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Release Note: BIG-IP GTM and BIG-IP Link Controller version 9.2.2
Release Note

Software Release Date: 12/12/2005
Updated Date: 12/11/2013

Summary:

This release note documents the version 9.2.2 feature release of BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager, Link Controller, Load Balancer Limited, and Application Accelerator.

To review the features in this release, see Features in this release. For existing customers, you can apply the software upgrade to systems running BIG-IP version 4.5 PTF-04 through version 4.5.13, and version 4.6 through version 4.6.4, and to systems running version 9.0 and later.

For information about installing the upgrade, please refer to Installing the software.

Note: F5 now offers both feature releases and maintenance releases. For more information on our new release policies, please see New Versioning Schema for F5 Software Releases.

Contents:

- Supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- Installing the software
     - Verifying the MD5 checksum of the upgrade file
     - Re-activating the license on the BIG-IP system
- New features in this release
- Optional configuration changes
     - Using SNMP read/write OIDs
     - New SNMP OIDs
     - Using the switchboot utility
- Known issues
- Acknowledgments


Supported browsers

The Configuration utility (graphical user interface) supports the following browsers:

  • Microsoft® Internet ExplorerTM , version 6.X and later
  • Netscape® NavigatorTM , version 7.1, and other browsers built on the same engine, such as MozillaTM , FirefoxTM , and CaminoTM .

Note that we recommend that you leave the browser cache options at the default settings.

Important: Popup blockers and other browser add-ons or plug-ins may affect the usability of the Configuration utility. If you experience issues with navigation, we recommend that you disable these types of browser plug-ins and add-ons.

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Supported platforms

This release applies only to the supported platforms listed below; each one provides all minimum system requirements. This release supports the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 520 and 540 (D35), for more information, see 520/540 platform support.
  • BIG-IP 540 (D35), for more information, see 540 platform support.
  • BIG-IP 1000 (D39)
  • BIG-IP 2400 (D44)
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 1500 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 3400 (C62)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)

If you are unsure of which platform you have, look at the sticker on the back of the chassis to find the platform number.

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Installing the software

There are several installation options to consider before you begin the version 9.2.2 software installation. Before you begin the installation process, you need to determine which installation option is appropriate.

Warning: A valid service contract is required to complete this upgrade.

Warning: The system to which you install the Global Traffic Manager or Link Controller must have at least 768MB of RAM.

Warning: You must reactivate the license on the BIG-IP system you intend to upgrade before you begin the upgrade.

Warning: You must turn off mirroring before you attempt to upgrade to version 9.2.2. Mirroring between units with previous versions of the BIG-IP software installed and version 9.2.2 is not supported.

Important: You are prompted to install the software on multiple boot images if the unit supports the multiple boot option. The BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), BIG-IP 6400 (D63), and BIG-IP 6800 (D68) platforms support this functionality.

Important: You must perform the installation from the management interface (Management) on the BIG-IP system.

Important: You should perform the installation on the standby system in a redundant system. If you are satisfied with the results, failover and apply the upgrade to the other unit in the redundant system.

Important: We recommend that you run the MD5 checksum on any ISO image or IM upgrade file you download. For information about MD5 checksums, see Verifying the MD5 Checksum of the upgrade file.

Important: If you are upgrading from 9.2.x, and you have a Global Traffic Manager unit that belongs to a sync group, you must remove the unit from the sync group before you install the software or apply the upgrade. Failure to do so may cause irrevocable damage to the units in the sync group that are running older versions of the software. Once you have upgraded all units to the same version, you can then re-create the sync group. For details on removing a unit from a sync group, see the product documentation. Once you have removed the unit from the sync group, you can proceed with the installation or upgrade. Note that this is for upgrades from earlier versions of 9.2.x only.

Local Installation

PXE Installation

Remote Installation

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Verifying the MD5 checksum of the upgrade file

After you download the installation file and the matching MD5 checksum file, and before you perform the installation, we recommend you test the upgrade file. This verifies that you have downloaded a good copy of the upgrade file. To run the test, type the following commands, where Upgrade9.x.im is the name of the upgrade file you downloaded.

md5sum Upgrade9.x.im

Check the output with the contents of the corresponding MD5 file. If they match, install the file. If they do not match, you should download the file again and repeat the process.

