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Manual Chapter: About Global Server Load Balancing
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About Global Server Load Balancing

Introducing the Global Traffic Manager

BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) is a system that monitors the availability and performance of global resources and uses that information to manage network traffic patterns. BIG-IP GTM uses load balancing algorithms, topology-based routing, and iRules® to control and distribute traffic according to specific policies.

About global server load balancing

BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) provides tiered global server load balancing (GSLB). BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests, first to the best available pool in a wide IP, and then to the best available virtual server within that pool. GTM selects the best available resource using either a static or a dynamic load balancing method. Using a static load balancing method, BIG-IP GTM selects a resource based on a pre-defined pattern. Using a dynamic load balancing method, BIG-IP GTM selects a resource based on current performance metrics collected by the big3d agents running in each data center.

Static load balancing methods

This table describes the static load balancing methods available in BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™).

Name Description Recommended Use Wide IP Load Balancing Preferred Method Alternate Method Fallback Method
Drop Packet BIG-IP GTM drops the DNS request. Use Drop Packet for the Alternate load balancing method when you want to ensure that GTM does not offer in a response a virtual server that is potentially unavailable. No Yes Yes Yes
Fallback IP BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to a virtual server that you specify. This virtual server is not monitored for availability. Use Fallback IP for the fallback load balancing method when you want GTM to return a disaster recovery site when the preferred and alternate load balancing methods do not return an available virtual server. No No No Yes
Global Availability BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to the first available virtual server in a pool. BIG-IP GTM starts at the top of a manually configured list of virtual servers and sends requests to the first available virtual server in the list. Only when the virtual server becomes unavailable does BIG-IP GTM send requests to the next virtual server in the list. Over time, the first virtual server in the list receives the most requests and the last virtual server in the list receives the least requests. Use Global Availability when you have specific virtual servers that you want to handle most of the requests. Yes Yes Yes Yes
None BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests skipping either the next available pool in a multiple pool configuration or the current load balancing method. If all pools are unavailable, BIG-IP GTM returns an aggregate of the IP addresses of all the virtual servers in the pool using BIND. Use None for the alternate and fallback methods when you want to limit each pool to a single load balancing method. If the preferred load balancing method fails, GTM offers the next pool in a load balancing response. No No Yes Yes
Ratio
Important: This functionality is not currently available in the U.S.
BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests among the virtual servers in a pool or among pools in a multiple pool configuration using weighted round robin, a load balancing pattern in which requests are distributed among several resources based on a priority level or weight assigned to each resource.
Use Ratio when you want to send twice as many connections to a fast server and half as many connections to a slow server. Yes Yes Yes Yes
Return to DNS BIG-IP GTM immediately distributes DNS name resolution requests to an LDNS for resolution. Use Return to DNS when you want to temporarily remove a pool from service. You can also use Return to DNS when you want to limit a pool in a single pool configuration to only one or two load balancing attempts. No Yes Yes Yes
Round Robin
Important: This functionality is not currently available in the U.S.
BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests in a circular and sequential pattern among the virtual servers in a pool. Over time each virtual server receives an equal number of requests.
Use Round Robin when you want to distribute requests equally among all virtual servers in a pool. Yes Yes Yes Yes
Static Persist BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to the first available virtual server in a pool using the persist mask with the source IP address of the LDNS and a hash algorithm to determine the order of the virtual servers in the list. This hash algorithm orders the virtual servers in the list differently for each LDNS that is passing traffic to the system taking into account the specified CIDR of the LDNS. Each LDNS (and thus each client) generally resolves to the same virtual server; however, when the selected virtual server becomes unavailable, BIG-IP GTM sends requests to another virtual server until the original virtual server becomes available. Then BIG-IP GTM again resolves requests to that virtual server. Use Static Persist when you want requests from a specific LDNS to resolve to a specific virtual server. No Yes Yes Yes
Topology BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests using proximity-based load balancing. BIG-IP GTM determines the proximity of the resource by comparing location information derived from the DNS message to the topology records in a topology statement you have configured. Use Topology when you want to send requests from a client in a particular geographic region to a data center or server located in that region. Yes Yes Yes Yes

Dynamic load balancing methods

This table describes the dynamic load balancing methods available in BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™).

