When you configure system fail-safe, the BIG-IP® system monitors various hardware components, as well as the heartbeat of various system services, and can take action if the system detects a heartbeat failure.
You can configure the BIG-IP system to monitor the switch board component and then take some action if the BIG-IP system detects a failure. Using the BIG-IP Configuration utility, you can specify the action that you want the BIG-IP system to take when the component fails. The BIG-IP system can perform these actions:
One type of network failure detection is known as gateway fail-safe, which applies to redundant system configurations only. Gateway fail-safe monitors traffic between an active BIG-IP® system in a device group and a pool containing a gateway router. You configure the gateway fail-safe feature if you want the BIG-IP system to take an action, such as fail over, when some number of gateway routers in a pool of routers becomes unreachable.
You can configure gateway fail-safe using the BIG-IP Configuration utility. Configuring gateway fail-safe means designating a pool of routers as a gateway fail-safe pool. When you designate a pool as a gateway fail-safe pool, you provide this information:
After you configure gateway fail-safe, by specifying an action of Failover, the named BIG-IP device (and only that device) fails over to another device group member whenever the number of available pool members falls below the specified threshold. Although all device group members share their pool configurations, each device ignores any gateway fail-safe configuration that does not specify itself as the device associated with the specified gateway pool.
For maximum reliability, the BIG-IP® system supports failure detection on all VLANs. When you configure the fail-safe option for a VLAN, the BIG-IP system monitors network traffic going through that VLAN. If the BIG-IP system detects a loss of traffic on the VLAN and the fail-safe timeout period has elapsed, the BIG-IP system attempts to generate traffic by issuing ARP requests to nodes accessible through the VLAN. The BIG-IP system also generates an ARP request for the default route, if the default router is accessible from the VLAN. Failover is averted if the BIG-IP system is able to send and receive any traffic on the VLAN, including a response to its ARP request.
For a redundant system configuration, if the BIG-IP system does not receive traffic on the VLAN before the timeout period expires, the system can initiate failover to another device group member, reboot, or restart all system services. For a single device configuration, the system can either reboot or restart all system services. The default action for both configurations is Reboot.
Each interface card installed on the BIG-IP system is typically mapped to one or more different VLANs. Thus, when you set the fail-safe option on a particular VLAN, you need to know the interface to which the VLAN is mapped. You can use the BIG-IP Configuration utility to view VLAN names and their associated interfaces.