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Release Note: BIG-IP GTM and BIG-IP Link Controller version 9.3.0
Release Note

Software Release Date: 04/26/2007
Updated Date: 12/11/2013

Summary:

This release note documents the version 9.3 release of BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager and BIG-IP® Link Controller. We recommend this general sustaining release only for those customers who want the fixes listed in Fixes and enhancements in this release. For existing 3-DNS® Controller customers, you can apply the Global Traffic Manager upgrade to systems running 3-DNS Controller version 4.5 PTF-04 through version 4.5.13, and version 4.6 through version 4.6.4, and to systems running version 9.0.5 through 9.2.5. For existing Link Controller customers, you can apply the Link Controller upgrade to systems running Link Controller version 4.5 PTF-04 through version 4.5.13, and version 4.6 through version 4.6.4, and to systems running version 9.0.5 through 9.2.5. (Note that you cannot apply this upgrade to systems running BIG-IP version 9.0 through 9.0.4 software. You must first upgrade to version 9.0.5 through 9.2.5.) For information about installing the software, refer to Installing the software.

Note: F5 offers general availability releases and general sustaining releases. For detailed information on our policies, refer to Solution 8986, F5 Networks software lifecycle policy, which is available in the AskF5SM Knowledge Base, http://support.f5.com.

Contents:

- User documentation for this release
- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- Installing the software
     - Performing a Microsoft Windows hosted installation
     - Performing a USB mass storage device installation
     - Performing a local installation
     - Performing a PXE server installation
     - Performing a remote installation
     - Verifying the MD5 checksum of the installation file
     - Re-activating the license on the BIG-IP system
- Fixes and enhancements in this release
     - Enhancements in this release
     - Fixes in this release
- Optional configuration changes
     - Using SNMP read/write OIDs
     - New SNMP OIDs
     - Using the switchboot utility
- Known issues
- Workarounds for known issues


User documentation for this release

In addition to these release notes, the following user documentation is relevant to this release.

You can find the product documentation and the solutions database on the AskF5 Technical Support web site.

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Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

The minimum system requirements for this release are:

  • 512 MB RAM (if installed as a stand-alone Global Traffic Manager product)
  • 768 MB RAM (if installed as a combination of BIG-IP systems, such as a Local Traffic Manager/Global Traffic Manager installation, or as a Link Controller installation)
  • 512 MB CompactFlash® media drive

Note: The 520/540 platform must meet certain requirements in order to support this version of the BIG-IP software. For more information, including memory requirements, see 520/540 Platform: Installing BIG-IP version 9.3.

The supported browsers for the BIG-IP Configuration utility are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, version 6.x
  • Mozilla® Firefox®, version 1.5x

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 might 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 supports the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 520 and 540 (D35), for more information, see 520/540 Platform: Installing BIG-IP version 9.3.
  • BIG-IP 1000 (D39)
  • BIG-IP 1500 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 2400 (D44)
  • BIG-IP 3400 (C62)
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)
  • BIG-IP 8400 (D84)

Warning: If you plan to upgrade a system licensed for Link Controller, Global Traffic Manager, or a combination Local Traffic Manager and Global Traffic Manager system, the BIG-IP unit you intend to upgrade must have a minimum of 768 MB of RAM. Originally, the BIG-IP 1000 (D39) and BIG-IP 2400 (D44) platforms were shipped with 512 MB of memory only.

If you are unsure 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 9.3 software installation. Before you begin the installation process, you need to determine which installation option is appropriate: local, PXE server, or remote.

Important: You cannot upgrade to version 9.3 from versions 9.0 through 9.0.4. You must first upgrade to 9.0.5, or a later 9.x release.

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

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

Warning: Once you reactivate the license, make sure to save your configuration. The system does not roll forward unsaved portions of configurations. You can save your configuration by running the command b config save /config.ucs.

Warning: Once you save your configuration, copy the config.ucs file to a secure, remote location. The installation process overwrites the locally maintained UCS file, so you should maintain the UCS file remotely as a recovery strategy in case the upgrade does not perform as you expect. For more information, see SOL2250: Overview of UCS archives.

Warning: You must turn off mirroring before you attempt to upgrade. Mirroring between units with differing versions of the BIG-IP software 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), BIG-IP 6800 (D68), and BIG-IP 8400 (D84) 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 unit in a redundant system. If you are satisfied with the results, initiate a 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 installation 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 9.2.x only.

Important: If your environment requires that the Global Traffic Manager operate in a fail-safe or high availability mode, see the section titled Configuring fail-safe in the Setting Up a Redundant System chapter, in the BIG-IP® Network and System Management Guide.

