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Manual Chapter: Setting Up a Link Controller Redundant System Configuration
Manual Chapter
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11 
With the BIG-IP® Link Controller, you manage incoming and outgoing network traffic, routing that traffic to the appropriate Internet links or destination server. Additionally, you can monitor network resources to determine their availability, and ensure that outgoing traffic is directed to the most efficient and cost-effective link.
A standard implementation of Link Controllers is a redundant system configuration. This is a set of two Link Controllers: one operating as the active unit, the other operating as the standby unit. If the active unit goes offline, the standby unit immediately assumes responsibility for managing traffic. The new active unit remains active until another event occurs that would cause the unit to go offline, or you manually reset the status of each unit.
The implementation procedures outlined in this chapter describe how to configure a Link Controller redundant system. This example focuses on the fictional company, SiteRequest. The following tables detail the network characteristics at SiteRequest that pertain to this example.
Self IP address 10.1.1.20 on link1 VLAN
Self IP address 10.1.2.20 on link2 VLAN
Self IP address 172.168.1.20 on internal VLAN
Floating IP address 10.1.1.50 on link1 VLAN
Floating IP address 10.1.2.50 on link2 VLAN
Floating IP address 172.168.1.50 on internal VLAN
Self IP address 10.1.1.21 on link1 VLAN
Self IP address 10.1.2.21 on link2 VLAN
Self IP address 172.168.1.20 on internal VLAN
Floating IP address 10.1.1.50 on link1 VLAN
Floating IP address 10.1.2.50 on link2 VLAN
Floating IP address 172.168.1.50 on internal VLAN
IP address: 10.1.1.5
IP address: 10.1.2.5
Assigned interfaces: 1.1 (untagged)
Assigned interfaces: 1.2 (untagged)
Assigned interfaces: 1.3 (untagged)
IP address: 10.1.1.100
IP address: 192.168.5.15
IP address: 192.168.5.15
Name: gw_pool
IP addresses: 10.1.1.5 and 10.1.2.5
For this example, SiteRequest already has both Link Controllers connected to the network, and has access to them through the corresponding management ports.
This company wants to create a Link Controller redundant system configuration. To use this implementation, you should already have the systems installed on the network; however, you have yet to fully configure them.
Run a bigpipe config sync operation.
The first task in creating a redundant system configuration with two Link Controllers is to configure the redundant system settings. These settings define each Link Controller as part of a redundant system.
1.
2.
From the High Availability list, select Redundant Pair.
3.
From the Unit ID list, select 1.
4.
Click Update.
1.
2.
From the High Availability list, select Redundant Pair.
3.
From the Unit ID list, select 2.
4.
Click Update.
The next task in this implementation requires you to set up several VLANs. These VLANs encompass the IP addresses associated with the Link Controllers and the other network components that help manage DNS traffic.
link1will contain traffic between the Link Controllers and the Link1 router.
link2 will contain traffic between the Link Controllers and the Link2 router
internal, for communication between the two Link Controllers and the rest of the internal network
1.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the Name box, type the name of the first VLAN.
For this example, type link1.
4.
In the Interfaces area, use the Move buttons to assign the interface 1.1 to the Untagged list.
5.
Click Finished.
1.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the Name box, type the name of the second VLAN.
For this example, type link2.
4.
In the Interfaces area, use the Move buttons to assign the interface 1.2 to the Untagged list.
5.
Click Finished.
1.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the Name box, type the name of the internal VLAN.
For this example, type internal.
4.
In the Interfaces area, use the Move buttons to assign the interface 1.3 to the Untagged list.
5.
Click Finished.
With a VLAN in place, you can now assign self IP addresses to each Link Controller. These self IP addresses identify the Link Controller on a per VLAN basis.
For this example, on the link1 VLAN, the Link Controller lc1.siterequest.com uses the self IP address of 10.1.1.20. On the link2 VLAN, the same Link Controller uses the self IP address of 10.1.2.20. Following this pattern, you need to create three self IP addresses for each Link Controller, with each self IP address belonging to either the link1, link2, or internal VLAN.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network and then click Self IPs.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the IP address box, type the self IP address for the system that applies to the VLAN.
