Applies To:

Show Versions Show Versions

Manual Chapter: Creating an Active-Active Configuration using the Configuration Utility
Manual Chapter
Table of Contents   |   << Previous Chapter   |   Next Chapter >>

Overview: Creating an active-active DSC configuration

A common TMOS device service clustering (DSC) implementation is an active-standby configuration, where a single traffic group is active on one of the devices in the device group, and is in a standby state on a peer device. Alternatively however, you can create a second traffic group and activate that traffic group on a peer device. In this active-active configuration, the devices each process traffic for a different application simultaneously. If one of the devices in the device group goes offline, the traffic group that was active on that device fails over to a peer device. The result is that two traffic groups can become active on one device.

To implement this DSC implementation, you create a Sync-Failover device group. A Sync-Failover device group with two or more members provides configuration synchronization and device failover, and optionally, connection mirroring.

A Sync-Failover group for an active-active configuration A two-member Sync-Failover group for an active-active configuration

About DSC configuration on a VIPRION system

The way you configure device service clustering (DSC) (also known as redundancy) on a VIPRION system varies depending on whether the system is provisioned to run the vCMP feature.

For non-vCMP systems

For a device group that consists of VIPRION systems that are not licensed and provisioned for vCMP, each VIPRION cluster constitutes an individual device group member. The following table describes the IP addresses that you must specify when configuring redundancy.

Table 1. Required IP addresses for DSC configuration on a non-vCMP system
Feature IP addresses required
Device trust The primary floating management IP address for the VIPRION cluster.
ConfigSync The unicast non-floating self IP address assigned to VLAN internal.
Failover
  • Recommended: The unicast non-floating self IP address that you assigned to an internal VLAN (preferably VLAN HA), as well as a multicast address.
  • Alternative: All unicast management IP addresses that correspond to the slots in the VIPRION cluster.
Connection mirroring For the primary address, the non-floating self IP address that you assigned to VLAN HA. The secondary address is not required, but you can specify any non-floating self IP address for an internal VLAN..

For vCMP systems

On a vCMP system, the devices in a device group are virtual devices, known as vCMP guests. You configure device trust, config sync, failover, and mirroring to occur between equivalent vCMP guests in separate chassis.

For example, if you have a pair of VIPRION systems running vCMP, and each system has three vCMP guests, you can create a separate device group for each pair of equivalent guests. Table 4.2 shows an example.

Table 2. Sample device groups for two VIPRION systems with vCMP
Device groups for vCMP Device group members
Device-Group-A
  • Guest1 on chassis1
  • Guest1 on chassis2
Device-Group-B
  • Guest2 on chassis1
  • Guest2 on chassis2
Device-Group-C
  • Guest3 on chassis1
  • Guest3 on chassis2

By isolating guests into separate device groups, you ensure that each guest synchronizes and fails over to its equivalent guest. The following table describes the IP addresses that you must specify when configuring redundancy:

Table 3. Required IP addresses for DSC configuration on a VIPRION system with vCMP
Feature IP addresses required
Device trust The cluster management IP address of the guest.
ConfigSync The non-floating self IP address on the guest that is associated with VLAN internal on the host.
Failover
  • Recommended: The unicast non-floating self IP address on the guest that is associated with an internal VLAN on the host (preferably VLAN HA), as well as a multicast address.
  • Alternative: The unicast management IP addresses for all slots configured for the guest.
Connection mirroring For the primary address, the non-floating self IP address on the guest that is associated with VLAN internal on the host. The secondary address is not required, but you can specify any non-floating self IP address on the guest that is associated with an internal VLAN on the host.

DSC prerequisite worksheet

Before you set up device service clustering (DSC), you must configure these BIG-IP components on each device that you intend to include in the device group.