Performing a Microsoft Windows hosted installation

Before performing Microsoft® Windows® hosted installation, read the following information.

Performing a USB mass storage device installation

Before performing a USB mass storage installation, read the following information.

  • Version 9.3 USB mass storage device installation
    The USB mass storage device based upgrade provides the ability to install the BIG-IP software from a USB mass storage device onto a BIG-IP system. For details about this installation method, see Installing BIG-IP version 9.3 from a USB Mass Storage Device.

Performing a local installation

Before performing a local installation, read the following information.

Performing a PXE server installation

The procedure for performing a PXE installation depends on the version of the BIG-IP system you are currently running, and whether you have the 520/540 platform.

Performing a remote installation

The procedure for performing a remote installation depends on the version of the BIG-IP system you are currently running. The remote upgrade provides the ability to run the upgrade from a management workstation that is not directly connected to the system you intend to upgrade.

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Verifying the MD5 checksum of the installation file

After you download the installation file and its associated MD5 checksum file, and before you perform the installation, we recommend you test the integrity of the install file. This verifies that you have downloaded a good copy of the file. To run the test, type the following commands, where local-install-9.3.0.178.5.im is the name of the file you downloaded, and local-install-9.3.0.178.5.im.md5 is the name of its associated MD5 checksum file.

md5sum local-install-9.3.0.178.5.im
cat local-install-9.3.0.178.5.im.md5
 

If the output from both commands does not exactly match, download the file again. Repeat the download process until the MD5 checksum of the downloaded file exactly matches the text string in the associated .md5 file.

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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.

Note: If you create a stand-alone Global Traffic Manager installation or a Local Traffic Manager/Global Traffic Manager installation, 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.

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Fixes and enhancements in this release

This release includes the following fixes and enhancements.

Note: This release also contains all fixes from 9.2 - 9.2.5 releases. For a list of Local Traffic Manager and TMOS fixes, see BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager version 9.2.5 and TMOS. For a list of Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller fixes, see BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller version 9.2.5.

Enhancements in this release

This release contains the following enhancements:

  • Support for SSL certificates signed by third parties. With this release, you can now assign certificates to the Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller from third-party Certificate Authority systems. For detailed information on how to implement this feature, see the BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager and BIG-IP Link Controller: Implementations document.
  • Listeners can now use either TCP or UDP. With this release, when you create a listener object, you have the option of configuring the listener to use either TCP or UDP as its communication protocol. For more information, see the online help associated with creating listeners.

Fixes in this release

This release contains the following fixes.

[Global Traffic Manager] qkview utility acquires data from correct file location (CR60559)
With this release, the qkview utility acquires data from the correct location, /config/gtm. Previously, the utility attempted to gather data from a 3-DNS directory that does not exist in the 9.x version of the product.

[Global Traffic Manager] Global Traffic Manager object removal updates synchronization status (CR60671)
In previous releases, it was possible to delete a Global Traffic Manager object (such as a server or wide IP) and that prevented that unit from synchronizing correctly with other systems. With this release, each time you delete a Global Traffic Manager object, the system updates its status so it remains synchronized with other systems.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner supports acl match-destination statements (CR61046)
In earlier releases, if a named.conf file contained acl match-destination statements, ZoneRunner did not display in the Configuration utility. With this release, ZoneRunner supports acl match-destination statements correctly.

[Global Traffic Manager] Views in ZoneRunner (CR61375)
Previously, when you created a new view in ZoneRunner, the system created a match-clients statement with a value of any. This statement did not always apply correctly to the new view. In this release, ZoneRunner requires that you supply a valid match-client statement before creating a new view.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner option and Transfer from Server option (CR61753)
In previous releases, when you attempted to create a zone by transferring that zone from another server, ZoneRunner failed to transfer the zone into its configuration. In this release, the Transfer from Zone option transfers zone files as expected.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner displays even if named.conf incorrectly configured (CR62210)
Previously, if the named.conf contained an incorrect or invalid entry, ZoneRunner did not display in the Configuration utility. With this release, ZoneRunner still displays, but error messages appear, allowing you to correct the named.conf file.

[Global Traffic Manager] big3d agent handles large number of probes (CR62374)
In earlier releases, if a big3d agent conducted a large number of probes, it could enter an unreachable state. With this release, the big3d agent handles a large number of probes without becoming unreachable.