Name Description Wide IP load balancing Preferred method Alternate method Fallback method
Completion Rate BIG-IP® GTM™ distributes DNS name resolution requests to the virtual server that currently maintains the least number of dropped or timed-out packets during a transaction between a data center and the client's LDNS. No Yes No Yes
CPU BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to the virtual server that currently has the most CPU processing time available. No Yes No Yes
Hops BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to a virtual server in the data center that has the fewest router hops from the client's LDNS. BIG-IP GTM uses the traceroute utility to track the number of router hops between a client's LDNS and each data center. No Yes No Yes
Kilobytes/Second BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to the virtual server that is currently processing the fewest number of kilobytes per second. Use Kilobytes/Second only with virtual servers for which BIG-IP GTM can collect the kilobytes per second metric. No Yes No Yes
Least Connections BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to virtual servers on BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM®) that currently hosts the fewest connections. Use Least Connections only with LTM servers. No Yes No Yes
Packet Rate BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to the virtual server that is currently processing the fewest number of packets per second. No Yes Yes Yes
Quality of Service BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to virtual servers based on a score assigned to each virtual server that is calculated from current performance metrics. Use Quality of Service only when you have configured BIG-IP GTM to calculate an overall score for each virtual server based on performance metrics. No Yes No Yes
Round Trip Time BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to the virtual server with the fastest measured round trip time between a data center and a client's LDNS. No Yes No Yes
Virtual Server Score BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to virtual servers on LTM based on a user-defined ranking. Use Virtual Server Score only with LTM systems on which you have assigned scores to each virtual server. No Yes Yes Yes
Virtual Server Capacity BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS name resolution requests to virtual servers in a list that are weighted by the number of available virtual servers in the pool. The pool with the most available virtual servers is sent more requests; however, over time all the virtual servers in all the pools are sent requests. If more than one virtual server has the same weight, then BIG-IP GTM distributes DNS requests among those virtual servers using the round-robin load balancing method. No Yes Yes Yes

About load balancing and resource availability

BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) load balances DNS name resolution requests to resources based on availability. A resource is available when it meets one or more pre-defined requirements. BIG-IP GTM uses three methods to determine resource availability: a dependency on another resource, limit settings, or a set of values returned by a monitor. When BIG-IP GTM considers a resource unavailable, BIG-IP GTM attempts to select the next resource based on the current load balancing method.

About virtual server dependency

Within BIG-IP® GTM™, you can configure a virtual server to be available based on the availability of other virtual servers.

Consider the fictional company SiteRequest. One of the servers, serverMain, at the Tokyo data center has two virtual servers: vsContact, which points to the contacts page of the web site, and vsMail, which points to the mail system. The vsMail virtual server is in the Dependency List of the vsContact virtual server. As a result, BIG-IP GTM considers the vsContact virtual server available only if the vsMail virtual server is also available.

Configuring virtual server availability to be dependent on the status of other virtual servers

Ensure that multiple virtual servers are configured on the server. Determine the virtual servers upon which you want the availability of a virtual server to be dependent.
Configure a virtual server to be available based on the availability of other virtual servers by configuring a Dependency List for the virtual server.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > GSLB > Servers .
    The Server List screen opens.
  2. In the Server List, click a server name.
    The server settings and values display.
  3. On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
    A list of the virtual servers configured on the server displays.
  4. In the Virtual Servers list, click a virtual server name.
    The virtual server settings and values display.
  5. From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
    Additional controls display on the screen.
  6. In the Dependency List area, from the Virtual Servers list, select each virtual server on which you want the virtual server to be dependent, and then click Add.
    The virtual servers display in the list as you add them.
  7. Click Finished.
The virtual server is now available only when the virtual servers on the dependency list are also available.

Limit settings for resource availability

This table describes the limit settings BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) uses to determine resource availability. A limit setting is a threshold for a statistic associated with a system.

Limit setting Server-level Pool-level Virtual Server-level BIG-IP Systems Other Load Balancers Hosts
Maximum allowable throughput in bits per second Y Y Y Y Y Y
Packets Y Y Y Y Y Y
Current connections Y Y Y Y Y Y
Connection N N Y Y N N
CPU Y N N N Y Y
Memory Y N N N Y Y

About wide IP-level load balancing

BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) selects pools based on the order in which they are listed in a wide IP. When you organize pools in conjunction with the Global Availability, Ratio, Round Robin, and Topology load balancing methods, consider the order in which the pools are listed in the Pool List.

The Global Availability load balancing method instructs BIG-IP GTM to select the first pool in the wide IP pool list until it becomes unavailable, and then to select the next pool in the list until the first pool becomes available again. This ensures that the most robust pool receives DNS name resolution requests, while the other pools act as backups in case the primary pool becomes unavailable.

