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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 network components and physical networks components. Logical network components are abstractions of network resources, such as virtual servers. Physical network components 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, see Chapter 6, Defining the Logical Network.
This chapter describes how to use the Global Traffic Manager to define the physical network components that make up your network:
A data center defines the servers and links that share the same subnet on the network. All resources on your network, whether physical or logical, are associated in some way with a data center. The Global Traffic Manager consolidates the paths and metrics data collected from servers, virtual servers, and links into the data center, and uses that data to conduct load balancing operations.
When you create a data center on the Global Traffic Manager, you must add at least one server and one link. It is important to note that you must configure at least one data center before you can add servers to the Global Traffic Manager system configuration. Additionally, each server or link can belong to one, and only one, data center.
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. Therefore, the IT team needs to create only a single data center: West Coast.
Name
Specifies a descriptive name for the data center, such as New York 1 or West Coast.
Location
Specifies the geographical area in which the data center resides, such as New York City - Building A.
Contact
Specifies the name of the individual responsible for managing the network at the data center.
State
Specifies whether the data center is Enabled or Disabled.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
The main screen for data centers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Data Center screen opens.
3.
Specify the settings for the new data center.
For additional assistance with these settings, see the online help.
4.
Click the Finished button.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
The main screen for data centers opens.
2.
Click the name of the data center that you want to modify.
The properties screen for that data center appears.
3.
Modify the settings for the data center.
For additional assistance with these settings, see the online help.
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.
The main screen for data centers opens.
3.
Click the Delete button.
A confirmation screen opens.
4.
Click the Delete button to delete the selected data center.
When you create a data center, it is enabled by default. You can disable a data center manually, which allows you to temporarily remove it from global traffic management load balancing operations; for example, during a maintenance period. When the maintenance period ends, you can once again enable the data center.
The resources associated with a data center are available only when the data center is also available, based on the metrics collected by the Global Traffic Manager.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Data Centers.
The main screen for data centers opens.
Click the Enable button to enable the data center.
The icon representing the availability of the data center changes to a blue square, indicating that it is enabled.
Click the Disable button to disable the data center.
The icon representing the availability of the data center changes to a black square, indicating that it is disabled.
A server defines a specific physical system on the network. Within the Global Traffic Manager, servers are not only physical entities that you can configure and modify as needed; they also contain the virtual servers that are the ultimate destinations of name resolution requests. When you configure a server on the Global Traffic Manager, unless the server is either a Global Traffic Manager or a Link Controller, the server must contain at least one virtual server.
BIG-IP systems
A BIG-IP® system can be a Global Traffic Manager, a Local Traffic Manager, a Link Controller, or a VIPRION® system.
Third-party load balancing systems
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 third-party load balancing servers, for a list of supported load balancing servers and instructions on how to define these servers.
Third-party host servers
A third-party host system is any server on the network that does not support virtual servers. See Defining third-party host servers, for a list of supported host servers and instructions on how to define these servers.
The following procedures describe how to define each server type in your network. These procedures 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).
When you configure a Global Traffic Manager, you first define the system itself. Then you define the other BIG-IP systems in the physical network, such as backup systems on the current network segment, or systems that reside at other data centers.
Global Traffic Manager systems are load balancing servers that are part of your physical network. You first configure the settings of a Global Traffic Manager itself, and then you can add other Global Traffic Manager systems to the configuration.
If the Global Traffic Manager that you are configuring has multiple links (that is, multiple network devices that connect it to the internet), you can add the self IP addresses of these devices to the system. After you configure these systems, the agents and other utilities, such as the big3d agent, can gather and analyze network traffic path and metrics information.
After you configure the additional servers and links, you can synchronize the settings of a specific Global Traffic Manager to other Global Traffic Managers on the physical network.
Important: You must use a self IP address when you define a Global Traffic Manager. You cannot use the management IP address.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the Global Traffic Manager.
4.
From the Product list, specify the type of system that is required:
BIG-IP System (Single) specifies a primary system.
BIG-IP System (Redundant) specifies a backup system.
5.
For BIG-IP System (Single), type the self IP address in the Address box, and then click Add.
For BIG-IP System (Redundant), type the self IP address in the Address box, and then click Add. Then add the self IP address of the backup system to the Peer Address List, by typing the self IP address in the Address box, and click Add.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the Global Traffic Manager belongs.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings, and then click the Create button to create the new server.
For additional assistance with these settings, see the online help.
Local Traffic Manager systems 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:
Note: When you define a Local Traffic Manager, you must use a self IP address. You cannot use a management IP address.
The IP address and service name or port number of each virtual server managed by the Local Traffic Manager, unless you want to use auto-configuration to discover the virtual servers on the Local Traffic Manager system
Note: 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.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the Local Traffic Manager.