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Re-activating the license on the BIG-IP system

You need to re-activate the license on the BIG-IP system to use some of the new features added in this release.

To re-activate the license on the system

  1. On the Main tab, expand System and click License.

    The License screen opens.
     
  2. Click the Re-activate button and follow the onscreen instructions to re-activate the license.

    For details about each screen, click the Help tab.
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New features in this release

This release includes the following new features for the Global Traffic Manager:

TMOS Architecture
BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager has been re-architected using TMOS as its building block. Now BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager can leverage the modularity, scalability and the intelligence of TMOS to provide organizations a way to solve distributed application challenges such as performance, security, high availability, and management with ease.

iRules
With this release of the Global Traffic Manager, you can use the iRule functionality similar to that available in the Local Traffic Manager to customize how the system handles your network traffic.

Application Specific Monitors
Through the Global Traffic Manager, you can now monitor a host of different application types, including LDAP, SIP, Oracle, MySQL, SOAP, SIP, and many others.

Pools
You can now configure and view pools at the top level without having to dig deeper under WideIPs.

ZoneRunner
The Global Traffic Manager now has an integrated Zone File Management Utility called ZoneRunner. This replaces the tool from NiXu, NameSurfer.

Distributed Applications
The Global Traffic Manager now provides a way of combining multiple Wide IPs into a distributed applications that you can manage from the user interface.

IPv6 Support
The Global Traffic Manager can now provide support for IPV6 AAAA records.

This release includes the following new features for the Link Controller:

TMOS Architecture
BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager has been re-architected using TMOS as its building block. Now BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager can leverage the modularity, scalability and the intelligence of TMOS to provide organizations a way to solve distributed application challenges such as performance, security, high availability, and management with ease.

Rate Shaping
You can now use the Link Controller to provide an efficient way for organizations to use the bandwidth on their WAN link efficiently and eliminate bandwidth starvation of mission critical applications by low priority applications.

Optional Compression
The Link Controller now supports an optional Compression module. Through this module, you can use the BIG-IP Link Controller V9.0 to intelligently compress traffic to boost bandwidth savings.

Composite Monitors
You can now use the Link Controller to combine multiple monitors to accurately determine the health and the availability of a link

Topology-based routing
You can now use the Link Controller to route traffic intelligently over multiple links based on the location of the user.

iRules
With this release of the Link Controller, you can use the iRule functionality similar to that available in the Local Traffic Manager to customize how the system handles your network traffic.

Optional IPv6 Gateway
The Link Controller now supports an optional module that provides IPv6 gateway support. Using this module, you can have the Link Controller translate between IPv6 and IPv4 addresses.

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Optional configuration changes

Once you have installed the software, you can use any of the following configuration options to update your configuration.

Using SNMP read/write OIDs

You can use the following SNMP OIDs in read/write mode. However, SNMP is not intended to be used as a general API for configuring the Global Traffic Manager or Link Controller. You can use the following SNMP OIDs in read/write mode.

OID Name OID Value
ltmVirtualServEnabled Enable/disable virtual server
ltmVirtualAddrEnabled Enable/disable virtual address
ltmNodeAddrNewSessionEnable Enable/disable node address
ltmNodeAddrMonitorState Force up/down node address
ltmPoolMemberNewSessionEnable Enable/disable pool member
ltmPoolMemberMonitorState Force up/down pool member
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New SNMP OIDs

The version 9.x releases often include SNMP OID updates related to new functionality. See the document, New SNMP Objects for a complete list.

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Using the switchboot utility

Beginning with the version 9.0.2 release, we added functionality to install multiple versions of the BIG-IP software on different boot images on one unit. A boot image is a portion of a drive with adequate space required for an installation. If the hardware supports multiple boot images, you are prompted to install the software on multiple boot images during the installation. The BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), BIG-IP 6400 (D63), and BIG-IP 6800 (D68) platforms support this functionality.

The switchboot utility is available to manage installations on different boot images. You can use the switchboot utility from the command line to select which installed image boots.

To run the switchboot utility

  1. Type the following command:

    switchboot

    A list of boot images and their descriptions displays.
     