[Global Traffic Manager] Autodiscovery and availability status of links (CR62895)
Previously, when you enabled autodiscovery on the Global Traffic Manager, the system discovered new links but set their availability to down regardless of their actual status. With this release, the Global Traffic Manager displays the actual status of discovered links.

[Global Traffic Manager] Forwarding zones in ZoneRunner (CR63023)
In previous releases, if you updated a forwarding zone in ZoneRunner, the ZoneRunner utility crashed. With this release, updating forwarding zones does not crash ZoneRunner.

[Global Traffic Manager] Translated addresses and links (CR63299)
In previous releases, when you added a translated IP address to a link, the gtmd daemon ceased to function. This release supports translated IP addresses on links.

[Global Traffic Manager] Support for wide IPs with no pools (CR63801)
In earlier releases, when you created a wide IP without a pool, the Configuration utility displayed an error message. This message repeated itself on the console on an ongoing basis. In this release, creating wide IPs without pools does not generate these error messages.

[Global Traffic Manager] Static Persist functionality (CR64354)
Previously, the static persistence infrequently caused a system error to occur, often resulting in the system failing to load balance connections correctly. The Static Persist functionality has been improved to remove this issue with this release.

[Global Traffic Manager] Synchronization backup process and backup copies (CR64376)
In earlier releases, the Global Traffic Manager backed up all files during synchronization, including the backup copies that already existed in the directories. This action created an increasing number of backup files on the system. With this release, only the files in use are backed up.

[Link Controller] Fallback load balancing mode licensed for Link Controller (CR64669)
In earlier releases, the Fallback load balancing mode was not licensed for use with Link Controller. With this release, the Fallback load balancing mode is an available load balancing selection.

[Link Controller] New connections move to next priority group (CR64765)
In previous releases, an error existed in which the Link Controller did not move new connections to the next priority group when the current group met its maximum number of connections. With this release, the Link Controller sends new connections to the next priority group when the current group cannot accept any additional connections.

[Global Traffic Manager] System logs and connection failed messages (CR65113)
Previously, the big3d agent sent connection failed messages into system logs. These messages were not intended for the log files, as they can quickly fill the log files with unnecessary data. With this release, the big3d agent does not send connection failed messages to log files.

[Global Traffic Manager] Configuration utility supports Windows 2000 server type (CR65293)
In earlier releases, when you created a Windows 2000 server in the Configuration utility, the utility actually created a Windows NT 4 server object. With this release, the utility creates a Windows 2000 server as expected.

[Global Traffic Manager] gtm_add script restarts daemons when error occurs (CR65477)
In previous releases, if the gtm_add script encountered an error, it exited without restarting the gtmd and named daemons. In this release, the script restarts these daemons when an error occurs.

[Global Traffic Manager] System marks Local Traffic Manager virtual servers as down (CR65706)
Previously, if a virtual server on a Local Traffic Manager did not have a pool member associated with it, the Global Traffic Manager still considered that virtual server as available for load balancing requests. With this release, if a virtual server does not have a pool member, the Global Traffic Manager considers it to have a status of disabled.

[Global Traffic Manager] Version 9.1.2 to 9.3 upgrade and DNS queries (CR66189)
Previously, when you upgraded from version 9.1.2 to a newer version of Global Traffic Manager, a named.conf statement, allow-query {localhost}; persisted in the new configuration. This statement prevented the system from accepting DNS queries. With this release, this statement is removed from the named.conf file when you upgrade from version 9.1.2 to version 9.3.

[Global Traffic Manager] Memory leak with dynamic ratio fixed (CR66642)
In previous releases, a memory leak existed when you enabled the dynamic ratio option on a default route. In this release, under the same conditions, this leak does not exist.

[Global Traffic Manager] At Least monitor setting with no monitors assigned to resource (CR66752)
In earlier releases, it was possible to configure incorrectly a resource, such as a virtual server, with the At Least setting. This setting denoted a minimum number of monitors that had to report the resource was up before the system recognized it as available. The incorrect configuration occurred when the resource did not have a monitor assigned to it, but the At Least setting was set to greater than 0. With this release, the system does not accept a value greater than 0 for the At Least setting if the value exceeds the number of monitors assigned to the resource.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner and Forward Only option support (CR66847)
In earlier releases, if you created a Forward zone with the forward only option, ZoneRunner ceased to function. With this release, ZoneRunner processes this zone configuration.

[Global Traffic Manager] Logs include probe messages (CR67025)
Previously, the Global Traffic Manager did not log probe messages. With this release, the system writes these messages to log files to assist in any system analysis or troubleshooting situations.

