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Manual Chapter: About Folders
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About folders on the BIG-IP system

A folder is a container for BIG-IP configuration objects and files on a BIG-IP device. Virtual servers, pools, and self IP addresses are examples of objects that reside in folders on the system.

In the context of the BIG-IP system, a folder is a container for BIG-IP system objects. Folders resemble standard UNIX directories, in that the system includes a hierarchy of folders and includes a root folder (represented by the / symbol) that is the parent for all other folders on the system.

You can create sub-folders within a high-level folder. For example, if you have a high-level folder (partition) within the root folder named Customer1, you can create a sub-folder, such as App_B, within Customer1.

A folder can contain other folders.

One of the important ways that you can use folders is to set up full or granular synchronization and failover of BIG-IP configuration data in a device group. You can synchronize and fail over all configuration data on a BIG-IP device, or you can synchronize and fail over objects within a specific folder only.

You manage BIG-IP folders and sub-folders using the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh) command line interface.

About folder /Common

During BIG-IP system installation, the system automatically creates a folder named /Common. At a minimum, this folder contains all of the BIG-IP objects that the system creates as part of the installation process.

Until you create other folders on the system, all objects that you or other users create automatically reside in folder /Common.

Relationship of folders to partitions

For each partition on the BIG-IP system, there is an equivalent high-level folder. For example, for partition Common, there is a corresponding high-level folder named /Common. This close association of administrative partitions to folders means that when you use the BIG-IP Configuration utility to create objects on a BIG-IP device, the system puts those objects in the current partition, in a folder that you choose. Examples of BIG-IP objects that reside in folders are virtual servers, pools, and self IP addresses.

If you create another administrative partition, such as partition App_A, the BIG-IP system automatically creates a high-level folder named /App_A. You can then create BIG-IP configuration objects that pertain to application A by changing the current partition to App_A and then either creating the objects in folder /App_A, or creating a sub-folder within /App_A and then navigating to that sub-folder.

Note that you cannot delete high-level folders that directly correspond to administrative partitions. For example, if the BIG-IP system has a partition named App_A, you cannot delete the corresponding folder /App_A.

Folder and object naming

The folder in which an object resides automatically becomes part of the object name. For example, if you create a pool in partition Common, in folder /Common, and then name the pool my_pool, the full name of the pool on the system is /Common/my_pool. If you create the pool in partition App_A, in folder /App_A, then the full name of the pool is /App_A/my_pool.

Object referencing between folders

When you create two BIG-IP objects in separate folders, where one object references the other, the referenced object must reside in /Common or a sub-folder of /Common.

For example, if you create a virtual server in folder /App_B, and the virtual server references a load balancing pool, the pool object must reside in folder /Common or in a sub-folder of /Common.

Folder attributes

To satisfy redundancy requirements, every folder on a BIG-IP device has two specific redundancy attributes that enable granular synchronization and failover of BIG-IP data within a device group:

  • A device group attribute (for configuration synchronization)
  • A traffic group attribute (for failover)

If the folder was created through an iApps application service, then the relevant iApps service is also an attribute of the folder.

About the root folder

At the highest-level, the BIG-IP system includes a root folder. The root folder contains all BIG-IP configuration objects on the system, by way of a hierarchical folder and sub-folder structure within it.

By default, the BIG-IP system assigns a Sync-Failover device group and a traffic group to the root folder. All folders and sub-folders under the root folder inherit these default assignments.

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