and servers.
Note

If your environment requires that the Global Traffic Manager operate in a fail-safe or high availability mode, see the section titled Configuring fail-safe in Chapter 13: Setting Up a Redundant System, in the BIG-IP Network and Systems Management Guide.

Setting system-level settings

Before you add various network components into the Global Traffic Manager, you must configure several system-level settings. These settings determine:

  • How the Global Traffic Manager identifies the network traffic for which it is responsible
  • Which default actions the Global Traffic Manager applies when processing network traffic
  • How the Global Traffic Manager interacts with other Global Traffic Managers that exist on the network

Defining listeners

One of the most crucial aspects of integrating the Global Traffic Manager into your network is providing it with a listener. A listener is a resource for the Global Traffic Manager that identifies the network traffic for which the Global Traffic Manager is responsible. Listeners accomplish this task by listening for traffic on a specified IP address. Listening is a process in which a component, such as a listener, passively checks incoming traffic and initiates an action only if a packet matches a set of criteria. Each listener that you define listens for DNS packets on port 53.

The Global Traffic Manager then handles only network traffic sent to that IP address. The IP address that you supply for a listener typically is the IP address you assigned to the Global Traffic Manager. If the Global Traffic Manager must manage traffic across several VLANs, you can select each VLAN through the VLAN Traffic list.

To configure a listener

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Listeners.
    The main listener screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Listener screen opens.
  3. In the Destination box, type the IP address on which the Global Traffic Manager will listen for network traffic.
    The Global Traffic Manager will handle only network traffic sent to this IP address. In typical configurations, the IP address for a listener is the IP address assigned to the Global Traffic Manager.
  4. From the VLAN Traffic list, select a VLAN setting appropriate for this listener.
    For additional assistance with this setting, please see the online help.
  5. Click the Finished button to save the new listener.

For more information on managing and maintaining listeners, see Chapter 4, Working with Listeners .

Defining NTP servers

When conducting synchronization and metrics collection operations, the Global Traffic Manager requires time measurements that are synchronized with the rest of your network. To ensure the Global Traffic Manager uses the correct time, you define the Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers that the Global Traffic Manager references.

To define an NTP server

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System and then click General Properties.
    The General Properties screen appears.
  2. From the Device menu, choose NTP.
    The NTP screen appears.
  3. In the Address box, type either the IP address or fully-qualified domain name for the time server.
  4. Click the Add button to add the NTP server to your configuration.
    The time server appears as an entry in the Time Server List.
  5. Click the Update to save your changes.

Repeat this process for any additional time servers.

Defining synchronization settings

Most network environments contain multiple Global Traffic Managers installed at various locations on the network. You can synchronize these systems, allowing them to share their configurations.

Synchronization across Global Traffic Managers is based on the timestamps associated with the configuration files for each system. Each Global Traffic Manager periodically compares the timestamps on its configuration files against the timestamps on other systems. If the Global Traffic Manager discovers a newer set of files, it automatically downloads them and replaces its existing files. This process ensures that all Global Traffic Managers share the same configurations.

Collections of Global Traffic Managers that share configurations must share a common group name, which is called the synchronization group name. This name differentiates different groups of Global Traffic Managers.

Note

If you plan to synchronize all of your Global Traffic Managers as a single group, you do not need to define a synchronization group name, as the Global Traffic Manager automatically assigns the group the name, default.

To define synchronization settings

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System and then click General Properties.
    The General Properties screen appears.
  2. From the Global Traffic menu, choose General.
    The General screen appears.
  3. Configure the following settings:
    • Synchronization
    • Synchronization Time Tolerance
    • Synchronize DNS Zone Files
    • Synchronization Group Name
  4. Click the Update button to save your changes.

For more information on synchronizing Global Traffic Managers, see Chapter 11, Synchronizing Global Traffic Managers .

Setting up data centers

After you configure the system settings for the Global Traffic Manager, the next step is to create data centers. A data center defines the group of Global Traffic Managers, other BIG-IP systems, and host systems that reside in a single physical location.

Note

You must configure at least one data center before you can add servers to the global traffic configuration.

When you add servers to the global traffic configuration, you assign the servers to the appropriate data centers.

To configure a data center

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Data Centers.
    The main data centers screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Data Center screen opens.
  3. Add the new data center settings.
    For additional assistance with these settings, please see the online help.
  4. Click the Finished button save the new data center.

For more information on managing and maintaining data centers, see Managing data centers .

Setting up servers

The Global Traffic Manager can manage many different server types. The server types fall into three main categories: BIG-IP systems, load balancing hosts, and non-load balancing hosts. The server categories each contain multiple server types. Please see Managing servers , for a list of the available server types.

At the minimum, you must set up the following servers within the Global Traffic Manager:

  • The current Global Traffic Manager. You must set up the Global Traffic Manager as a server within the configuration. This configuration allows the system to gather information correctly, and ensures that its own settings are shared with other Global Traffic Managers during synchronization tasks.
  • A server of any other type.
  • One or more virtual servers, depending on whether the servers you added load balance across multiple sources.

For detailed information on managing and maintaining servers, see Managing servers .

