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Release Note: BIG-IP GTM and BIG-IP Link Controller version 9.4.0
Release Note

Software Release Date: 12/19/2006
Updated Date: 12/11/2013

Summary:

This release note documents the version 9.4 feature release of the Global Traffic Manager and Link Controller. To review the features introduced in this release, see New features in this release. For existing customers, you can apply the software upgrade to version 9.2.2 and later. For information about installing the software, 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:

- User documentation for this release
- Minimum system requirements
- Supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- Installing the software
     - Performing a 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 upgrade file
     - Re-activating the license on the BIG-IP system
- New features in this release
- 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.


Minimum system requirements

The minimum system requirements for the Global Traffic Manager for this release are:

  • 512MB RAM (if installed as a stand-alone product)
  • 768MB RAM (if installed as a combination of BIG-IP systems, such as a Local Traffic Manager/Global Traffic Manager installation)
  • 512MB Compact Flash

The minimum system requirements for the Link Controller for this release are:

  • 768MB RAM
  • 512MB Compact Flash
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Supported browsers

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 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 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)
  • BIG-IP 8400 (D84)
  • BIG-IP 8800 (D88)

Warning: If you plan to upgrade a system licensed for Link Controller (LC), Global Traffic Manager (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 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 9.4 software installation. Before you begin the installation process, you need to determine which installation option is appropriate: Windows® hosted, USB mass storage device, local, PXE server, or remote.

Warning: Version 4.5.x or 4.6.x installation. You cannot upgrade directly from BIG-IP version 4.x to 9.4. You must first upgrade to a 9.2.x version. For details about this installation method, refer to the release notes for one of the 9.2.x releases.

Warning: Version 9.0.x or 9.1.x installation. You cannot upgrade directly from BIG-IP versions 9.0.x through 9.1.x to 9.4. You must first upgrade to a 9.2.x version. For details about this installation method, refer to the release notes for one of the 9.2.x releases.

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

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

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), BIG-IP 8400 (D84), and BIG-IP 8800 (D88) 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, initiate failover and apply the upgrade to the other unit in the redundant system.

Important: Each unit in a redundant system must be running the same version of the software.

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 9.2.x only.

Performing a Windows hosted installation

Before performing Windows hosted installation, read the following information.

Performing a USB mass storage device installation

Before performing Windows hosted installation, read the following information.

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 area 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 area currently running.

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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 command, 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

Important: For features that pertain to platform-related or cross-product issues, please see the release notes for Local Traffic Manager version 9.4.

This release includes the following new features.

Upgraded synchronization
The synchronization utility, rsync, has been upgraded from version 2.6.2 to version 2.6.8. This version takes advantage of several synchronization fixes and provides improved error messages.

Heartbeat Interval timer configuration added
You can now configure the Heartbeat Interval timer. In some scenarios, you may need to adjust the heartbeat timer to allow one system to more quickly detect the unavailability of another system. This allows available systems to more quickly compensate for unavailable ones, and to make sure that no objects time out before the system sends the next probe. You can find the Heartbeat Interval setting on the General Configuration screen of the Global Traffic Manager General Properties screen.

Changes in US and Canada Daylight Saving Time
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 have been addressed 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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Known issues

The following items are known issues in the current release.

[Link Controller] Enforcement of limits and cost segments (CR53442)
If you have links configured with traffic limits, or with the price type of weighting, and all links are yellow, the bandwidth continues to exceed the specified limits or cost structure. There is no workaround for this condition.

[Link Controller] Message in daemon.log (CR54443)
After configuration or upgrade, you may see the following message in daemon.log:

modprobe: modprobe - Can't locate module char-major-240

This message occurs when the system attempts FIPS driver initialization on non-FIPS systems. Because this occurs only on non-FIPS systems, this message is benign.

[Global Traffic Manager] Application status regeneration after moving virtual servers (CR56703)
The Global Traffic Manager does not regenerate the status of a distributed application when you move a virtual server from one server to another.