About the Global Availability load balancing method

The Global Availability load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests based on the order of resources in a list. Using global availability, BIG-IP® GTM™ sends a request to the first available resource in a list. Only when a resource becomes unavailable does BIG-IP GTM send requests to the next resource in the list. Over time, the first resource in the list receives the most requests and the last resource in the list receives the least requests.

Testing global server load balancing without verifying availability of virtual servers

You can configure BIG-IP GTM load balancing in a staging environment to load balance DNS name resolution requests to virtual servers without verifying the availability of the virtual servers.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Settings > GSLB > Load Balancing .
    The Load Balancing configuration screen opens.
  2. Deselect the Verify Virtual Server Availability check box.
  3. Click Update.

About the Ratio load balancing method

Important: This functionality is not currently available in the U.S.

The Ratio load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests among the virtual servers in a pool or among pools in a multiple pool configuration using weighted round robin, a load balancing pattern in which requests are distributed among several resources based on a priority level or weight assigned to each resource.

Using the Ratio method, you can configure BIG-IP® GTM to send twice as many connections to a fast, new server, and half as many connections to an older, slower server.

About wide IPs and weighting pools for the Ratio load balancing method

When you configure a wide IP to use the Ratio load balancing method, BIG-IP®GTM™ load balances DNS name resolution requests across the pools in the wide IP based on the weight assigned to each pool. BIG-IP GTM uses pool weight as a percentage of the total of the weights of all the pools in the wide IP to determine the frequency at which a pool receives connection requests.

Consider the fictional company SiteRequest, where the wide IP www.siterequest.com contains three pools, with the following weight assignments:
  • Pool 1: weight 50
  • Pool 2: weight 25
  • Pool 3: weight 25
Each time GTM selects this wide IP, it load balances DNS name resolution requests across all three pools. Over time, the load balancing statistics for this wide IP appear as follows:
  • Pool 1: selected 50 percent of the time
  • Pool 2: selected 25 percent of the time
  • Pool 3: selected 25 percent of the time

About pools and weighting pool members for the Ratio load balancing method

When you configure a pool to use the Ratio load balancing method, the Global Traffic Manager™ load balances requests across the pool members based on the weight assigned to each pool member (virtual server). The system uses pool member weight as a percentage of the total of the weights of all the members assigned to the pool to determine the frequency at which a pool member receives connection requests.

Consider the fictional company SiteRequest, where the wide IP www.siterequest.com contains a pool named poolMain. This pool contains three members, with the following weight assignments:
  • Virtual Server 1: weight 50
  • Virtual Server 2: weight 25
  • Virtual Server 3: weight 25
Each time the Global Traffic Manager selects this pool, it load balances across all three members. Over time, the load balancing statistics for this pool appear as follows:
  • Virtual Server 1: selected 50 percent of the time
  • Virtual Server 2: selected 25 percent of the time
  • Virtual Server 3: selected 25 percent of the time

About the Round Robin load balancing method

Important: This functionality is not currently available in the U.S.

The Round Robin load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests in a circular and sequential pattern among the virtual servers in a pool. Over time, each virtual server receives an equal number of connections.

About pool-level load balancing

BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) provides three tiers of pool-level load balancing to identify a virtual server to handle a DNS name resolution request.

Preferred Load Balancing Method
The first load balancing method BIG-IP GTM uses to return the IP address of a virtual server in response to a DNS name resolution request. The preferred method can be either static or dynamic.
Alternate Load Balancing Method
If the preferred load balancing method fails to return a valid resource in response to a DNS name resolution request, it is likely that BIG-IP GTM was unable to acquire the proper metrics to perform load balancing. The alternate method can be only static.
Fallback Load Balancing Method
If the alternate load balancing method fails to return a valid resource in response to a DNS name resolution request, BIG-IP GTM uses the fallback method. To ensure that BIG-IP GTM returns a response to a request, the fallback method ignores the availability status of a resource. The fallback method can be either static or dynamic.

If all of the configured load balancing methods fail to provide a valid resource in response to a DNS name resolution request, either the request fails or BIG-IP GTM uses the local BIND to resolve the request.

About the Drop Packet load balancing method

The Drop Packet load balancing method indicates that BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™) drops a DNS name resolution request. This load balancing method is most often selected for the Alternate load balancing method to ensure that BIG-IP GTM does note return an IP address for an unavailable resource.