[Global Traffic Manager] Configuration utility displays true state of bigip_link monitor (CR67169)
In the Configuration utility, if you remove the bigip_link monitor from a link, the system now displays the state of the link correctly following the monitor timeout period. The link state displays in blue (unchecked) instead of green (available).

[Link Controller] Autodiscovery and Link Controller (CR67433)
You can now use one-time autodiscovery to configure a BIG-IP Link Controller in a redundant system, even if you have not used one-time autodiscovery to configure its failover peer.

[Global Traffic Manager] Load balancing LDNS requests (CR67648)
In previous versions, if you set the load balancing method for a pool to Topology, and the BIG-IP GTM scored an LDNS request as zero or no record match, the system failed. Under that same circumstances, the system now reverts to the alternative load balancing method that is configured for the pool, and routes the request to a virtual server that can best process the request.

[Global Traffic Manager] maxPending limit properly enforced (CR67749)
The BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager now properly enforces the maxPending limit.

[Global Traffic Manager] Handling of default routes (CR67809)
The BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager now drops traffic headed for pools defined by a default route. This is the correct behavior.

[Global Traffic Manager] Global Traffic Manager and third party certificates (CR67836)
BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager now operates with SSL certificates signed by third parties. Previously, it would accept only self signed certificates.

[Global Traffic Manager] Virtual server names and the Virtual Server Discovery option (CR67892)
When you set the Virtual Server Discovery option for a virtual server to Enabled (No Delete), the name of the virtual server now displays when you add the virtual server to the BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager configuration.

[Global Traffic Manager] High availability system support (CR67897)
You can now configure the BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager as a high availability system without receiving error messages. Using the Configuration utility, on the General Properties screen for the platform, select Redundant Pair from the High Availability list. Now, you can enter the peer information on the Fail-Safe screen.

[Global Traffic Manager] Statistics collection server configuration (CR68233)
You can use the Configuration utility to assign a specific BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager as the statistics collection server for a virtual server on your system. Now, when you reboot or do a bigstart restart on the system the Statistics Collection Server property of the virtual server remains set to the selected server, rather than being changed to Auto Select.

[Global Traffic Manager] Start of Authority records (CR68335)
Now, when you enter an email contact that is 48 characters in length in a start of authority (SOA) record, ZoneRunner displays the email contact on the Properties screen.

[Global Traffic Manager] Installation of BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager (CR68347)
The big3d_install script correctly installs on Local Traffic Managers version 9.1.x or earlier.

[Global Traffic Manager] Pool member and monitor display (CR68603)
If you use the Configuration utility to view the Properties screen for a specific pool member, the monitor for that pool member now displays correctly.

[Global Traffic Manager] ICMP monitors and links (CR68663)
You can no longer assign an ICMP monitor to a link. You can assign a snmp_link, bigip_link, or gateway_icmp monitor to a link.

[Global Traffic Manager] Connected virtual servers (CR68682)
When probing BIG-IP translated virtual servers, the system attempts to pick a self IP address with an established connection to the resource, instead of selecting the first self IP address with a matching link.

[Global Traffic Manager] HTTP monitor and ampersand character (CR68865)
The HTTP monitor can now look for web pages that include the ampersand character (&) in the URL.

[Global Traffic Manager] big3d agent and error handling (CR68876)
In earlier releases, if the big3d agent experienced an error while reading data and then received data from another resource on the same connection, the big3d agent failed. With this release, the big3d agent does not accept incoming data while it is closing a connection.

[Link Controller] Adding links to system with unit_Id = 2 (CR69075)
In previous releases, if you attempted to add a link to a system with a unit ID of 2 (such as a standby unit that has now become the active unit), the system generated an error. With this release, you can add links to a system regardless of its unit ID setting.

[Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller] Support for multiple non-floating self IP addresses (CR69230)
Previously, if you had multiple non-floating self IP addresses in a VLAN, the system generated a continuous stream of error messages in its log files as it could not communicate with so many addresses. In this release, the system supports multiple non-floating self IP addresses.

[Link Controller] Autodiscovery of Link Controller includes bigip monitor (CR69304)
In earlier releases, when using autodiscovery, the Link Controller did not create an entry for itself with a bigip monitor, which is necessary for the system to operate correctly. With this release, the Link Controller entry includes a bigip monitor.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner supports large number of zones (CR69386)
In previous releases, synchronizing large number of zone files caused the ZoneRunner utility to stop functioning. With this release, ZoneRunner can synchronize large numbers of zone files effectively.