  2. Type the number of the boot image you want to boot at startup.

    When you reboot the system, it starts from the slot you specify.

If there is only one boot image available, the switchboot utility displays a message similar to this one and exits.

There is only one boot image to choose from: title BIG-IP 9.2.0 Build 167.4 - drive hda.1

Note: Any change you make using the switchboot utility is saved in the boot configuration file, grub.conf.

To use switchboot in non-interactive mode

If you know which boot image you want to boot, you can type the following command and specify the boot image number for <bootimage_number>:

switchboot -s <bootimage_number>

To use switchboot to list available boot images and the currently active boot images.

If you want to list the available boot images without specifying a new boot image from which to boot, type the following command:
switchboot -l

To list options for switchboot

To list the options for the switchboot utility, type the following command:
switchboot -h

To view the contents of the boot configuration file using switchboot

You can view the complete contents of the boot configuration file (grub.conf) with the following command:
switchboot -d

This command is slightly different from switchboot -l in that -l only lists the boot image header lines, while -d displays the complete file.

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Known issues

The following items are known issues in the current release. For platform-related or cross-product issues, please see the release notes for Local Traffic Manager version 9.2.2.

Command prompt for combination boxes indicates the system is active even if Global Traffic Manager configuration does not load (CR49178)
When you have a combination box (a system that contains more than one F5 module, such as both the Global Traffic Manager and the Local Traffic Manager), the command prompt for that system indicates that the system is active even if an error occurred when loading the Global Traffic Manager configuration files. We recommend that you verify the availability of any F5 system through the Configuration utility to ensure that all necessary components are installed and operational.

The Setup utility does not provide an option to lock down all ports (CR52161)
If you decide to implement the port lockdown feature available through the Setup utility, you will notice that there is no user interface option that allows you to select all ports simultaneously. You can still select all ports manually.

The Configuration utility does not support SSL certificates and keys that contain bracket characters (CR53446)
When adding certificates and keys to your Global Traffic Manager installation, you must ensure that each certificate and key does not contain brackets ([ and ]). If certificates or keys are added to the Global Traffic Manager that contain these characters, you can remove them through the Command Line Interface to prevent them from affecting the Configuration utility.

The Configuration utility does not allow you to install an encrypted ucs file when the config.encryption value is off (CR54052)
In the Global Traffic Manager version 9.2.2, you cannot install an encrypted ucs file if you have set the config.encryption value to off. To install an encrypted ucs file, change the config.encryption value to on.

Unable to activate the configsync.encryption value in the Configuration utility if the config.encryption value is off (CR54446)
In the Configuration utility, when you disable the config.encryption value, the Configuration utility also hides the configsync.encryption values as well. This occurs even if you have turned off the config.encryption value, yet have not turned off the configsync.encryption value. You can still modify these variables through the command line interface.

Term "software reboot" is ambiguous (CR55012)
After licensing the Global Traffic Manager, the system requests that you perform a software reboot. This statement is intended to indicate that you should restart the system (such as through the command bigstart restart before moving the system into a production environment.

Unable to change a server's type after initial configuration (CR55355)
When you add a server into the Global Traffic Manager, you determine the server's type, such as a BIG-IP system, or a generic host. Once you assign a server type, you cannot change it. If you need to change a server's type, you must delete the old server and then add the new one with the correct type.

[Link Controller only] Cannot create a wide IP that only contains iRules (CR55484)
In the Link Controller, you get an error if you create a wide IP that contains only iRules for determining load balancing operations. You must add at least one pool to each wide IP in the Link Controller.

When the Global Traffic Manager has not yet probed a path, the system displays its last probe time as 1969 (CR56008)
When a new path is added to the Global Traffic Manager, the system probes the path to determine its viability. Before the first probe occurs, the Configuration utility displays the last probe time for the path as 1969. If you see this value, it indicates that the Global Traffic Manager has not yet probed the path.

[Link Controller only] The status of a disabled link is not populated in the Link Statistics screen (CR56569)
If you disable a link in the Link Controller, the system will stop sending traffic through the link. However, the Links Statistics screen does not update; instead, it shows the last set of data acquired before the link was disabled.

