When you initially configure the BIG-IP® system using the Setup utility and the BIG-IP Configuration utility, or tmsh, the system saves your configuration information. This information includes traffic management elements, such as virtual servers, pools, and profiles. Configuration data also consists of system and network definitions, such as interface properties, self IP addresses, VLANs, and more.
Once you have created the configuration data for the BIG-IP system, you can replicate all of this data in a separate file and then use this data later for these purposes:
By default, the system stores all archives in the /var/local/ucs directory. You can specify a different location, but if you do, the BIG-IP® Configuration utility does not display the UCS files when you view the archive list.
A user configuration set, or UCS (.ucs) file, contains the following types of BIG-IP system configuration data:
Each time you back up the configuration data, the BIG-IP system creates a new file with a .ucs extension. Each UCS file contains various configuration files needed for the BIG-IP system to operate correctly, as well as the configuration data.
When you create a new archive (or UCS file) using the Configuration utility, the BIG-IP® system automatically stores it at a default location, in the /var/local/ucs directory. You can create as many separate archives as you need, provided each archive has a unique file name. Also, you can specify that the BIG-IP system store an archive in a directory other than /var/local/ucs. In this case, however, the Configuration utility does not include the archive name in the list of archives on the Archives screen.
When you create a new archive using the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh), the BIG-IP® system automatically stores it at a default location, in the /var/local/ucs directory. You can create as many separate archives as you need, provided each archive has a unique file name. Also, you can specify that the BIG-IP system store an archive in a directory other than /var/local/ucs. In this case, however, tmsh does not include the archive name when you view a list of existing archives.
For more information about tmsh commands and options, see the man pages or the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh) Reference Guide.
After you have created an archive (UCS), you can use secure copy (SCP) to save a copy to a management workstation. This provides an extra level of protection by preserving the configuration data on a remote system. In the unlikely event that you need to restore the data and you are unable to access the archive in the BIG-IP® system directory, you still have a backup copy of the configuration data.
Once the UCS is in the /var/local/ucs directory, you can load and restore the archive data using tmsh.