[Global Traffic Manager] Start of Authority serial record support (CR69396)
Previously, ZoneRunner ignored changes that you made to the serial field in SOA records. In this release, you can edit this field as needed.

[Global Traffic Manager] snmp_link monitor and the interface index (CR69494)
In previous releases, the snmp_link monitor failed if it could not acquire the correct interface index from the resource it probed. This issue occurred when you configured the monitor to use SNMP version 1. With this release, the snmp_link monitor does not require the interface index to probe the resource.

[Global Traffic Manager] Hops-based load balancing support (CR69536)
In earlier releases, using hops-based load balancing resulted in a system crash if the system received a large number of DNS requests. In this release, the system handles hops-based load balancing even under heavy traffic loads.

[Global Traffic Manager] Persistence records removed when corresponding object deleted (CR69561)
Previously, the Global Traffic Manager did not clean up persistence records for objects after you deleted those objects from its configuration. This issue risked causing the system to crash as it tried to synchronize information on objects that no longer existed. With this release, the system deletes persistence records pertaining to deleted objects.

[Link Controller] Link ratio balances traffic across multiple links (CR69986)
In previous releases, the Link Ratio did not always cause traffic to move from one link to another; instead, the system sent traffic through a single link. With this release, traffic moves between both links as specified by the Link Ratio setting for each link.

[Global Traffic Manager] Small values in Priority field in server resource records (CR70051)
Previously, if you added a server resource record into ZoneRunner and provided a small integer, such as 3, in the Priority field, ZoneRunner returned an error. With this release, ZoneRunner supports smaller integers in the Priority field.

[Global Traffic Manager] Path probes memory leak (CR70157)
In earlier releases, a memory leak existed when a path probe used multiple protocols. This memory leak no longer exists.

[Link Controller] big3d and dynamic ratio with older systems (CR70188)
In previous releases, the big3d agent attempted to set a value for the Member Dynamic Ratio setting on pool members; however, on older 9.x systems, this setting did not exist. With this release, the big3d agent does not set a value for this setting unless it is working with a pool member residing on a 9.3 or 9.4 Global Traffic Manager.

[Global Traffic Manager] Multiple Global Traffic Managers and firewalls (CR70402)
Previously, if you had two Global Traffic Managers within the same data center but on opposite sides of a firewall, the systems could not communicate with each other. With this release, the systems can communicate with each other even if a firewall separates them.

[Global Traffic Manager] Verification of system availability during probe requests (CR70565)
In earlier releases, the Global Traffic Manager assumed that a BIG-IP system could handle probe requests for a resource as long as one available self IP address was available. In fact, this is not always the case, as the available self IP address might be unable to reach the selected resource. In this release, the Global Traffic Manager excludes self IP addresses that cannot reach a resource when it assigns probe requests to other BIG-IP systems.

[Global Traffic Manager] Autodiscovery and bigip_link monitor (CR70600)
When you assign a bigip_link monitor to a virtual server, you must also have autodiscovery enabled for that virtual server. In previous releases, the system did not inform you that autodiscovery was required. With this release, a warning message appears when you add the bigip_link monitor to a virtual server, prompting you to verify that you have enabled autodiscovery for that virtual server.

[Global Traffic Manager] big3d and probing resources (CR70620)
Previously, it was possible for an SSL read error to occur when a big3d agent attempted to communicate with another system. This error prevented the big3d agent from further communications through that connection. In this release, these read errors do not lock up further communications with other systems.

[Global Traffic Manager] SSL query performance (CR70922)
In earlier releases, the Global Traffic Manager received only one SSL record at a time. With this release, the system can receive multiple SSL records, which improves the overall performance of the system during this type of query.

[Global Traffic Manager] Persistence synchronization when system returns online (CR70934)
In previous releases, if an active Global Traffic Manager went down and then came back online, persistence records established by the second system did not synchronize to the first system. With this release, persistence records synchronize after a system returns online.

[Global Traffic Manager] Round Trip Time measurements (CR71056)
Previously, a situation existed in which the Global Traffic Manager did not measure the Round Trip Time for a path if that path had been previously saved to disk. In this release, the system acquires the Round Trip Time as expected.

[Global Traffic Manager] Configuration changes and link status changes (CR71453)
When your system contains links with several hundred virtual servers assigned to specific links, if you disable one of those links, the other links now do not alternate between up and down status.

[Global Traffic Manager] QoS or Topology load balancing methods (CR71555)
When you configure a system using the QoS or Topology load balancing method, the system now load balances the traffic to all pool members, rather than sending a larger amount of traffic to the first pool member.