4.
From the Product list, specify the type of system that is required:
BIG-IP System (Single) specifies a primary system.
BIG-IP System (Redundant) specifies a backup system.
5.
For BIG-IP System (Single), type the self IP address in the Address box, and then click Add.
For BIG-IP System (Redundant), type the self IP address in the Address box, and then click Add. Then add the self IP address of the backup system to the Peer Address List, by typing the self IP address in the Address box, and click Add.
6.
From the Data Center list, select a data center to which the Local Traffic Manager belongs.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings, including the virtual servers managed by the Local Traffic Manager.
For additional assistance with these settings, see the online help.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
The Link Controller is also part of the BIG-IP product family. Link Controller systems monitor the performance and availability of wide-area connections.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the Link Controller.
4.
From the Product list, select BIG-IP System (Single).
5.
Type the IP address in the Address box, and then click Add.
Note: 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.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings.
For additional assistance on these settings, see the online help.
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.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select the appropriate load balancing server.
If your network uses a load balancing server that is not on this list, you can use the Generic Load Balancer option. See Defining a generic load balancing server.
5.
Type the IP address of the server in the Address box, and then click Add.
Note: 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.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings.
For additional assistance on these settings, see the online help.
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 define a generic load balancer.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select Generic Load Balancer.
5.
Type the IP address of the server in the Address box, and then click Add.
Note: 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.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings.
For additional assistance with these settings, see the online help.
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 it supports.
Windows 2000 Server (You can monitor the Windows Vista® Enterprise Server using the Windows 2000 Server-based computer.)
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select the appropriate host server.
5.
Type the IP address of the server in the Address box, and then click Add.
Note: 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.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings.
For additional assistance on these settings, see the online help.
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 a generic host server.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Server screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the server.
4.
From the Product list, select Generic Host.
5.
Type the IP address of the server in the Address box, and then click Add.
Note: 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.
Note: A server must belong to a data center. See Managing data centers, on page 5-2, for additional information.
7.
Configure the remaining server settings.
For additional assistance with these settings, see the online help.
8.
Click the Create button to create the new server.
If you want to view or modify the properties of a server, you can locate that specific server using the search feature. You can search by either the full or partial name or the IP address of the server. The search feature can be especially useful for companies with large networks that contain numerous servers. For more information about how the search feature works see Locating a component using the search feature.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
In the selection criteria box, type the name or IP address of the server that you want to modify, and then click Filter.
A list of servers that matches the criteria you entered displays.
3.
Click the name of the server that you want to view or modify.
The properties screen for that server opens.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
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 11, Configuring Monitors.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the name of the server to which you want to add monitors.
The properties screen for that server opens.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings.
4.
For Health Monitors, use the Move buttons (<< >>) 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 thresholds for availability, the Global Traffic Manager can detect when a managed server is low on resources, and redirect the traffic to another server. Setting limits can help eliminate any negative impact on a server's performance of 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 assign to the server.
When you configure a server, you can set limits for specific elements depending upon 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, you can base thresholds on:
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring thresholds. For detailed information about these settings, see the online help.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings. For more information about the settings, see the online help.
4.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
A new box appears.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
You can also set limits for virtual server resources. For more information see, Setting thresholds for virtual servers. 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 on the Statistics screens.
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring these thresholds. For detailed information about Limit Settings, see the online help.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the name of the server that contains the virtual server.
The properties screen for that server opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
The virtual servers screen opens.
5.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings.
6.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
A new box appears.
8.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
The following procedure provides general instructions for configuring these thresholds. For detailed information about setting thresholds, see the online help.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Pools.
The main screen for pools opens.
2.
Click the name of the pool for which you want to set limits.
The properties screen for that pool appears.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings.
4.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
A new box appears.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
You can also set limits for pool members. For more information, see Setting thresholds for pool members, following. 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 on the Statistics screens.
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 Pools.
The main screen for pools opens.
2.
Click the name of the pool that contains the pool member.
The properties screen for that pool appears.
3.
On the menu bar, click Members.
The members screen opens.
5.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings.
6.
For Limit Settings, select Enabled from the list that corresponds to the threshold you want to use.
A new box appears.
8.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
You can configure the Global Traffic Manager to automatically discover virtual servers and links that are associated with any member of the BIG-IP product family. This capability is available by enabling the Virtual Server Discovery option, which identifies virtual servers, and the Link Discovery option, 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 its configuration. You configure discovery of virtual servers and links at the server level. For more information on discovery options, see Configuring auto-discovery.