[Global Traffic Manager] Duplicate virtual server names for different Local Traffic Manager systems (CR57443)
If you configure the same virtual server name on two Local Traffic Manager systems, the Global Traffic Manager Virtual Server Discovery process resolves the conflict by modifying the virtual server name on one server. When a query searches for that named virtual server, the system cannot look up the virtual server by name, so it fails to return the appropriate information. You can work around this situation by renaming the virtual servers to remove duplications.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Decimal values for link segment cost (CR57533)
If you specify a decimal number for a link segment cost, the system presents the general form error:

An error has occurred while trying to process your request.

You can work around this issue by only specifying integers for link segment cost.

[Global Traffic Manager] Differing timestamps on configuration files (CR58847)
When the timestamps on two wideip.conf files differ, running the gtmparse command can result in configuration mismatch. For example, if the /config/gtm/wideip.conf file has a date of 01/25/2006 10:00 and the /shared/wideip.conf.older has a date of 01/24/2006 10:00, when you run the command gtmparse -m -i /shared/wideip.conf.older, the system loads the configuration, but does not write the contents to /config/gtm/wideip.conf, since that file is newer. The result is a condition where the information in the file does not match the loaded configuration. To work around this issue, make sure the timestamp on the file you load is newer than the timestamp of any shared configuration files.

[Global Traffic Manager] Statistics Collection Server list contents (CR60385)
The Statistics Collection Server list on a server's Properties screen contains all of the servers that are defined in the configuration, instead of just Global Traffic Manager systems. This setting determines which Global Traffic Manager is going to probe the server, so you must select a Global Traffic Manager one.

[Link Controller] Topology Regions help (CR60579)
If a system is licensed for Link Controller, it presents an HTTP 404 error when you access the help for the Regions screen of the Topology section. Systems that are licensed for Global Traffic Manager properly present the help screen.

[Global Traffic Manager] Virtual Server Discovery and virtual server definition requirement (CR60680)
For the snmp_gtm monitor to work, you must have at least one virtual server defined. If you do not have at least one virtual server defined, the Virtual Server Discovery process halts. You can work around this issue by manually defining one virtual server before switching over to Virtual Server Discovery so that the system can discover the rest of the virtual servers.

[Global Traffic Manager] Pool order value update after pool removal (CR62940)
If you create a wide IP with more than one pool, the system makes an ordinal assignment (whether you use it or not). If you remove a pool, the remaining pools retain their ordinal assignment. The system does not reorder the pools to match the number pools. There is no workaround for this issue.

[Global Traffic Manager] ZoneRunner restart with zero-byte configuration file (CR67325)
ZoneRunner restarts continuously if the named.conf file is zero-bytes. To work around this condition, make sure there is appropriate content in the named.conf file.

[Global Traffic Manager] Unavailable pools after assigning the none monitor (CR67580)
You can select none as the monitor for a Global Traffic Manager pool. However, selecting none results in the pool being unavailable. To work around this issue, select a monitor other than none.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] IPv6 and IPv4 addresses in the same link (CR67931)
Global Traffic Manager cannot parse link addresses that contain both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses as part of the same link. If the unit is part of a synchronization group, then the second device will not show the IPv6 address in the browser interface, though it does show in the wideip.conf file. If you make changes to the links section, the system overwrites and removes the IPv6 link address completely. You can work around this issue by adding IPv6 addresses as a separate link.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Parent pool name reported to SNMP (CR68235)
The SNMP table, gtmPoolMemberStat, returns the parent virtual server name instead of the parent pool name. This affects only iControl and SNMP; it does not affect other functionality, and the browser interface displays the pool name correctly.

[Global Traffic Manager] No support for backslash character in email address (CR68352)
ZoneRunner does not support use of the backslash ( \ ) character to specify email addresses. When ZoneRunner adds an email address, it has to add a period in front of the at sign ( @ ). In order to include characters such as period in the name portion of email addresses, you must precede the period with a backslash. However, ZoneRunner does not currently support the backslash character. There is no workaround for this situation.

[Global Traffic Manager] Nonexistent pool name in iRules (CR68654)
When you create an iRule that uses the pool command, the system does not validate that the pool exists. You can specify an invalid pool name, and the system accepts the iRule without posting an error. You can work around this issue by ensuring that a pool exists before specifying it for use in an iRule.

[Global Traffic Manager] iRule sorting order (CR68727)
Currently, the only order in which you can run iRulesTM is alphabetical order.