About the Virtual Server Score load balancing method

The Virtual Server Score load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to pool members (virtual servers) based on a user-defined ranking system.

Note: This method can be used only for distributing requests to pool members controlled by BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM™) systems.

About the Virtual Server Capacity load balancing method

The Virtual Server Capacity load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to pool members (virtual servers) based on a system-generated list of pool members (virtual servers) weighted by capacity. BIG-IP GTM selects the pool member with the greatest capacity most often, but over time, all pool members are returned in responses. When pool members have the same capacity, BIG-IP GTM uses the Round Robin method to select a pool member.

About the Round Trip Times load balancing method

The Round Trip Times load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to the pool member (virtual server) with the fastest measured round trip time between a data center and a client's LDNS.

About the Packet Rate load balancing method

The Packet Rate load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to the pool member (virtual server) that is currently processing the fewest number of packets per second.

About the Least Connections load balancing method

The Least Connections load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to pool members (virtual servers) that are managed by load balancing servers, such as BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM™). BIG-IP GTM selects a pool member that currently hosts the fewest connections.

About the Kilobyte/Second load balancing method

The Kilobyte/Second load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to the pool member (virtual server) that is currently processing the fewest number of kilobytes per second.

Note: This method can be used only with servers for which BIG-IP GTM can collect the kilobytes per second metric.

About the Hops load balancing method

The Hops load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests based on the traceroute utility and tracks the number of intermediate system transitions (router hops) between a client's LDNS and each data center. BIG-IP GTM distributes requests to a pool member in the data center that is the fewest router hops from the LDNS.

About the Completion Rate load balancing method

The Completion Rate load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to the pool member (virtual server) that currently maintains the least number of dropped or timed-out packets during a transaction between a pool member in a data center and the client's LDNS.

About the CPU load balancing method

The CPU load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to the pool member (virtual server) that currently has the most CPU processing time available.

About the Return to DNS load balancing method

The Return to DNS load balancing method immediately returns DNS name resolution requests to the LDNS for resolution. When you use this load balancing method, for client queries, the BIG-iP system increments the Return to DNS statistics; otherwise, the system increments the Return from DNS statistics.

Use this method when you want to temporarily remove a pool from service or when you want to limit a pool, in a single pool configuration, to only one or two request attempts.

About Static Persist load balancing

The Static Persist load balancing method uses the persist mask, with the source IP address of the LDNS, in a deterministic algorithm to send requests to a specific pool member (virtual server). Using this method, BIG-IP® GTM™ sends DNS name resolution requests to the first available pool member based on a hash algorithm that determines the order of the pool members. This algorithm orders the pool members differently for each LDNS that is sending requests to GTM, taking into account the Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) of the LDNS. As GTM distributes requests across all pool members, requests from each LDNS (and thus, each client) are generally sent to the same pool member. When the selected pool member becomes unavailable, GTM sends requests to another pool member. When the original pool member becomes available again, GTM sends requests to that pool member.

About the Fallback IP load balancing method

The Fallback IP load balancing method distributes DNS name resolution requests to a specific user-specified IP address. This IP address is not monitored for availability. Use this load balancing method only for the Fallback IP method and specifically to provide a disaster recovery site.

Verifying the availability of virtual servers when using the fallback load balancing method

You can configure BIG-IP GTM to verify that a virtual server is up before returning the IP address of the virtual server in a response to a DNS name resolution request. Do this when the preferred and alternate load balancing methods assigned to a pool do not return a valid response and BIG-IP GTM begins to use the configured fallback load balancing method.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Settings > GSLB > Load Balancing .
    The Load Balancing configuration screen opens.
  2. Select the Respect Fallback Dependency check box.
  3. Click Update.

About the None load balancing method

The None load balancing method skips the current load balancing method, distributes DNS name resolution requests to the next available pool in a multi-pool configuration.

If the alternate load balancing method for a pool is None, BIG-IP GTM skips the alternate method and immediately tries the fallback method. If the fallback method is None, and there are multiple pools configured, BIG-IP GTM uses the next available pool. If all pools are unavailable, BIG-IP GTM returns an aggregate of the IP addresses of all pool members using BIND. Alternatively, when the preferred method for all pools is configured, but the alternate and fallback methods are set to None, if the preferred method fails, BIG-IP GTM uses the next available pool.

