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Manual Chapter: Defining the Physical Network
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The components that make up the Global Traffic Manager can be divided into two categories: logical components and physical components. Logical components are abstractions of network resources, such as a virtual server. Physical components, on the other hand, have a direct correlation with one or more physical entities on the network. This chapter deals with the physical components of the Global Traffic Manager. For information on the logical components of the Global Traffic Manager, see Chapter 6, Defining the Logical Network.
A data center defines the group of Global Traffic Managers, Local Traffic Managers, and host systems that reside in a single physical location. Within the Global Traffic Manager, a data center contains at least one server and one link. Every resource, whether physical or logical, is associated in some way with a data center.
A server defines a specific system on the network. A system can be a single Global Traffic Manager, Local Traffic Manager, or host system. Within the Global Traffic Manager, a server, with the exception of Global Traffic Managers and Link Controllers, must also contain at least one virtual server.
A virtual server, in the context of the Global Traffic Manager, is a combination of IP address and port number that points to a specific resource on the network.
A link defines a physical connection to the Internet. Links are associated with one or more routers on the network. The Global Traffic Manager tracks the performance of links, which in turn can dictate the overall availability of a given pool, data center, wide IP, or distributed application.
This chapter describes how to define the physical components that make up your network, including setting up data centers, servers, and links.
A data center defines the group of Global Traffic Managers, Local Traffic Managers, host systems, and links that share the same subnet on the network. The Global Traffic Manager consolidates the paths and metrics data collected from both servers, virtual servers, and links into the data center, and uses that consolidated data when conducting load balancing operations. Any server or link that you add to the Global Traffic Manager configuration must belong to one and only one data center, and you must configure at least one data center before you can add servers to the Global Traffic Manager configuration.
A data center defines the group of Global Traffic Managers, Local Traffic Managers, host systems, and links that share the same subnet on the network. Depending on your router configuration, the following data center configurations are available:
For example, the fictional company SiteRequest has a network operation center in New York, which contains two subnets: 192.168.11.0/24 and 192.168.22.0/24. Because there are two subnets, the IT team needs to create two data centers: New York 1 and New York 2, within the Global Traffic Manager. On the opposite side of the country, SiteRequest has three operational centers, but they all share the same subnet of 192.168.33.0/24. To reflect this in the Global Traffic Manager, the IT team needs to create a single data center: West Coast.
Name. The descriptive name of the data center, such as New York 1 or West Coast.
Physical location. A description of the geographical area in which the data center resides, such as New York City - Building A.
Contact. The name of a individual responsible for managing the network at the data center.
State. The state of the data center. Available options are Enabled or Disabled.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
2.
Click the Create button.
4.
Click the Finished button.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
2.
Click the name of the data center that you want to modify.
The properties screen for that data center appears.
4.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
3.
Click the Delete button.
4.
Click the Delete button to delete the data center.
When you create a data center, you determine whether you want the data center enabled or not. Resources associated with a data center are available only if the following criteria are met:
You can enable or disable a data center manually, allowing you to remove a data center temporarily from the Global Traffic Managers load balancing operations; for example, during a maintenance period. When the maintenance period has ended, you can enable the data center, allowing the Global Traffic Manager to consider the resources of that data center when load balancing connection requests.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
3.
Click the Enable button to enable the data center.
Note that the icon representing the availability of the data center changes to a blue square to reflect its current level of availability.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
3.
Click the Disable button to disable the data center.
Note that the icon representing the availability of the data center changes to a black square, indicating that it is disabled.
A server defines a specific system on the network. In the Global Traffic Manager, servers are not only physical entities that you can change and modify as needed; they also house the virtual servers that are the ultimate destinations of name resolution requests. In essence, servers are the core of the physical components that you manage with the Global Traffic Manager.
A BIG-IP system can be a Global Traffic Manager (including the current Global Traffic Manager), a Local Traffic Manager, or a Link Controller.
A third-party load balancing system is any system, other than a BIG-IP system, that supports and manages virtual servers on the network. See Defining load balancing servers for information on how to define these servers and a list of supported load balancing servers.
A third-party host system is any server resource on the network that does not support virtual servers. See Defining host servers for information on how to define these servers and a list of supported host servers.
This section describes how to set up each server type in your network. The setup procedures here assume that the servers are up and running in the network, and that they already have virtual servers defined (if the server manages virtual servers).
A BIG-IP system is defined as any Global Traffic Manager, a Local Traffic Manager, or a Link Controller. Defining a BIG-IP system includes defining the Global Traffic Manager that you are currently configuring. This ensures that the Global Traffic Manager communicates correctly with the rest of the network and can be synchronized with other Global Traffic Managers on the network.
One type of server that you must define for your physical network is the Global Traffic Manager itself. This process includes defining the current Global Traffic Manager, which is the Global Traffic Manager that you are currently configuring, and then defining any additional Global Traffic Managers, which include backup systems on the current network segment, or systems that reside at another data center. The information you provide on these systems allows the agents and other utilities, such as the big3d agent, to gather and analyze path and metrics information on network traffic. In addition, adding Global Traffic Managers as part of defining the physical network is necessary when you want to synchronize the settings across multiple systems.