Defining the current Global Traffic Manager

The purpose of defining the current Global Traffic Manager in the configuration is to establish in which data center the Global Traffic Manager resides and, if necessary, to change big3d agent settings. Before you add other Global Traffic Managers to the configuration, you should add the current Global Traffic Manager you are configuring to its own configuration. When you add any additional Global Traffic Managers to the configuration, you make those Global Traffic Managers available so that you can synchronize them with other Global Traffic Managers on the network.

To define the current Global Traffic Manager

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Servers.
    The main servers screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name box, type an identifying name for the Global Traffic Manager.
  4. From the Product list, select BIG-IP System (Single).
  5. In the Address area, define the IP address that specifies the current Global Traffic Manager.
  6. Configure the other server settings.
    For additional assistance with these settings, please see the online help.
  7. Click the Create button to create the new server.
    The Global Traffic Manager is added to your configuration.

You can repeat this process for any additional Global Traffic Managers on the network. This process is mandatory if you want to synchronize the settings of multiple Global Traffic Managers.

Defining servers

After you have defined the current Global Traffic Manager as a server, you can add any number of additional servers. Servers fall into two main categories:

  • Load balancing servers. These servers, like the Local Traffic Manager, balance connection requests across multiple resources, or virtual servers.
  • Non-load balancing servers. These servers are resources on your network. Connection requests for these resources are not load balanced.

You can apply the same steps for creating both load balancing and non-load balancing servers to the Global Traffic Manager.

To define a server

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Servers.
    The main servers screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name box, type an identifying name for the server.
  4. From the Product list, select a server type.
    If you cannot find a specific type in the list, select either Generic Load Balancer or Generic Host, depending on whether the server load balances connection requests.
  5. From the Data Center list, select a data center where this server resides.
  6. Configure the other server settings.
    Please see the online help for additional information on the various settings available when defining a server.
  7. Click the Create button to create the new server.
    The server is added to your configuration.

Setting up pools

When you add multiple virtual servers into the Global Traffic Manager, you can combine them into specific groups, called pools. The Global Traffic Manager can then load balance across the virtual servers in each pool, ensuring the best possible response for each connection request.

A pool must contain at least one pool member. Pool members are virtual servers that represent either a load balancing server, such as a Local Traffic Manager, or a stand-alone host.These resources can be either virtual servers managed with a Local Traffic Manager or other system, or a stand-alone host.

To set up a pool

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Pools.
    The main pools screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name box, type a name that identifies the pool.
  4. In the Member List area, add the appropriate virtual servers.
  5. Configure the rest of the pool settings as needed.
    For additional help with these settings, please see the online help.
  6. Click the Finished button to save the new pool.

For detailed information on managing and maintaining pools, see Setting up pools .

Setting up wide IPs

As you organize the resources available on your network, it is highly likely that you will have multiple pools that share a similar role on your network. Through the Global Traffic Manager, you can organize these pools into groups called wide IPs. A wide IP is a mapping of a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) to a set of pools, with each pool containing virtual servers that host the domain's content, such as a web site, an e-commerce site, or a content delivery network (CDN).

A wide IP must contain at least one pool, with each pool containing at least one virtual server.

To set up a wide IP

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Wide IPs.
    The main wide IP page opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Wide IP screen opens.
  3. In the Name box, type a name that identifies the wide IP.
  4. In the Member List area, add the appropriate pools.
  5. Configure the rest of the wide IP settings as needed.
    For additional help with these settings, please see the online help.
  6. Click the Finished button to save the new wide IP.

For detailed information on managing and maintaining wide IPs, see Setting up wide IPs .

Assigning health monitors

The Global Traffic Manager includes several components, called health monitors, that determine the availability of a given set of resources. A health monitor is a software component that uses a specific metric to determine the availability of a given set of resources. For example, the POP3 health monitor tests a mail server resource to ensure that it is accessible through the Post Office Protocol 3.

You can assign as many health monitors as you need to pools, servers, and virtual servers. For more information on the health monitors available in the Global Traffic Manager, see Chapter 10, Configuring Monitors .

To assign health monitors to a pool

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic, and then click Pools.
    The main pools screen opens.
  2. From the Pool list, click the name of a pool.
    The properties screen for that pool appears.
  3. In the Health Monitors area, select the appropriate health monitors from the Available list, and use the Move buttons provided to move them to the Selected list.
  4. Click the Finished button to save the updated pool.

To assign health monitors to a server

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic, and then click Servers.
    The main server page opens.
  2. From the Server list, click the name of a server.
    The properties screen for that server appears.
  3. In the Health Monitors area, select the appropriate health monitors from the Available list and use the Move buttons provided to move them to the Selected list.
  4. Click the Finished button to save the updated server.

To assign health monitors to a virtual server

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic, and then click Servers.
    The main server page opens.
  2. From the Server list, click the name of a server.
    The properties screen for that server appears.
  3. On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
    The virtual servers screen opens.
  4. From the Virtual Server list, click the name of the virtual server.
    The properties screen for that virtual server opens.
  5. In the Health Monitors area, select the appropriate health monitors from the Available list and use the Move buttons provided to move them to the Selected list.
  6. Click the Finished button to save the updated server.



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