The zrd utility of ZoneRunner does not remove database files referencing deleted zones (CR56597)
When you delete a zone from ZoneRunner, one of its utilities, zrd, does not delete the referencing database files. This issues has no impact on performance.

Selecting Advanced from the Configuration list in the Links screen does not persist (CR56677)
After you select Advanced from the Configuration list in the Links screen, you have access to more advanced link configuration options. When you click the Update button, the screen refreshes to display only the basic options. To review the advanced options, re-select Advanced from the Configuration list again.

Updating the Name Server name on an NS record results in two NS records (CR56794)
The first time you update a Name Server name on an NS record, ZoneRunner adds the changed NS record as a new record and does not delete the old one. This prevents the ZoneRunner from creating an invalid zone that does not contain an NS record. To resolve this issue, delete the old NS record after the new one is created.

Unexpected data spike appears after upgrading (CR56996)
In rare instances, after the upgrade process for the Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller, the Links graph may show a spike of traffic that does not represent actual traffic flowing through a link. This spike does not affect product performance, and does not recur after the upgrade.

Cannot set a prepaid segment to 0 (CR57031)
When you are configuring prepaid segments for a link, you must specific a positive value. If you do not, an error appears, informing you that the prepaid value and the prepaid limit do not match.

Server status message metrics is inconsistent between 9.2.2 big3d and 4.6.4 big3d (CR57162)
In version 9.2.2, the bytes in and bytes out metrics are determined by dividing the total bytes value by 2. Consequently, the values for these two metrics will always be identical. This metrics change does not impact metrics collection or performance on either the 9.2.2 system or the 4.6.4 system.

The Configuration utility can cease to function if the /var directory fills up (CR57265)
In instances where an extremely large amount of debugging information is generated, the /var directory can grow too large for the system to handle. Consequently, the Configuration utility ceases to function. Although this issue occurs only in extremely rare circumstances, you can resolve it by deleting log files. To delete these log files, use the following steps:

  1. From the command line, type du -h /var.
     
  2. Identify the largest log file in the directory.
     
  3. Delete the log file.
     
  4. From the command line, type bigstart restart syslog.
     
  5. Optionally, remove the file SESSIONS.ser from the /var/cache/tomcat4/work/StandAlone/localhost/tmui, if it exists.
     
  6. From the command line, type bigstart restart tomcat4.

Note that log files are swept every 30 minutes. For this issue to occur, the log files would have to fill up the available space on the system in less than 30 minutes.

Include statements configured with the ZoneRunner utility require a path of /config/namedb (CR57497)
If you are using ZoneRunner to manage your domains and you elect to use include statements, the files you reference in each include statement must reside somewhere within the /var/named directory. The path you supply in the include statement must include the path from this directory. For example, if you want to include a file that resides in /var/named/myzones/firstzone/main.file, the file path for the include statement would be /myzones/firstzone/main.file.

In addition, if you elect to modify files manually (instead of using ZoneRunner), you must ensure that you place any include statements at the top of the file. If you do not, the include statement might not get read correctly by ZoneRunner.

We highly recommend that if you use ZoneRunner to manage your domains, you use only the ZoneRunner user interface to make modifications to any files.

The system doubles the monitors assigned to a virtual server and pool level (CR57646)
If you create a generic host virtual server, and have that server monitored at both the virtual server and pool level, the system will assign twice the number of monitors to that resource. To resolve this issue, deactivate monitoring of this virtual server at either the virtual server or pool level.

[Link Controller only] On systems that are not licensed for SSL, Throughput statistics are unavailable (CR57647)
If you install the Link Controller module on a system that is not licensed to use SSL, the Throughput statistics page is unavailable. The rest of the system fully operational; only this page is un accessible.

SNAT continuously uses the same SNAT pool member, as opposed to load balancing between eligible source addresses in the snatpool (CR57636)
When you implement SNAT, the system uses the same SNAT pool member; it does not load balance between other pool members that might be available. To work around this issue, create multiple floating self IPs that the the virtual server can use. Then, configure the virtual server to use the automap setting for the Translation option, located properties page for the virtual server.