About the QoS load balancing method

The Quality of Service (QoS) dynamic load balancing method uses current performance metrics to calculate an overall QoS score for each pool member (virtual server). When load balancing DNS name resolution requests, BIG-IP GTM selects a virtual server with the best overall QoS score. If virtual servers have identical scores, BIG-IP GTM load balances connections to those virtual servers using the round robin method. If QoS scores cannot be determined, BIG-IP GTM load balances connections across all pool members using the round robin method.

Understanding the QoS equation

The equation for calculating the overall Quality of Service (QoS) score is:
POOL_CONFIG->rtt * (GLOBALS->rtt / path->rtt) * 10 +
POOL_CONFIG->hops * (GLOBALS->hops / path->hops) +
POOL_CONFIG->hit_ratio * (path->hit_ratio / GLOBALS->hit_ration+
POOL_CONFIG->packet_rate * (GLOBALS->packet_rate / vs->packet_rate) * 100 + 
POOL_CONFIG->bps * (GLOBALS->bps / vs->bps) +
POOL_CONFIG->topology * (topology_match->score / GLOBALS->topology) +
POOL_CONFIG->vs_capacity * vs->cur_serv_cnt +
POOL_CONFIG->vs_score * vs->cur_vs_score +
POOL_CONFIG->lcs * vs->link->lcs * 10

Pool members (virtual servers) inherit the QoS settings from the pool. In the equation, the value of POOL_CONFIG->"setting name" can be found in the properties of a pool, the value of GLOBALS->"setting name" in the global BIG-IP GTM setting, and the value of path->"setting name" These are measured values that come from path metrics. If there are no path metrics, the system does not perform path metric calculations and computes the QoS score using the other calculations. vs->"field" These are measured values that come from measurements the system makes on virtual servers. If there are no measurements, the system does not perform these calculations and computes the QoS score using the other calculations. Each QoS coefficient, its scale, default value, upper limit, and whether a higher or lower value is more efficient are defined in the table.

Table 1. QoS coefficients defined
Coefficient Scale Default value Upper limit Is higher or lower value more efficient?
Round trip time (rtt) Microseconds 50 2,000,000 L
Completion rate (hit ratio) Percentage of successfully transferred packets (0-100%) 5 100% H
Hops Number of intermediate systems transitions 0 64 L
Packet rate Packets per second 1 700 L
bits/second Bits per second throughput 3 15000 L
Topology Score that defines network proximity by comparing server and LDNS IP addresses (0-232) 0 100 H
Virtual server capacity (vs capacity) Number of nodes up 0 20 H
Virtual server score (vs score) User-defined ranking of virtual servers 0 100 H
Link capacity (lcs) Based on the target dynamic ratio 30 2,000,000 H

About customizing the QoS equation

When you customize the QoS equation, consider these three concepts:

Scale
The raw metrics for the coefficients in the QoS equation are on different scales. For example, completion rate is measured in percentages, while packet rate is measured in packets per second.
Normalization
BIG-IP GTM normalizes the raw metrics to values in the range of 0 - 10.
Emphasis
You can adjust coefficients to emphasize one normalized metric over another.
When you customize the QoS equation configuration using the values in the table, if the completion rates for two virtual servers are close, the system chooses the virtual server with the best packet rate. If both the completion rates and the packet rates are close, the round trip time (RTT) breaks the tie. In this example, BIG-IP GTM does not use the metrics for topology, hops, link capacity, vs capacity, and kilobytes/second to determine how to distribute connections.
Note: You can set a value for either RTT or hops. If you set both, BIG-IP GTM incorporates the RTT and resets the hops to 0 (zero).
Coefficient Value
Round Trip Time 50
Hops 0
Topology 0
Completion Rate 5
Packet Rate 10
VS Capacity 0
Bits/second 35
Link Capacity 30
Virtual Server Score 10
Kilobytes/Second (KBPS) 3

Customizing the QoS equation for load balancing global traffic

Determine the pool to which you want to apply a customized QoS equation.
Customize the QoS equation to load balance the DNS name resolution requests the members of this pool handle.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > GSLB > Pools .
  2. Click the name of the pool for which you want to modify the QoS equation.
    The Pool Properties screen displays.
  3. On the menu bar, click Members.
    The Members Properties screen displays.
  4. Select Quality of Service from either the Preferred or Fallback list.
    The Quality of Service Weights area displays.
  5. Define the QoS coefficients for this pool.
  6. Click Update.

