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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP® version 9.4 Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller Implementations Guide: 4 - Sending Traffic Through the Global Traffic Manager
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4

Sending Traffic Through the Global Traffic Manager


Working with the Global Traffic Manager as a router or forwarder

The primary purpose of the Global Traffic Manager is to help you manage incoming wide IP traffic, and load balance that traffic to the appropriate network resources. However, wide IP traffic is only part of the overall DNS traffic a network must handle. Consequently, typical installations of the Global Traffic Manager involve configuring the system to work in conjunction with existing DNS servers already on the network.

This implementation focuses on using the Global Traffic Manager as a router or forwarder in front of an existing DNS server. With this integration, the Global Traffic Manager checks incoming DNS queries. If the query is for a wide IP, the Global Traffic Manager load balances it to the appropriate resource. Otherwise, the Global Traffic Manager forwards the DNS query on to the DNS server, which then handles the query as needed.

 

 

Figure 4.1 The Global Traffic Manager routing traffic to a DNS server

To control how the Global Traffic Manager responds to DNS requests, you must configure a listener. A listener is a specialized resource that is assigned a specific IP address and uses port 53, the DNS query port. When traffic is sent to that IP address, the listener alerts the Global Traffic Manager, allowing it to handle the traffic locally or forward the traffic to the appropriate resource.

If you are familiar with the 3-DNS Controller, which preceded the Global Traffic Manager, you might recall that you could configure the 3-DNS Controller to operate in router mode or bridge mode. You achieve the same functionality with the Global Traffic Manager depending on how you configure the listeners:

  • If the listener points to a DNS server that exists on the same subnet, the Global Traffic Manager acts as a bridge.
  • If the listener points to a DNS server that exists on a different subnet, the Global Traffic Manager acts a router.

In this solution, you first create a listener that allows the Global Traffic Manager to act as a bridge. Then you create a second listener that allows the Global Traffic Manager to act as a router for a different set of DNS traffic.

Forwarding traffic through the Global Traffic Manager

This part of the implementation covers the steps necessary to forward traffic through a Global Traffic Manager to an existing DNS server. When the Global Traffic Manager manages traffic in this manner, it acts like a bridge between one section of the network and another.

This implementation focuses on the fictional company SiteRequest. SiteRequest recently purchased a Global Traffic Manager to help load balance traffic across two of its web-based applications: store.siterequest.com and checkout.siterequest.com. These applications are subdomains of www.siterequest.com, which is managed by an existing DNS server. SiteRequest has already configured the Global Traffic Manager with two wide IPs, store.siterequest.com and checkout.siterequest.com, which correspond to these two web applications.

Placing the Global Traffic Manager to forward traffic

The standard configuration for this implementation requires that you place the Global Traffic Manager between the existing DNS server and the Internet. For the purposes of this implementation, the IP address for the Global Traffic Manager is 192.168.5.10, while the IP address for the DNS server is 192.168.5.23.

To place the Global Traffic Manager on a network for forwarding traffic

  1. Connect the Global Traffic Manager to your Internet connection.
  2. Connect the DNS server to an Ethernet port on the Global Traffic Manager.

Forwarding traffic to a DNS server

With this setup, all DNS traffic flows through the Global Traffic Manager. Next, you need to configure the Global Traffic Manager to recognize the traffic that it must forward to the DNS server.

To forward traffic to the DNS server

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Listeners.
    The main listeners 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 listens for network traffic.
    For this example, the IP address you add is 192.168.5.23.
  4. From the VLAN Traffic list, select All VLANs.
  5. Click the Finished button to save the new listener.

You now have an implementation of the Global Traffic Manager in which the Global Traffic Manager receives all DNS queries. If the query is for a wide IP, the Global Traffic Manager load balances the request to the appropriate resource. If the traffic has a destination IP address of 172.15.23.23, the Global Traffic Manager forwards the query to the DNS server for resolution.

Routing traffic through the Global Traffic Manager

This part of the implementation covers the steps necessary to route traffic through a Global Traffic Manager to another DNS server; for example, one that resides in a different data center. When the Global Traffic Manager manages traffic in this manner, it acts like a router between one section of the network and another.

This implementation again focuses on the fictional company SiteRequest. SiteRequest still wants to use the Global Traffic Manager to help load balance traffic across two of its web-based applications: store.siterequest.com and checkout.siterequest.com. These applications are subdomains of www.siterequest.com, which is managed by an existing DNS server. Again, SiteRequest has already configured the Global Traffic Manager with two wide IPs, store.siterequest.com and checkout.siterequest.com, which correspond to these two web applications.

Placing the Global Traffic Manager to route traffic

The standard configuration for this solution requires that you place the Global Traffic Manager between the existing DNS server and the Internet. For the purposes of this example, the IP address for the Global Traffic Manager is 192.168.5.10, while the IP address for the DNS server is 172.15.23.23.

To place the Global Traffic Manager on the network for routing traffic

  1. Connect the Global Traffic Manager to your Internet connection.
  2. Connect the DNS server to an Ethernet port on the Global Traffic Manager.

Routing traffic to a DNS server

With this setup, all DNS traffic flows through the Global Traffic Manager. Next, you need to configure the Global Traffic Manager to recognize the traffic that it must route to the DNS server.

To route traffic to the DNS server

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Listeners.
    The main listeners 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 listens for network traffic.
    In this example, the IP address you add is 172.15.23.23.
  4. From the VLAN Traffic list, select All VLANs.
  5. Click the Finished button to save the new listener.

You now have an implementation of the Global Traffic Manager in which the Global Traffic Manager receives all DNS queries. If the query is for a wide IP, the Global Traffic Manager load balances the request to the appropriate resource. If the traffic has a destination IP address of 172.15.23.23, the Global Traffic Manager routes the query to the DNS server for resolution.




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