Important: If you have multiple Global Traffic Managers on your network, we recommend that you define the current Global Traffic Manager first, followed by any additional systems.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the Global Traffic Manager.
4.
From the Product list, select the appropriate server product.
Global Traffic Managers, Local Traffic Managers, and Link Controllers all belong to the BIG-IP product family. Any time you add one of these systems as a server, you can select one of two server products from the Product list:
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network. For example, if the current Global Traffic Manager is part of a redundant system, you add the IP addresses of the primary and backup systems.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the Global Traffic Manager belongs.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
Local Traffic Managers are load balancing servers that manage virtual servers on the network. There are two standard configurations for a Local Traffic Manager:
Regardless of whether the Local Traffic Manager shares the same hardware as the Global Traffic Manager, you should ensure that you have the following information available before you define the system:
The IP address and service name or port number of each virtual server managed by the Local Traffic Manager, only if you do not want to use auto-configuration to discover the Local Traffic Managers virtual servers
Important: If your installation of the Global Traffic Manager resides on the same system as a Local Traffic Manager, you define only one BIG-IP server. This server entry represents both the Global Traffic Manager and Local Traffic Manager modules.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the Local Traffic Manager.
4.
From the Product list, select the appropriate server product.
Global Traffic Managers, Local Traffic Managers, and Link Controllers all belong to the BIG-IP product family. Any time you add one of these systems as a server, you can select one of two server products from the Product list:
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network. For example, if the current Global Traffic Manager is part of a redundant pair, you would add the IP addresses of the primary and backup systems.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the Local Traffic Manager belongs.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings, including the virtual servers managed by the Local Traffic Manager.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
The Link Controller is also part of the BIG-IP product family. Link Controllers are systems that monitor the performance and availability of wide-area connections.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the Link Controller.
4.
From the Product list, select BIG-IP System (Single).
Global Traffic Managers, Local Traffic Managers, and Link Controllers all belong to the BIG-IP product family. Any time you add one of these systems as a server:
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the Link Controller belongs.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
In addition to BIG-IP systems, the Global Traffic Manager can interact with other load-balancing servers to determine availability and performance metrics for load balancing connection requests.
Alteon® Ace Director
Cisco® CSS
Cisco® LocalDirector v2
Cisco® LoadDirector v3
Cisco® SLB
Foundry® ServerIron
You can add as many third-party load balancing servers as you need into your configuration of the Global Traffic Manager.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select the appropriate load balancing server.
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the server belongs.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
In the event that your network uses a load balancing server that is not explicitly supported by the Global Traffic Manager, you can add it through the use of the generic load balancer option.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select Generic Load Balancer.
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the server belongs.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
Another server type that you might include as part of your network is a host. A host is an individual network resource, such as web page or a database, that is not a part of the BIG-IP product family and does not provide load balancing capabilities for the resources is supports.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select the appropriate host server.
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the server belongs.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
In the event that your network uses a host server that is not explicitly supported by the Global Traffic Manager, you can add it through the use of the generic host server option.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select Generic Host.
5.
For Address List, add the IP address of the server.
To add the IP address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given server, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the server belongs.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
Each server that you add to the Global Traffic Manager, whether it is a BIG-IP system, a third-party load balancing server, or a host server, has a variety of monitors available. You can assign these monitors to track specific data, and use that data to determine load balancing or other actions. Detailed information about monitors is available in Chapter 10, Configuring Monitors.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
4.
For Health Monitors, use the Move buttons provided to move monitors from the Available list to the Selected list.
Monitors in the Selected list are active for the server.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
When you set limit thresholds for availability, the Global Traffic Manager can detect when a managed server is low on system resources, and can redirect the traffic to another server. Setting limits can help eliminate any negative impact on a server's performance of service tasks that may be time critical, require high bandwidth, or put high demand on system resources. The system resources vary depending on the monitors you have assigned to the server.
The available thresholds for which you can set limits for servers depends on whether the server is part of the BIG-IP product family, such as a Local Traffic Manager, or another server type. If the server is part of the BIG-IP product family, the available thresholds are:
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring these thresholds. For detailed information on these thresholds, see the online help.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
4.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
Note: You can also set limits on virtual server resources. If a server meets or exceeds its limits, both the server and the virtual servers it manages are marked as unavailable for load balancing. You can quickly review the availability of any of your servers or virtual servers in the Statistics screens.
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring these thresholds. For detailed information on these thresholds, see the online help.
1.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
4.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
Note: You can also set limits on pool members. If a pool meets or exceeds its limits, both the pool and the pool members it manages are marked as unavailable for load balancing. You can quickly review the availability of any of your pools or pool members in the Statistics screens.
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring these thresholds. For detailed information on these thresholds, please see the online help.
1.
5.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
6.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
8.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring these thresholds. For detailed information on these thresholds, see the online help.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
5.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
6.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
8.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
The Global Traffic Manager is able to automatically discover virtual servers and links that are associated with any member of the BIG-IP product family. This capability is available through the virtual server discovery option, which identifies virtual servers, and link discovery, which discovers links. When you enable either virtual server or link discovery, the system automatically searches for resources of the specified type, and adds them to the Global Traffic Manager configuration. Discovery options are established on a per-server basis. For more information on discovery options, see Chapter 2, Setting up the Global Traffic Manager.