About dynamic ratio load balancing

When you use dynamic ratio load balancing, BIG-IP GTM treats dynamic load balancing values as ratios, and distributes DNS name resolution requests to the virtual servers in the pool in proportion to these ratios.

Consider a pool named primaryOne, which contains two virtual servers: memberOne and memberTwo. primaryOne is configured with the Preferred load balancing method set to Round Trip Time. BIG-IP GTM determines that the round trip time for memberOne is 50 microseconds and the round trip time for memberTwo is 100 microseconds. When the Dynamic Ratio setting on the primaryOne pool is disabled, BIG-IP GTM always sends DNS name resolution requests to memberOne, because that virtual server has the lowest round trip time value. When the Dynamic Ratio setting on the primaryOne pool is enabled, BIG-IP GTM treats the round trip time values as ratios and sends twice as many DNS name resolution requests to memberOne as it sends to memberTwo, because the round trip time for memberOne is twice as fast as the round trip time for memberTwo.

Distributing DNS requests based on weighted virtual servers

Determine the pool to which you want to apply the dynamic ratio feature.
Configure BIG-IP GTM to use dynamic load balancing values as ratios, and distribute DNS name resolution requests to virtual servers in a pool in proportion to these ratios.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > GSLB > Pools .
    The Pools list screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the pool that you want to modify.
  3. From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
  4. Select the Dynamic Ratio check box.
  5. Click Update.

Using the preferred load balancing method when metrics are unavailable

Configure BIG-IP GTM to use the preferred load balancing method assigned to a pool even when metrics for the pool are unavailable. BIG-IP GTM uses old metrics, rather than the alternate load balancing method assigned to the pool.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Settings > GSLB > Load Balancing .
    The Load Balancing configuration screen opens.
  2. Select the Ignore Path TTL check box.
  3. Click Update.
BIG-IP GTM uses path information gathered during metrics collection even if the time-to-live (TTL) value of that information has expired.

Configuring the resources in a pool for manual resume

Determine the pool to which you want to apply the manual resume feature.
When a virtual server goes offline, BIG-IP GTM proceeds to send DNS name resolution requests to other virtual servers, based on the current load balancing method. By default, when the virtual server becomes available again, BIG-IP GTM resumes sending requests to that resource. When you do not want BIG-IP GTM to resume to send requests to the virtual servers in a pool immediately after the resources become available, enable the manual resume feature on the pool.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > GSLB > Pools .
    The Pools list screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the pool that you want to modify.
  3. From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
  4. Select the Manual Resume check box.
  5. Click Update.
After a virtual server in this pool goes offline, you must manually enable the virtual server before BIG-IP GTM can resume sending requests to the virtual server.

Restoring availability of a pool member manually

Determine the virtual server that you want to manually enable.
When a virtual server in a pool that is configured for manual resume becomes available, you must manually enable the virtual server before BIG-IP GTM can begin sending DNS name resolution requests to the virtual server.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > GSLB > Pools .
    The Pools list screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the pool to which the virtual server you want to enable belongs.
  3. On the menu bar, click Members.
  4. Select the check box next to the virtual server that you want to enable, and then click Enable.
The virtual server is now available to receive DNS name resolution requests.

Best Practices: Dynamic load balancing and performance configuration

How do I ensure that the Global Traffic Manager™ has timeley access to path and network traffic metrics?

Run a big3d agent on at least one BIG-IP® system in each data center to ensure that the Global Traffic Manager has timely access to path and network traffic metrics.

How do I ensure that Global Traffic Manager can gather information for dynamic load balancing?

If you use dynamic load balancing modes, you must run a big3d agent on every BIG-IP system in your network.

How do I configure Global Traffic Manager for the best performance?

The load on the big3d agents depends on the timer settings that you assign to the different types of data the agents collect. The shorter the timers, the more frequently the agent needs to refresh the data. While short timers guarantee that you always have valid data readily available for load balancing, they also increase the frequency of data collection.

The more local DNS servers that make resolution requests, the more path data that the big3d agents have to collect. While round trip time for a given path may vary constantly due to current network load, the number of hops along a network path between a data center and a specific LDNS does not often change. Consequently, you may want to set short timer settings for round trip time data so that it refreshes more often, but set high timer settings for hops data because it does not need to be refreshed often.

Troubleshooting

If you turn off the big3d agent on a BIG-IP system, the Global Traffic Manager can no longer check the availability of the server or its virtual servers. Therefore, the statistics screens display the status of these servers as unknown.

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