[Global Traffic Manager] Monitoring a virtual server (CR71750)
The https monitor no longer intermittently marks a virtual server as down when the server is available.

[Global Traffic Manager] Topology load balancing method (CR71931)
The qkview command now properly captures all Global Traffic Manager-related configuration files.

[Global Traffic Manager] Persistence requests in high availability systems (CR72106)
When you set up a redundant system with a pair of BIG-IP Global Traffic Managers, persistence requests are now handled correctly.

[Global Traffic Manager] IPv4 and IPv6 DNS requests and persistence (CR72129)
A BIG-IP Global Traffic Management redundant system that is configured with ratio pool load balancing and persistence now processes DNS requests in both the IPv4 and IPv6 format and still maintains the persistence entries.

[Global Traffic Manager] big3d agent and external monitors (CR72469)
The big3d agent no longer crashes and restarts if it cannot find an external monitor referenced in the configuration.

[Global Traffic Manager] Monitoring objects in remote data centers (CR72820)
The Global Traffic Manager now properly monitors objects in data centers that do not have local big3d agents.

[Global Traffic Manager] named.conf file editing (CR72907)
We recommend that you do not edit the named.conf file. The Global Traffic Manager verifies an updated named.conf file by running a named-checkconf script, and only synchronizes a named.conf file that passes this script.

[Global Traffic Manager] Synchronization and zone files (CR72939)
In earlier releases, the synchronization process could fail when synchronizing zone files from one system to another. This release contains improvements to synchronization to ensure that zone files transfer from one system to another correctly.

[Global Traffic Manager] Zone files after zone transfer in ZoneRunner (CR73297)
In previous releases, ZoneRunner did not always display zone files after they were transferred into the configuration. In this release, ZoneRunner displays transferred zone files.

[Global Traffic Manager] Datagram load balancing and listeners (CR73451)
Previously, on systems that contained both Global Traffic Manager and Local Traffic Manager, the listener on the Global Traffic Manager did not function when the Local Traffic Manager had a UDP virtual profile with the datagram load balancing setting enabled. In this release, this setting does not affect system performance.

[Global Traffic Manager] BIND upgraded to 9.3.4 (CR73531)
To address vulnerabilities in BIND 9.3, this release of Global Traffic Manager includes BIND version 9.3.4.

[Global Traffic Manager] SCCP kernel driver 497-day timer wrap issue (CR73960)
Read errors no longer occur when the SCCP kernel driver wraps after 497 days. Now, the system appropriately handles the 497-day interval.

[Global Traffic Manager] Last Accessed date and time (CR74922)
The statistics for the Local DNS Last Accessed setting now display the correct date and time.

[Global Traffic Manager] TCP-based DNS requests (CR74975)
In previous releases, if the requested DNS name did not match a wide IP, then the TCP-based DNS request that was sent to a Global Traffic Manager resulted in a reset TCP connection. Now the system returns a value instead, and also handles multiple DNS TCP-based messages on the same stream.

[Global Traffic Manager] DNS requests and named buffer size (CR75727)
The default buffer size for requests sent to the named daemon has been increased. Thus, the named buffer size is sufficient to handle larger numbers of DNS requests.

[Global Traffic Manager] Unmonitored pool member status interpretation (CR76025)
Global Traffic Manager now interprets the status of Local Traffic Manager virtual servers correctly. Thus, unmonitored pool members associated with a Local Traffic Manager virtual server now result in green Global Traffic Manager virtual servers.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner error in log file (CR76376)
After you install a hotfix, a zone that matches a Wide IP no longer generates an error in the Global Traffic Manager log file.

[Global Traffic Manager] Appearance of DNS response packets (CR76390)
DNS response packets with a source IP address of 127.0.0.1 no longer appear on the network outside of the Global Traffic Manager device.

[Global Traffic Manager] ANY queries and garbage characters in response (CR76811)
In previous releases, when performing an ANY query for a wide IP address-based domain name, the oversized query results appeared to include extraneous garbage characters or null characters at the end of the response. This release corrects that condition.

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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, functionality was added 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), BIG-IP 6800 (D68), and BIG-IP 8400 (D84) 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, type the following command:
switchboot

A list of boot images and their descriptions displays. 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 9.3 Build 178.1 - 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 -d 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 9.3.

[Global Traffic Manager] System active indication with failed Global Traffic Manager configuration load (CR49178)
When you have a Global Traffic Manager-only installation, the command prompt for that system indicates that the system is active even if an error occurred when loading the wideip.conf file. 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.