Syslog-ng: uninitialized interfaces after syslog-ng fails to start or if it has been manually configured (CR57698)
If syslog-ng does not start or if you have manually configured the syslog-ng daemon, the system interfaces may not initialize properly after you upgrade the system. For more information, see SOL5872: BIG-IP does not pass traffic and non-management interfaces are non-responsive after upgrading BIG-IP to version 9.1.1 or 9.2.2 and SOL5879: BIG-IP does not pass traffic and non-management interfaces are non-responsive if syslog-ng fails to start.

[Global Traffic Manager only] The monitor list for pool members does not initially appear in the properties screen (CR57724)
When you add monitors to pool members in a given pool, the monitors are assigned through the Global Traffic Manager to the specified resource. When you return to one of these pool members, the properties screen does not initially display the list of assigned monitors. To update the properties screen to display these monitors, modify a monitor-related setting in the screen.

Changes in US and Canada Daylight Saving Time (CR68781)
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was passed by the US Congress in August 2005, changed both the start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time in the United States, effective March 2007. Canada is also adopting this change. The resulting changes are not reflected in this version of the product software. To find out more about this issue, refer to SOL6551: F5 Networks software compliance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

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Acknowledgments

This product includes software developed by Gabriel Forté.

This product includes software developed by Bill Paul.

This product includes software developed by Jonathan Stone.

This product includes software developed by Manuel Bouyer.

This product includes software developed by Paul Richards.

This product includes software developed by the NetBSD Foundation, Inc. and its contributors.

This product includes software developed by the Politecnico di Torino, and its contributors.

This product includes software developed by the Swedish Institute of Computer Science and its contributors.

This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

This product includes software developed by the Computer Systems Engineering Group at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

This product includes software developed by Christopher G. Demetriou for the NetBSD Project.

This product includes software developed by Adam Glass.

This product includes software developed by Christian E. Hopps.

This product includes software developed by Dean Huxley.

This product includes software developed by John Kohl.

This product includes software developed by Paul Kranenburg.

This product includes software developed by Terrence R. Lambert.

This product includes software developed by Philip A. Nelson.

This product includes software developed by Herb Peyerl.

This product includes software developed by Jochen Pohl for the NetBSD Project.

This product includes software developed by Chris Provenzano.

This product includes software developed by Theo de Raadt.

This product includes software developed by David Muir Sharnoff.

This product includes software developed by SigmaSoft, Th. Lockert.

This product includes software developed for the NetBSD Project by Jason R. Thorpe.

This product includes software developed by Jason R. Thorpe for And Communications, http://www.and.com.

This product includes software developed for the NetBSD Project by Frank Van der Linden.

This product includes software developed for the NetBSD Project by John M. Vinopal.

This product includes software developed by Christos Zoulas.

This product includes software developed by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College and Garrett A. Wollman.

In the following statement, "This software" refers to the Mitsumi CD-ROM driver: This software was developed by Holger Veit and Brian Moore for use with "386BSD" and similar operating systems. "Similar operating systems" includes mainly non-profit oriented systems for research and education, including but not restricted to "NetBSD," "FreeBSD," "Mach" (by CMU).

This product includes software developed by the Apache Group for use in the Apache HTTP server project (http://www.apache.org/).

This product includes software licensed from Richard H. Porter under the GNU Library General Public License (© 1998, Red Hat Software), www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html.

This product includes the standard version of Perl software licensed under the Perl Artistic License (© 1997, 1998 Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington). All rights reserved. You may find the most current standard version of Perl at http://www.perl.com.

This product includes software developed by Jared Minch.

This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit (http://www.openssl.org/).

This product includes cryptographic software written by Eric Young (eay@cryptsoft.com).

This product contains software based on oprofile, which is protected under the GNU Public License.

This product includes RRDtool software developed by Tobi Oetiker (http://www.rrdtool.com/index.html) and licensed under the GNU General Public License.

This product contains software licensed from Dr. Brian Gladman under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

This product includes software developed by the Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org).

This product includes Hypersonic SQL.

This product contains software developed by the Regents of the University of California, Sun Microsystems, Inc., Scriptics Corporation, and others.

This product includes software developed by the Internet Software Consortium.

This product includes software developed by Nominum, Inc. (http://www.nominum.com).

This product contains software developed by Broadcom Corporation, which is protected under the GNU Public License.

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