[Global Traffic Manager] Differences in zone creation when creating wide IPs (CR68988)
When you create a wide IP that contains a pool, ZoneRunner creates a new zone for that wide IP. If your wide IP references only iRulesTM, ZoneRunner does not create a new zone for that wide IP.

[Global Traffic Manager] Creating wildcard port virtual servers (CR69257)
When you create a server for the first time, and try to add a wildcard port virtual server, the system does not create the virtual server, and the system does not present an error. To work around the issue, create the server first, and then add the wildcard port virtual server.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Connection resolution using listeners (CR69270)
When no listener exists on a particular Global Traffic Manager interface, then the DNS BIND operation resolves the connection request. If you configure a listener after a UDP connection has already been established, DNS BIND continues to resolve the connection for about five minutes or longer until the existing connection expires. Additional DNS requests in the interval serve to extend the life of the existing connection for another five minutes or longer. Note that the opposite is also true: if you delete a listener after a connection has been established, DNS BIND does not begin resolving the requests until the existing connections time out. You can work around this situation by using the command line to manually delete the connection.

[Global Traffic Manager] Duplicate zone name alert (CR70234)
When you delete a view, ZoneRunner removes the associated zones, but leaves the associated files in the /var/named/config/namedb folder. If you later create a zone with the same name, the system posts a message, similar to the following:

" 01150331:3: Error creating zone zone.com., zone file /var/named/config/namedb/db.view.zone.com. already exists. zone gtm.net/IN: loaded serial 2."

To work around this situation, you must use the command line to delete the zone file first. Then you can add the previously failed zone.

[Global Traffic Manager] Deletion of views containing zones (CR70294)
ZoneRunner does not warn you that deleting a view with a zone in it also deletes the zone. There is no workaround for this condition, so you should use caution when deleting views.

[Global Traffic Manager] View deleted instead of moved (CR70508)
If you specify an invalid argument with the iControl method, View_impl::move_view, the system deletes the view. To work around this issue, only use the Configuration utility to move views.

The alertd daemon sends wrong message when status of distributed application changes (CR70822)
When the status of a distributed application changes (from available to unavailable, for example), the alertd daemon sends an incorrect SNMP trap. This issue does not affect system functionality.

[Global Traffic Manager] Virtual server status update requirements (CR71009)
If you have virtual servers with no monitors set in the Local Traffic Manager configuration, and you switch between the bigip and gateway_icmp monitors, the system reports the status for those virtual servers as down (red). To work around this issue, make sure to specify monitors for each virtual server you configure in Local Traffic Manager.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Limiting link traffic and duplex billing (CR71075)
Limiting total link traffic fails to disable duplex billing. To work around this issue, you can manually disable duplex billing.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] gtm_add script and IPv6 addresses (CR71311)
The gtm_add script does not accept IPv6 addresses. To work around this issue, use IPv4 address formatting when running the gtm_add script.

[Global Traffic Manager] 251-character named zone limit (CR71346)
For zone files, the maximum valid number is 251 characters, because of the appended .jnl extension. Although you can create files with longer names, the system cannot open it because the file name exceeds the system limit. ZoneRunner recovers but cannot report back the error. If you create the file manually, you will receive an error indicating that the file is invalid. To work around this condition, limit the names of zone files to 251 characters or less.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] gtm_add script and parsing error reporting (CR71504)
The gtm_add script does not report any parsing errors from a newly acquired configuration. To be sure there are no errors, run the gtmparse -l command after running the gtm_add script.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] Configuration synchronization file timestamp mismatch (CR71547)
Typically, when you perform a configuration synchronization operation, the system updates the configuration file's timestamp on the receiving unit. In the case where there are no actual changes in the configuration, the timestamp is not changed on configuration file on the receiving unit. However, you may have a configuration file with a newer timestamp on the sending unit (for example, when you edit the file manually). This results in mismatched configuration file timestamps, and the synchronization process recurs without success. To work around this situation, make an actual change on either system.

[Global Traffic Manager/Link Controller] PVA acceleration impact on link throughput statistics (CR71947)
Intermittently, the system displays incorrect link throughput statistics when Packet VelocityTM ASIC (PVA) acceleration is set to either assist or full.

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