For this example, type one of the following:
If you are configuring lc1.siterequest.com, type 10.1.1.20
If you are configuring lc2.siterequest.com, type 10.1.1.21
4.
In the Netmask box, type the subnet mask that applies to this IP address.
For this example, type 255.255.255.0.
5.
From the VLAN list, select the appropriate VLAN.
In this example, select link1.
6.
Click Finished.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network and then click Self IPs.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the IP address box, type the self IP address for the system that applies to the VLAN.
For this example, type one of the following:
If you are configuring lc1.siterequest.com, type 10.1.2.20
If you are configuring lc2.siterequest.com, type 10.1.2.21
4.
In the Netmask box, type the subnet mask that applies to this IP address.
For this example, type 255.255.255.0.
5.
From the VLAN list, select the appropriate VLAN.
In this example, select link2.
6.
Click Finished.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network and then click Self IPs.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the IP address box, type the self IP address for the system that applies to the VLAN.
For this example, type one of the following:
If you are configuring lc1.siterequest.com, type 172.168.1.20
If you are configuring lc2.siterequest.com, type 172.168.1.21
4.
In the Netmask box, type the subnet mask that applies to this IP address.
For this example, type 255.255.255.0.
5.
From the VLAN list, select the appropriate VLAN.
In this example, select internal.
6.
Click Finished.
In a redundant system, both Link Controllers share common IP addresses called floating IP addresses. To the rest of the network, this floating IP address represents the active Link Controller. If the primary unit goes offline, the secondary unit takes over traffic destined for the floating IP address. This setup ensures that network traffic flows smoothly in the event a failover occurs.
Typically, each unit in a redundant system shares a floating IP address for each VLAN on which the redundant system operates. In this example, you need to create three floating IP addresses. These IP addresses represent the two Link Controllers on the link1, link2, and internal VLANs.
For this task, you configure only the active system. The settings you establish on this system are transferred to the standby system during a synchronization that you initiate later in this process.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network and then click Self IPs.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the IP address box, type the floating IP address that is shared between both units.
In this example, type 10.1.1.50.
4.
In the Netmask box, type the subnet mask that applies to the floating IP address.
For this example, type 255.255.255.0.
5.
Check the Floating IP box.
6.
Click Finished.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network and then click Self IPs.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the IP address box, type the floating IP address that is shared between both units.
In this example, type 10.1.2.50.
4.
In the Netmask box, type the subnet mask that applies to the floating IP address.
For this example, type 255.255.255.0.
5.
Check the Floating IP box.
6.
Click Finished.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network and then click Self IPs.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the IP address box, type the floating IP address that is shared between both units.
For this example, type 172.168.1.50.
4.
In the Netmask box, type the subnet mask that applies to the floating IP address.
In this example, type 255.255.255.0.
5.
Check the Floating IP box.
6.
Click Finished.
Many of the options associated with creating a redundant system reside in the High Availability section of the Configuration utility. These options include the IP addresses of each system, the type of redundant system, and other options.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System and then click High Availability.
2.
On the menu bar, click Network Failover.
3.
Click the Network Failover box.
4.
In the Peer Management Address box, delete the colons (::) and type the management IP address of the peer unit.
For this example, type 192.168.1.1.
a)
In the Configuration Identifier box, type a unique name for the unicast entry.
For this example, type Link Controller.
b)
In the Local Address box, type the self IP address associated with the failover VLAN you created on the unit you are configuring.
For this example, type 172.168.1.20.
c)
In the Remote Address box, type the self IP address associated with the failover VLAN you created on the peer unit.
In this example, type 172.168.1.21.
d)
Click Add.
Note: In this example, for the gtm2.siterequest.com, use 192.168.1.2 for the Peer Management Address, and reverse the values of the Local Address and Remote Address settings.
Optionally, you can define a set of secondary failover IP addresses. In this implementation, the secondary failover addresses can be the self IP addresses the Link Controllers use to communicate with link1 or link2.
The next task of this implementation requires defining an NTP server that both Link Controllers use during synchronization options. This task is important because it determines a common time value for both systems. During file synchronizations, the systems use this time value to see if any newer configuration files exist.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System and then click General Properties.