Table 4. DSC deployment worksheet
Configuration component Considerations
Hardware, licensing, and provisioning Devices in a device group must match as closely as possible with respect to product licensing and module provisioning. Heterogeneous hardware platforms within a device group are supported.
BIG-IP software version Each device must be running BIG-IP version 11.x. This ensures successful configuration synchronization.
Management IP addresses Each device must have a management IP address, a network mask, and a management route defined.
FQDN Each device must have a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) as its host name.
User name and password Each device must have a user name and password defined on it that you will use when logging in to the BIG-IP Configuration utility.
root folder properties The platform properties for the root folder must be set correctly (Sync-Failover and traffic-group-1).
VLANs You must create these VLANs on each device, if you have not already done so:
  • A VLAN for the internal network, named internal
  • A VLAN for the external network, named external
  • A VLAN for failover communications, named HA
Self IP addresses You must create these self IP addresses on each device, if you have not already done so:
  • Two self IP addresses (floating and non-floating) on the same subnet for VLAN internal.
  • Two self IP addresses (floating and non-floating) on the same subnet for VLAN external.
  • A non-floating self IP address on the internal subnet for VLAN HA.
Note: When you create floating self IP addresses, the BIG-IP system automatically adds them to the default floating traffic group, traffic-group-1. To add a self IP address to a different traffic group, you must modify the value of the self IP address Traffic Group property.
Important: If the BIG-IP device you are configuring is accessed using Amazon Web Services, then the IP address you specify must be the floating IP address for high availability fast failover that you configured for the EC2 instance.
Port lockdown For self IP addresses that you create on each device, you should verify that the Port Lockdown setting is set to Allow All, All Default, or Allow Custom. Do not specify None.
Application-related objects You must create any virtual IP addresses and optionally, SNAT translation addresses, as part of the local traffic configuration. You must also configure any iApps application services if they are required for your application. When you create these addresses or services, the objects automatically become members of the default traffic group, traffic-group-1.
Time synchronization The times set by the NTP service on all devices must be synchronized. This is a requirement for configuration synchronization to operate successfully.
Device certificates Verify that each device includes an x509 device certificate. Devices with device certificates can authenticate and therefore trust one another, which is a prerequisite for device-to-device communication and data exchange.

Configurations using Sync-Failover device groups

This illustration shows two separate Sync-Failover device groups. In the first device group, only LTM1 processes application traffic, and the two BIG-IP devices are configured to provide active-standby high availability. This means that LTM1 and LTM2 synchronize their configurations, and the failover objects on LTM1 float to LTM2 if LTM1 becomes unavailable.

In the second device group, both LTM1 and LTM2 process application traffic, and the BIG-IP devices are configured to provide active-active high availability. This means that LTM1 and LTM2 synchronize their configurations, the failover objects on LTM1 float to LTM2 if LTM1 becomes unavailable, and the failover objects on LTM2 float to LTM1 if LTM2 becomes unavailable.

active-standby and active-active device groups Comparison of Active-Standby and Active-Active device groups

Task summary

Use the tasks in this implementation to create a two-member device group, with two active traffic groups, that syncs the BIG-IP configuration to the peer device and provides failover capability if the peer device goes offline. Note that on a vCMP system, the devices in a specific device group are vCMP guests, one per chassis.

Important: When you use this implementation, F5 Networks recommends that you synchronize the BIG-IP configuration twice, once after you create the device group, and again after you specify the IP addresses for failover.

Task list

Specifying an IP address for config sync

Before configuring the config sync address, verify that all devices in the device group are running the same version of BIG-IP system software.
You perform this task to specify the IP address on the local device that other devices in the device group will use to synchronize their configuration objects to the local device.
Note: You must perform this task locally on each device in the device group.
  1. Confirm that you are logged in to the actual device you want to configure.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the device to which you are currently logged in.
  4. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose ConfigSync.
  5. For the Local Address setting, retain the displayed IP address or select another address from the list. F5 Networks recommends that you use the default value, which is the self IP address for VLAN internal. This address must be a non-floating self IP address and not a management IP address.
    Important: If the BIG-IP device you are configuring is accessed using Amazon Web Services, then the internal self IP address that you specify must be the internal private IP addresses that you configured for this EC2 instance as the Local Address.
  6. Click Update.
After performing this task, the other devices in the device group can sync their configurations to the local device.

Specifying an IP address for connection mirroring

You can specify the local self IP address that you want other devices in a device group to use when mirroring their connections to this device. Connection mirroring ensures that in-process connections for an active traffic group are not dropped when failover occurs. You typically perform this task when you initially set up device service clustering (DSC).

Note: You must perform this task locally on each device in the device group.
  1. Confirm that you are logged in to the actual device you want to configure.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the device to which you are currently logged in.
  4. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose Mirroring.
  5. For the Primary Local Mirror Address setting, retain the displayed IP address or select another address from the list. The recommended IP address is the self IP address for either VLAN HA or VLAN internal.
    Important: If the BIG-IP device you are configuring is accessed using Amazon Web Services, then the self IP address you specify must be one of the private IP addresses that you configured for this EC2 instance as the Primary Local Mirror Address.
  6. For the Secondary Local Mirror Address setting, retain the default value of None, or select an address from the list. This setting is optional. The system uses the selected IP address in the event that the primary mirroring address becomes unavailable.
  7. Click Update.
In addition to specifying an IP address for mirroring, you must also enable connection mirroring on the relevant virtual servers on this device.