Note: The Global Traffic Manager requires that each virtual server has a unique name. In instances where the auto-discovery process finds two virtual servers with the same name, the system modifies the name by creating a new name using the pattern, <server name>_<bigip system name>. In the event that this does not resolve the name conflict, the system appends a number to the name, for example, <server name>_<bigip system name>_1.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the name of the server for which you want to discover virtual servers.
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 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.
The main screen for servers opens.
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 Links.
The virtual servers screen opens.
4.
From the Link Discovery list, select the appropriate setting.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
Servers, excluding Global Traffic Manager systems and Link Controller systems, contain 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.
You can manually add a virtual server to a given server using the following procedure. 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.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the name of the server to which you want to add virtual servers.
The properties screen for that server opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
The virtual servers screen opens.
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.
The new virtual server screen opens.
7.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
This displays additional fields, and allows you to modify additional default settings.
8.
For the Dependency List option, select a virtual server from the Virtual Servers list, and then click Add.
For more information on these options, see the online help.
9.
Click the Create button to save the new virtual server.
You can modify the configuration of a virtual server at any time; for example, when you want to change the IP address and port number of the virtual server, or when you want to modify the IP address translation settings.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the name of the server on which the virtual server you want to edit resides.
The properties screen for that server opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
The virtual servers screen opens.
4.
Click the name of the virtual server that you want to modify.
The properties page of the virtual server opens.
5.
Edit the virtual server as needed.
For more information on these options, see the online help.
6.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Servers.
The main screen for servers opens.
2.
Click the name of the server from which you want to remove virtual servers.
The properties screen for that server appears.
3.
On the menu bar, click Virtual Servers.
The virtual servers screen opens.
A link defines a physical connection to the Internet that is 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.
To configure the links that you want the Global Traffic Manager to load balance, you add a link entry, and then associate one or more routers with that entry. You can also configure monitors to check certain metrics associated with a link, and modify how the system load balances network traffic across links.
Before you can load balance inbound and outbound traffic, you must configure basic link properties. The following procedure describes how to configure the basic properties of a link.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Link screen opens.
3.
In the Name box, type a name that identifies the link.
4.
In the Address box, type the router address of the link, and then click Add.
Note: You can add more than one address to any given link, depending on how that server interacts with the rest of your network.
5.
From the Data Center list, select the data center to which you want to associate the link.
Note: A link must be associated with a data center.
6.
Configure the other link options as needed.
For detailed information on these options, see the online help.
7.
Click the Create button to create the link.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
Click the name of the link to which you want to add a router.
The properties screen for that link opens.
3.
In the Address box, type the router address of the link, and then click Add.
Note: 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.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
3.
For Router Address List, select a router, and then click Remove.
Repeat this step for any other routers that you want to remove.
4.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
After you configure a link, you can assign to the link monitors that track specific data. The system can use this data to manage global traffic. For detailed information about monitors, see Chapter 11, Configuring Monitors.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
Click the name of the link to which you want to add monitors.
The properties screen for that link opens.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings.
4.
For Health Monitors, use the Move buttons (<< >>) 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.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
Click the name of the link from which you want to remove monitors.
The properties screen for that link opens.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display with default settings.
4.
For Health Monitors, use the Move buttons (<< >>) to move monitors from the Enabled list to the Available list.
Monitors in the Available list are not active for the link.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
You can configure how the system manages and distributes traffic for a given link on the properties screen for the link, using these settings:
Ratio Weighting
If you have links of varying bandwidth sizes, and you want to load balance the traffic to the controller based on a ratio, you can select the Ratio option from the Weighting list. You use this configuration to avoid oversaturating a smaller link with too much traffic.
Price Weighting
If you pay varying fees for the bandwidth usage associated with the links, you can select the Price (Dynamic Ratio) option from the Weighting list. You use this configuration to direct traffic over the least expensive link first and to avoid the costs associated with exceeding a prepaid bandwidth.
Duplex Billing
If your ISP provider uses duplex billing, you can configure the Duplex Billing setting so that the statistics and billing report screens accurately reflect the bandwidth usage for the link.
Important: You can use either the Ratio or Price (Dynamic Ratio) weighting option to load balance the traffic through all of your links. You must use the same weighting option for all links.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
Click the name of the link for which you want to configure link weighting properties.
The properties screen for that link opens.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields, including the Weighting list, display.
4.
From the Weighting list, select either Ratio or Price (Dynamic Ratio), depending on how you want to weight the link.
5.
Configure additional options as needed.
For more information, see the online help.
6.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click Links.
The main screen for links opens.
2.
Click the name of the link for which you want to configure duplex billing properties.
The properties screen for that link opens.
3.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
Additional fields display, including the Duplex Billing setting.
4.
Check the Duplex Billing box.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
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