When the Discovery setting is set to Disabled, the Global Traffic Manager does not collect any configuration information from the relevant system in the network. Instead, you must make all changes to the configuration manually. This is the default setting.
When the Discovery setting is set to ON, the Global Traffic Manager polls the relevant system every 30 seconds to update the configuration information for those systems. Any changes, additions, or deletions are then made to the controller's configuration.
When the Discovery setting is set to Enabled/No Delete, the Global Traffic Manager polls the relevant system in the network every 30 seconds to update the configuration information for those systems. Any changes or additions are then made to the controller's configuration. Any deletions in the configuration are ignored. This setting is helpful if you want to take systems in and out of service without modifying the Global Traffic Manager configuration.
When the Discovery setting is set to One-time Discovery, the Global Traffic Manager polls the relevant system once to update the configuration information for that system. After this initial discovery, the Global Traffic Manager does not poll the system for changes that might have occurred. This feature is useful when you are first installing the Global Traffic Manager on the network and you have a lot of resources to add in, but do not want to have the discovery feature on continually.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
4.
From the Virtual Server Discovery list, select the appropriate setting.
If you select Disabled, the virtual server list appears, which provides options for adding virtual servers manually.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
2.
Click the name of the server for which you want to discover links.
The properties screen for that server opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
4.
From the Link Discovery option, select the appropriate setting.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
Any server, excluding Global Traffic Managers and Link Controllers, contains at least one virtual server. A virtual server, in the context of the Global Traffic Manager, is a specific IP address and port number that points to a resource on the network. In the case of host servers, this IP address and port number likely point to the resource itself. With load balancing systems, such as the Local Traffic Manager, these virtual servers are often proxies that allow the load balancing server to manage the resource request across a multitude of resources.
Automatically, through the use of the Global Traffic Managers discovery feature. For more information on automatically discovering virtual servers, see Discovering resources automatically.
The following procedure describes how to add a virtual server manually to a given server. If you want to add virtual servers through the use of the discovery feature, see Discovering resources automatically.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
4.
From the Virtual Server Discovery list, select Disabled.
5.
Click the Update button to implement this change.
6.
Click the Add button to begin adding a new virtual server.
7.
In the Virtual Server List option, supply the appropriate information for the virtual servers. and then click the Add button to add the virtual server to the server.
8.
Click the Create button to save the new virtual server.
You can modify the information related to a virtual server at any time; for example, if the IP address and port number on the virtual server changes, or if you modify your IP address translation settings.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
6.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
If a virtual server is no longer available on a specific system you can remove it; for example, if the virtual server has been replaced by a newer one.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
5.
Click the Remove button to remove the virtual server from the server.
A link defines a physical connection to the Internet that is associated with one or more routers on the network. When you configure the links that you want to load balance in the Global Traffic Manager. you add a link entry into the Global Traffic Manager and associating one or more routers with that entry. In addition, you can also configure monitors to check certain metrics associated with the link, and modify how the Global Traffic Manager selects a link for network traffic
Before you can load balance inbound and outbound traffic, you must configure the basic link properties. The following procedure describes how to configure the basic properties of a link.
1.
2.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the link.
3.
For Router Address List, add the router address of the link.
To add the router address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given link, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
4.
From the Data Center list, select the appropriate data center.
6.
Click the Create button to create the link.
1.
3.
For Router Address List, add the router address of the link.
To add the router address, type the address in the Address box, and then click Add. You can add more than one address to any given link, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
4.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
1.
3.
For Router Address List, select a router and then click Remove.
4.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
Each link that you add has a variety of monitors available. You can assign these monitors to track specific data, and use that data to determine load balancing or other actions. Detailed information about monitors is available in Chapter 10, Configuring Monitors.
1.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
4.
For Health Monitors, use the Move buttons provided to move monitors from the Available list to the Enabled list.
Monitors in the Enabled list are active for the link.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
If your ISP provider uses duplex billing, you can set the Duplex Billing option so that the statistics and billing report screens accurately reflect the bandwidth usage for the link.
If you want to load balance traffic based on the cost of the bandwidth, then select the Price (Dynamic Ratio) option. You can use this weighting option to avoid the costs associated with exceeding your prepaid bandwidth. You can also use this weighting option to direct traffic over the least expensive link first.
If you want to load balance the total traffic to the controller based on a ratio, then select the Ratio option. When you have links of varying bandwidth sizes, you can use this weighting option to avoid oversaturating a smaller link with too much traffic.
Important: You can use either the price weighting option or the ratio weighting option to load balance your link traffic for all of your links. You cannot use both options. Regardless of which weighting option you use, you must use the same weighting option for all links.
1.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
4.
From the Weighting list, select either Ratio or Price (Dynamic Ratio), depending on how you want to weight the link.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
1.
4.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
5.
Check the Duplex Billing option to enable duplex billing for the link.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
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