Specifying the HA capacity of a device

Before you perform this task, verify that this device is a member of a device group and that the device group contains three or more devices.

You perform this task when you have more than one type of hardware platform in a device group and you want to configure load-aware failover. Load-aware failover ensures that the BIG-IP system can intelligently select the next-active device for each active traffic group in the device group when failover occurs. As part of configuring load-aware failover, you define an HA capacity to establish the amount of computing resource that the device provides relative to other devices in the device group.

Note: If all devices in the device group are the same hardware platform, you can skip this task.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the device for which you want to view properties. This displays a table of properties for the device.
  3. In the HA Capacity field, type a relative numeric value. You need to configure this setting only when you have varying types of hardware platforms in a device group and you want to configure load-aware failover. The value you specify represents the relative capacity of the device to process application traffic compared to the other devices in the device group.
    Important: If you configure this setting, you must configure the setting on every device in the device group.
    If this device has half the capacity of a second device and a third of the capacity of a third device in the device group, you can specify a value of 100 for this device, 200 for the second device, and 300 for the third device. When choosing the next active device for a traffic group, the system considers the capacity that you specified for this device.
  4. Click Update.
After you perform this task, the BIG-IP system uses the HA Capacity value to calculate the current utilization of the local device, to determine the next-active device for failover of other traffic groups in the device group.

Establishing device trust

Before you begin this task, verify that:

  • Each BIG-IP device that is to be part of the local trust domain has a device certificate installed on it.
  • The local device is designated as a certificate signing authority.

You perform this task to establish trust among devices on one or more network segments. Devices that trust each other constitute the local trust domain. A device must be a member of the local trust domain prior to joining a device group.

By default, the BIG-IP software includes a local trust domain with one member, which is the local device. You can choose any one of the BIG-IP devices slated for a device group and log into that device to add other devices to the local trust domain. For example, devices A, B, and C each initially shows only itself as a member of the local trust domain. To configure the local trust domain to include all three devices, you can simply log into device A and add devices B and C to the local trust domain. Note that there is no need to repeat this process on devices B and C.

  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Device Trust, and then either Peer List or Subordinate List.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Type a device IP address, administrator user name, and administrator password for the remote BIG-IP device with which you want to establish trust. The IP address you specify depends on the type of BIG-IP device:
    • If the BIG-IP device is a non-VIPRION device, type the management IP address for the device.
    • If the BIG-IP device is a VIPRION device that is not licensed and provisioned for vCMP, type the primary cluster management IP address for the cluster.
    • If the BIG-IP device is a VIPRION device that is licensed and provisioned for vCMP, type the cluster management IP address for the guest.
    • If the BIG-IP device is an Amazon Web Services EC2 device, type one of the Private IP addresses created for this EC2 instance.
  4. Click Retrieve Device Information.
  5. Verify that the certificate of the remote device is correct.
  6. Verify that the name of the remote device is correct.
  7. Verify that the management IP address and name of the remote device are correct.
  8. Click Finished.
The device you added is now a member of the local trust domain.
Repeat this task for each device that you want to add to the local trust domain.

Creating a Sync-Failover device group

This task establishes failover capability between two or more BIG-IP devices that you intend to run in an active-active configuration. If an active device in a Sync-Failover device group becomes unavailable, the configuration objects fail over to another member of the device group and traffic processing is unaffected. You perform this task on any one of the authority devices within the local trust domain.

Repeat this task for each Sync-Failover device group that you want to create for your network configuration.

  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Device Groups.
  2. On the Device Groups list screen, click Create. The New Device Group screen opens.
  3. Type a name for the device group, select the device group type Sync-Failover, and type a description for the device group.
  4. In the Configuration area of the screen, select a host name from the Available list for each BIG-IP device that you want to include in the device group, including the local device. Use the Move button to move the host name to the Includes list. The Available list shows any devices that are members of the device's local trust domain but not currently members of a Sync-Failover device group. A device can be a member of one Sync-Failover group only.
  5. For the Network Failover setting, verify that network failover is enabled. Network failover must be enabled for active-active configurations (that is, device groups that will contain two or more active traffic groups).
  6. Click Finished.
You now have a Sync-Failover type of device group containing BIG-IP devices as members. This device group is configured for environments that require the use of two or more active traffic groups to process application traffic.