[Global Traffic Manager] Setup utility and selecting all ports (CR52161)
If you decide to implement the port lockdown feature available through the Setup utility, you cannot initially set the Port Lockdown to allow for all ports. After you finish using the Setup utility, you can access the self IP address in the Configuration utility and change the Port Lockdown setting to Allow All.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] SSL certificates and keys containing bracket characters (CR53446)
When adding SSL certificates and keys to your Global Traffic Manager installation, you must ensure that each certificate and key does not contain brackets ([ and ]). If you add certificates or keys that contain these characters, you can remove them through the command line interface to prevent them from affecting the Configuration utility.

[Global Traffic Manager] Encrypted UCS file and config.encryption value of off (CR54052)
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.

[Link Controller] Hidden configsync.encryption values in the Configuration utility (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.

[Global Traffic Manager] Server type change restriction (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] Synchronizing Link Controllers and Global Traffic Managers. (CR55484)
At this time, we do not recommend that you put Link Controllers into the same synchronization group as Global Traffic Manager, as these are two different products with different roles on the network.

[Global Traffic Manager] Last probe time of new path as 1969 (CR56008)
When Global Traffic Manager has not yet probed a path, the system displays its last probe time as 1969. 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.

[Global Traffic Manager] Server status message metrics differences between big3d versions 9.2.2 and 4.6.4 (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 are always identical. This metrics change does not impact metrics collection or performance on either the 9.2.2 system or the 4.6.4 system.

[Global Traffic Manager] Full /var directory and Configuration utility halt (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. See Workarounds for known issues for assistance with this issue. In environments where debugging is inactive, this issue does not occur.

[Global Traffic Manager] Path requirement for include statements configured with the ZoneRunner (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.

[Global Traffic Manager] System doubling of 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 assigns 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.

[Global Traffic Manager] Initial appearance of monitor list for pool members 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, select a monitor-related setting in the screen.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Disabled auto-discovery feature and link down (CR59052)
The Link Controller uses an auto-discovery feature to manage and maintain links. You can access this feature from the Main tab of the navigation pane by expanding System, clicking General Properties, and then choosing General from the Global Traffic menu. If you disable this feature, the links stay available until after next reboot, after which time the Link Controller marks all links as down and is unable to manage traffic. After re-enabling the auto-discovery feature, the links are available immediately. We recommend that you do not de-activate this feature.

[Global Traffic Manager] Multiple zone type delete in ZoneRunner and named restart (CR59093)
If you attempt to delete multiple zones from the ZoneRunner component of the Global Traffic Manager, the named utility restarts, and an error message appears. To work around this issue, delete only one zone at a time from the ZoneRunner user interface.

[Global Traffic Manager] Named and snmpd utilities restart after running commands (CR59131)
After running the b config sync, b config save <savename>, or b config install <installname> commands, you might see erroneous-looking named and snmpd restart messages. The named restart message appears similar to the following:

Feb 1 09:42:52 d84unit1 zrd: 01150c10:3: Error 'No such file or directory'
from stat of '/var/named/config/named.conf

These messages are benign, and you can safely ignore them.

[Global Traffic Manager] Option display with ZoneRunner in Internet Explorer (CR59191)
When managing zone files through the ZoneRunner in Internet Explorer, two check boxes change the appearance of the user interface: Create Reverse Zone and Create A Record. These check boxes prompt the addition of other configuration options. In Internet Explorer, these additional options do not appear until you clear the check box.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Topology records containing ampersands (&) (CR66566)
Topology Regions containing ampersands (&) cannot be deleted from user interface. If you have a topology with & in it, you must remove the & from the name of a user-specified Topology Region by editing the /config/Global Traffic Manager/region.user file, and then run the gtmparse -l command from the console.

[Global Traffic Manager] Missing configuration with monitors on wildcard virtual server (CR66576)
If you create a monitor to check a specific port, assign that monitor to a server with a wildcard virtual server, and restart the system, your Global Traffic settings do not appear in the Configuration utility, and incoming DNS requests are sent to BIND. To return your configuration to a functional state, you must open the wideip.conf file, locate and remove the monitor entry, and then run the gtmparse -1 command from the console, verifying that gtmparse does not return any errors.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] probe_num_successes attribute in the wideip.conf file (CR67180)
In the wideip.conf file, the attribute probe_num_successes appears as an option for some monitors. This attribute does not apply to Global Traffic Manager monitors and has no effect on system performance.