3.
In the Address box, type the IP address of the NTP server you want to use.
In this example, type 192.168.5.15.
4.
Click Add.
5.
Click Update.
Another task you must accomplish is defining the default gateway for network traffic. (In this implementation, the default gateway is a pool containing the IP addresses that correspond to the link1 and link2 links.) Once you create this pool, you can create a default route within the Link Controllers.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic and then click Pools.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the Name box, type the name of the default gateway pool.
For this example, type gw_pool.
4.
In the Health Monitors area, use the Move buttons to add gateway_icmp to the Active list.
5.
From the Load Balancing Method list, select Dynamic Ratio (node).
6.
In the New Members area, add the IP address of each link.
For this example type the following:
IP address 10.1.1.5, selecting All Services from the Service Port list. This IP address represents the link1 link.
IP Address 10.1.2.5, selecting All Services from the Service Port list. This IP address represents the link2 link.
7.
Click Add.
8.
Click Finished.
1.
2.
Click Add.
3.
From the Type list, select Default Gateway.
4.
From the Resource list, select Use Pool and then select the name of the default gateway pool.
In this example, select gw_pool from the list.
5.
Click Finished.
The Link Controller employs a listener to identify the traffic for which it is responsible. In this implementation, you need to create a listener that corresponds to the floating IP address shared between the two systems.
For this task, you configure only the active system. The settings you establish on this system are transferred to the standby system during a synchronization that you initiate later in this process.
1.
On the Main tab in the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and then click Listeners.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the Destination box, type the IP address on which the system listens for network traffic.
For this example type 10.1.1.50.
4.
From the VLAN Traffic list, select All VLANs.
5.
Click Finished.
For a redundant system configuration, you must employ an additional synchronization option to share the self IP address, default route, and other information you configured on both the active and standby systems.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System and then click High Availability.
2.
3.
Click Synchronize TO Peer.
The system synchronize settings to the standby Link Controller; in this example, lc2.siterequest.com.
4.
For the next task, you enable the synchronization options and assign an appropriate name for the synchronization group. For this implementation example, the synchronization group name is Link Controller Group A.
For this task, you configure only the active system. The settings you establish on this system are transferred to the standby system during a synchronization that you initiate later in this process.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System and then click Configuration.
3.
Check the Synchronization check box.
4.
Check the Synchronize DNS Zone Files check box.
5.
In the Synchronization Group Name box, type the name of the synchronization group.
In this example, type Link Controller Group A.
6.
Click Update.
The next task you must complete is adding the link objects that represent the two Internet connections. Each Link Controller configuration must contain at least two links for the system to load balance network traffic.
For this task, you configure only the active system. The settings you establish on this system are transferred to the standby system during a synchronization that you initiate later in this process.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Link Controller, and then click Links.
2.
Click Create.
3.
In the Name box, type the name of the link.
For this example, type link1.
4.
In the Router Address box, type the IP address of the link.
In this example, type 10.1.1.5.
5.
In the Health Monitors area, use the Move buttons to add the bigip_link monitor to the Enabled list.
6.
Click Finished.
You must now repeat the preceding procedure to define the second link. In this example, you must define link2 on the Link Controller, using the name link2 and the router address 10.1.2.5.
Next, you need to have the two units share the same configuration. For this implementation, that means you need to have the standby Link Controller acquire the configurations established at the active Link Controller. You must do this before you attempt to synchronize these systems; otherwise, you run the risk of having the new Link Controller, which is unconfigured, replace the configuration of older systems. To acquire the configuration files, you run the gtm_add script.
Note: You must run the gtm_add script from the currently unconfigured Link Controller.
1.
Log on to the standby system.
In this example, log on to lc2.siterequest.com.
3.
Press the y key to start the gtm_add script.
4.
Type the IP address of the active system.
For this example, type 172.168.1.20.
5.
Press Enter.
The gtm_add process begins, acquiring configuration data from the active Link Controller (in this example lc1.sitequrest.com). Once the process completes, you have successfully created a redundant system consisting of two Link Controllers.
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