Syncing the BIG-IP configuration to the device group

Before you sync the configuration, verify that the devices targeted for config sync are members of a device group and that device trust is established.
This task synchronizes the BIG-IP configuration data from the local device to the devices in the device group. This synchronization ensures that devices in the device group operate properly. When synchronizing self IP addresses, the BIG-IP system synchronizes floating self IP addresses only.
Important: You perform this task on either of the two devices, but not both.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Overview.
  2. In the Device Groups area of the screen, in the Name column, select the name of the relevant device group. The screen expands to show a summary and details of the sync status of the selected device group, as well as a list of the individual devices within the device group.
  3. In the Devices area of the screen, in the Sync Status column, select the device that shows a sync status of Changes Pending.
  4. In the Sync Options area of the screen, select Sync Device to Group.
  5. Click Sync. The BIG-IP system syncs the configuration data of the selected device in the Device area of the screen to the other members of the device group.
Except for non-floating self IP addresses, the entire set of BIG-IP configuration data is replicated on each device in the device group.

Specifying IP addresses for failover communication

You typically perform this task during initial Device Service Clustering (DSC) configuration, to specify the local IP addresses that you want other devices in the device group to use for continuous health-assessment communication with the local device. You must perform this task locally on each device in the device group.
Note: The IP addresses that you specify must belong to route domain 0.
  1. Confirm that you are logged in to the actual device you want to configure.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the device to which you are currently logged in.
  4. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose Failover.
  5. For the Failover Unicast Configuration settings, click Add for each IP address on this device that other devices in the device group can use to exchange failover messages with this device. The unicast IP addresses you specify depend on the type of device:
    Platform Action
    Non-VIPRION Type a self IP address associated with an internal VLAN (preferably VLAN HA) and the management IP address for the device.
    VIPRION without vCMP Type the self IP address for an internal VLAN (preferably VLAN HA) and the management IP addresses for all slots in the VIPRION cluster. Note that if you also configure a multicast address (using the Use Failover Multicast Address setting), then these management IP addresses are not required.
    VIPRION with vCMP Type a self IP address that is defined on the guest and associated with an internal VLAN on the host (preferably VLAN HA). You must also specify the management IP addresses for all of the slots configured for the guest. Note that if you also configure a multicast address (using the Use Failover Multicast Address setting), then these management IP addresses are not required.
  6. To enable the use of a failover multicast address on a VIPRION platform (recommended), then for the Use Failover Multicast Address setting, select the Enabled check box.
  7. If you enabled Use Failover Multicast Address, either accept the default Address and Port values, or specify values appropriate for the device. If you revise the default Address and Port values, but then decide to revert to the default values, click Reset Defaults.
  8. Click Update.
After you perform this task, other devices in the device group can send failover messages to the local device using the specified IP addresses.

Creating a second traffic group for the device group

This task creates a second active floating traffic group to process application traffic. The default floating traffic group (traffic-group-1) processes application traffic for the local device.
Note: For this implementation, name this traffic group traffic-group-2.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Traffic Groups.
  2. On the Traffic Group List screen, click Create.
  3. Type the name traffic-group-2 for the new traffic group.
  4. In the HA Load Factor field, specify a value that represents the application load for this traffic group relative to other active traffic groups on the local device. The BIG-IP system ignores this setting if you configure the Failover Order setting, unless all devices in the Failover Order list are currently unavailable. In this case, the system uses the HA Load Factor setting to determine the next active device for this traffic group.
    Important: If you configure this setting, you must configure the setting on every traffic group in the device group.
  5. In the MAC Masquerade Address field, type a MAC masquerade address. When you specify a MAC masquerade address, you reduce the risk of dropped connections when failover occurs. This setting is optional.
  6. Select or clear the check box for the Auto Failback option.
    • Select the check box to cause the traffic group, after failover, to become active on the first device in the traffic group's ordered list, when that device (and only that device) is available.
    • Clear the check box to cause the traffic group, after failover, to remain active on its current device until failover occurs again.
    You can enable auto-failback only when you configure the Failover Order setting.
  7. For the Failover Order setting, in the Available box, select a device name and using the Move button, move the device name to the Enabled box. Repeat for each device that you want to include in the ordered list. This setting is optional. Only devices that are members of the relevant Sync-Failover device group are available for inclusion in the ordered list. If auto-failback is enabled and the first device in the Failover Order list is unavailable, no auto-failback occurs and the traffic group continues to run on the current device. Also, if none of the devices in the list is currently available when failover occurs, the BIG-IP system ignores the Failover Order setting and performs load-aware failover instead, using the HA Load Factor setting.
  8. Click Finished.
You now have a second floating traffic group on the local device (in addition to the default floating traffic group) so that once the traffic group is activated on the remote devices, devices in the device group can process traffic for different applications.