[Global Traffic Manager] Monitor none and unavailable pools (CR67581)
When you are working with pools, we do not recommended that you select the none monitor, as this monitor immediately marks the pool red, or unavailable. The none monitor is present in the Health Monitors list on the Global Traffic Pools screen to be as consistent as possible with the Local Traffic Manager implementation of monitors. In Local Traffic Manager the monitor none is a special monitor that serves as a placeholder to allow to intentionally have the system not monitor a specific pool member.
With Global Traffic Manger, the system cannot set the status to unknown when you assign the monitor none; in the case of Global Traffic Manager, a pool member with an unknown state does not receive any traffic. In order to be functionally consistent with Local Traffic Manager, an object in Global Traffic Manager that is assigned the monitor none should have its monitor instance set to the green, or available state. That does not occur in this release. Instead, the system sets the status to red, or unavailable.

[ZoneRunner] Backslash character in Email Contact field for Start of Authority record (CR68353)
The system should support the backslash ( \ ) character in the Email Contact field for an SOA record. Using the backslash character prevents the first period ( . ) in an email name from being recognized as the at sign ( @ ). Currently, the system does not support the backslash character.

[Global Traffic Manager] Journal file error and ZoneRunner shutdown (CR68608)
If the named utility discovers that the journal file has gotten out of synchronization, it generates an error, which in turn causes ZoneRunner to shut down. To reactivate ZoneRunner, use the following commands to remove the journal file:

   bigstart stop named
   bigstart stop zrd
   rm <journal file name>
   bigstart start named
   bigstart start zrd

[Global Traffic Manager] big3d probe queues using over 512MB of memory (CR71516)
This problem might occur only on BIG-IP 3400 systems. When the system is operating very close to the threshold (512MB) of what the unit can handle, a log roll-up operation might push the unit over the limit. When this occurs, the system distributes queues evenly to all big3d agents, as opposed to selecting the agent with the fewest probe requests in its queue.

[Global Traffic Manager] Link Capacity upper limit (CR73148)
The maximum value for Link Capacity in the Quality of Service (QOS) load balancing method, as limited by the browser-based Configuration utility is 2147483647. The system limit for QOS values should be 4294967295. There is no workaround for this issue.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner timeout during synchronization (CR73583)
This issue occurs when you have two Global Traffic Manager systems in a synchronization group. If these system have at least two IP addresses in their configuration and you run the gtm_add script for each IP address, ZoneRunner times out during the next synchronization. To work around this issue, restart the second system and run the gtm_add script on only one of the IP addresses.

[Global Traffic Manager] Nonexistent IP address for server prober (CR74186)
If you manually edit the wideip.conf file to have the Global Traffic Manager object defined after the server object, when you configure the server's prober IP address as the Global Traffic Manager system's IP address, a warning appears when you issue the gtmparse or gtmload command. To work around this issue, make sure to Define the Global Traffic Manager object before other server objects in the wideip.conf file.

[Global Traffic Manager] Duplicate virtual server name during create or modify (CR74789)
You can create two virtual servers with the same name, but the system removes the duplicate when the configuration is written to the wideip.conf file. In this case, the second virtual server effectively has no name specified. To work around this issue, make sure each virtual server you create has a unique name.

[Global Traffic Manager] Duplicate virtual server name during auto-discovery (CR74792)
When adding a Local Traffic Manager to a Global Traffic Manager configuration, the auto-discovery process has no mechanism for catching virtual server names for other hosts that already exist in the wideip.conf file, so the process does not add the duplicate virtual server name. You can work around this issue by adding the appropriate server name to the virtual server name that already exists, or by renaming the virtual servers on the other device so that all names are unique.

[Global Traffic Manager] LB::status pool my_pool member 10.0.10.82 80 down won't parse (CR76723)
Using the iRule statement LB::status pool | node results in MCP and gtmd syntax errors. The system should require you to specify the pool name in this case. The workaround is to use LB::status vs.

[Global Traffic Manager] Persist when persist pool member is unknown (CR76866)
At startup time, the gtmd process invalidates persist entries if the persist pool member is unknown, as denoted by a blue icon.

[Global Traffic Manager] Changes in zone files on redundant system configuration are not saved correctly (CR85597)
Occasionally, modifying a zone file on one Global Traffic Manager in a redundant system configuration results in the system displaying the error message: 01020005:3: The requested operation is not implemented yet. To resolve this issue, modify the INI file in usr/local/bin/sync_zones to ensure the rsync operations uses the -u option.

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Workarounds for known issues

The following section describes a workaround for the corresponding known issue listed in the previous section.

Resolving issues with the /var directory (CR57265)

You can work around this issue by deleting the log files within the /var directory. 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.

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