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Manual Chapter: Configuration Data Management
Manual Chapter
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Configuration Data Management

About BIG-IP system configuration data

When you perform configuration tasks on the BIG-IP® system, it generates underlying configuration data. The system stores this data so that the data is not lost when an unexpected system event occurs or when you restart the system. Before the system can store this data, however, the data must be saved.

The BIG-IP system configuration data exists in these states:

  • The stored configuration comprises all of the configuration tasks that you have performed on the system and saved to the system configuration files.
  • The running configuration comprises the stored configuration and all of the changes that you have made to the system since the last save operation. The BIG-IP system operates based on the running configuration.
Note: This information applies only to tmsh users. When you use the Configuration utility, it manages and automatically saves all configuration data for you as you complete each configuration task; you do not need to perform any additional steps to save configuration data.

About managing system configuration data using tmsh

When you use the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh) to configure the system, you must explicitly issue a save command to store the configuration data that you have generated. Otherwise, the newly-generated configuration data is not actually stored on the system. For more information about tmsh, see the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh) Reference Guide.

About the single configuration file (SCF)

A single configuration file (SCF) is a text file that contains the configuration of a BIG-IP® system. You can use this file to easily replicate the configuration across multiple BIG-IP systems. This not only saves you time, but also enables you to create a consistent, secure, comprehensive local traffic management environment on your network.

This sample shows some of the information contained in an SCF file:

vlan external {
    tag 4093
    interfaces 1.3
}
vlan internal {
    tag 4094
    interfaces 1.10
}
pool dev_https3 {
    members {
        10.60.10.105:https{}
        10.60.10.106:https{}
    }
}

Creating and saving an SCF

You can use tmsh to create and save a single configuration file (SCF).
Note: If you create an SCF file twice (on two different occasions), you can compare the contents of the two files.
  1. Open the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh).
    tmsh
  2. Create and save an SCF.
    save sys config file [filename]
    Note: If you include the .scf extension in the file name, the system does not add an additional file extension.
    The system gathers all of the commands that make up the running configuration, and then saves the configuration to a .scf file with the name you specify. By default, the system stores this file in the /var/local/scf directory, but you can specify a different path if you prefer.

Loading an SCF onto a target BIG-IP system

You can use tmsh to load a single configuration file (SCF) on one BIG-IP® system that you created on another BIG-IP system (hereafter referred to as the target BIG-IP system). This saves you from having to recreate the configuration multiple times. Loading an SCF resets the running configuration with the values contained in the stored configuration.

Important: If you run a load command or restart the system before you save your changes to the stored configuration, you will lose any changes.
Note: To successfully load a configuration that you have replicated, make sure that no line of the configuration is longer than 4096 characters. If there are more than 4096 characters in a single line, the system reverts to the previous running configuration.
  1. Open the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh).
    tmsh
  2. On the target BIG-IP system, load the saved SCF file.
    tmsh load sys config file [filename]
    The system saves the stored configuration to a backup file named /var/local/scf/backup.scf, and then uses the configuration stored in the SCF that you are loading.
  3. Use a text editor to open the SCF and edit any data that is unique to the target BIG-IP system, such as the management IP address.
  4. Save the SCF to the target BIG-IP system.
    sys save config file [filename]
    If a backup SCF already exists, the system appends a number to the name of the existing backup file, and then creates a new backup file. In the case of multiple load and save operations:
    • The first time the system backs up the running configuration during a load operation, the system names the backup file /var/local/scf/backup.scf.
    • The next time the system backs up the running configuration, the system renames the file from /var/local/scf/backup.scf to /var/local/scf/backup-1.scf and creates a new file named /var/local/scf/backup.scf.
    • If you run the load command a third time, the system renames the file from /var/local/scf/backup-1.scf to /var/local/scf/backup-2.scf, renames the /var/local/scf/backup.scf file to /var/local/scf/backup-1.scf, and again creates a new file named /var/local/scf/backup.scf.

Using an SCF to restore a BIG-IP system configuration

You can use tmsh to restore a BIG-IP® system configuration using either a specific single configuration file (SCF) or the factory default configuration.
  1. Open the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh).
    tmsh
  2. Restore the system configuration using one of these options:
    • Restore a system to the factory default configuration by using tmsh load sys config default. This command retains the management IP and the assigned root and administrator passwords. When you use this command, the system first saves the running configuration in the backup.scf file, and then resets the local traffic management and the operating system configuration to the factory default settings by loading the factory default SCF (/defaults/defaults.scf).
    • Restore a system with values defined in the specified SCF by using tmsh load sys config file [filename]. When you use this command, the system first saves the running configuration in the backup.scf file, and then resets the running configuration to the values contained in the specified SCF.
      Note: You must run the save sys config partitions all command to save the running configuration in the stored configuration files.

tmsh commands for single configuration files (SCFs)

You use tmsh to manage a single configuration file (SCF). This table lists an overview of tmsh commands used to manage SCF files.

tmsh command Description
save sys config file [filename] Saves a copy of the currently running configuration to an SCF.
Important: Saving a configuration to an SCF does not affect the running or stored configuration of the BIG-IP® system on which you run the command.
load sys config file [filename] Replaces or restores an SCF with a saved configuration. When you use this command, the system saves any previously running configuration to the /var/local/scf/ directory, by default.
load sys config default Restores the factory default settings of the configuration file, while retaining the management IP address and the administrator user name and password.
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