Assigning traffic-group-2 to a floating virtual IP address

This task assigns a floating traffic group to a virtual IP address on a device.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers > Virtual Address List. The Virtual Address List screen opens.
  2. In the Name column, click the virtual address that you want to assign to the traffic group. This displays the properties of that virtual address.
  3. From the Traffic Group list, select traffic-group-2 (floating).
  4. Click Update.
The device's floating virtual IP address is now a member of your second traffic group. The virtual IP address can now fail over to other devices in the device group.

Assigning traffic-group-2 to a floating self IP address

This task assigns your floating self IP address to traffic-group-2.
  1. On the Main tab, click Network > Self IPs. The Self IPs screen opens.
  2. In the Name column, click the floating self IP address assigned to VLAN internal. This displays the properties of that self IP address.
  3. From the Traffic Group list, select traffic-group-2 (floating).
  4. Click Update.
The device's floating self IP address is now a member of your second traffic group. The self IP address can now fail over to other devices in the traffic group.

Syncing the BIG-IP configuration to the device group

Before you sync the configuration, verify that the devices targeted for config sync are members of a device group and that device trust is established.
This task synchronizes the BIG-IP configuration data from the local device to the devices in the device group. This synchronization ensures that devices in the device group operate properly. When synchronizing self IP addresses, the BIG-IP system synchronizes floating self IP addresses only.
Important: You perform this task on either of the two devices, but not both.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Overview.
  2. In the Device Groups area of the screen, in the Name column, select the name of the relevant device group. The screen expands to show a summary and details of the sync status of the selected device group, as well as a list of the individual devices within the device group.
  3. In the Devices area of the screen, in the Sync Status column, select the device that shows a sync status of Changes Pending.
  4. In the Sync Options area of the screen, select Sync Device to Group.
  5. Click Sync. The BIG-IP system syncs the configuration data of the selected device in the Device area of the screen to the other members of the device group.
Except for non-floating self IP addresses, the entire set of BIG-IP configuration data is replicated on each device in the device group.

Forcing a traffic group to a standby state

Performing this task causes the selected traffic group on the local device to switch to a Standby state. By forcing the traffic group into a Standby state, the traffic group becomes active on another device in the device group. For device groups with more than two members, you can choose the specific device to which the traffic group fails over.

  1. Log in to the device on which the traffic group is currently active.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Traffic Groups.
  3. In the Name column, locate the name of the traffic group that you want to run on the peer device.
  4. Select the check box to the left of the traffic group name. If the check box is unavailable, the traffic group is not active on the device to which you are currently logged in. Perform this task on the device on which the traffic group is active.
  5. Click Force to Standby. This displays target device options.
  6. Choose one of these actions:
    • If the device group has two members only, click Force to Standby. This displays the list of traffic groups for the device group and causes the local device to appear in the Next Active Device column.
    • If the device group has more than two members, then from the Target Device list, select a value and click Force to Standby.
The selected traffic group is now in a standby state on the local device and active on another device in the device group.

Implementation result

You now have a Sync-Failover device group set up with an active-active DSC configuration. In this configuration, each device has a different active traffic group running on it. That is, the active traffic group on one device is the default traffic group (named traffic-group-1), while the active traffic group on the peer device is a traffic group that you create. Each traffic group contains the floating self IP and virtual IP addresses specific to the relevant application.

If one device goes offline, the traffic group that was active on that device becomes active on the other device in the group, and processing for both applications continues on one device.

Table of Contents   |   << Previous Chapter   |   Next Chapter >>

Was this resource helpful in solving your issue?




NOTE: Please do not provide personal information.



Incorrect answer. Please try again: Please enter the words to the right: Please enter the numbers you hear:

Additional Comments (optional)