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Manual Chapter: Auto Scaling Application Servers in AWS
Manual Chapter
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Task List: Auto Scaling application servers in AWS

These tasks are required for BIG-IP® VE to discover application server (pool member) instances created by the AWS Auto Scaling service.

Step Task Description
1 In BIG-IP VE, define attributes for future pool members BIG-IP VE needs to know how new pool members should be configured. Use an iApp for this information.
2 In BIG-IP VE, set up pool member discovery BIG-IP VE will poll AWS every 10 minutes and update the pool with the latest pool members. You can change this interval.
3 In AWS, create an image (AMI) of the application server instance you want to scale You will specify the image when you create the AWS launch configuration.
4 In AWS, create the launch configuration, Auto Scaling group, and CloudWatch alarms The name you entered in the BIG-IP VE iApp for the pool member Auto Scaling group must be the name of the pool member Auto Scaling group in AWS. Each time a new application server instance is created, it is added to the BIG-IP pool.

Define future pool member attributes

You must specify the properties that BIG-IP® VE should use when creating new pool members.
  1. Log in to the BIG-IP Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click iApps > AWS .
  3. On the Application Service List screen, click Create.
  4. In the Name field, type a name for the Auto Scaling template that will be used to configure new instances.
  5. From the Template list, select the template f5-iAppLX-aws-autoscale and click Next.
  6. In the Pool Name field, type the name of the pool you created in BIG-IP VE.
  7. In the AWS AutoScale Group Name field, type the name of the Auto Scaling group. You will use this name in AWS when you create the Auto Scaling group.
    Important: If you have other Auto Scaling groups in AWS, ensure that this name is not a duplicate of one that already exists.
  8. In the Port Number field, type the port number, based on the type of application this pool member serves.
  9. Configure remaining settings as needed.
  10. At the bottom of the screen, click Deploy to save your changes.

Set up pool member discovery

Communication must be set up so that BIG-IP® VE can discover application server (pool member) instances created by the AWS Auto Scaling service.
  1. Use SSH to log in to the BIG-IP VE as admin.
    Ensure you are at the tmsh prompt, not the bash prompt.
  2. Load a script that BIG-IP VE uses to poll AWS periodically for the list of active pool members.
    load sys config merge file /usr/share/aws/autoscale/aws-autoscale-icall-config
  3. Save the changes.
    save /sys config
Polling happens every 10 minutes (600 seconds). To change the interval, run this case-sensitive tmsh command: modify sys icall handler periodic autoscaleHandler interval <number_of_seconds>
Now create an image (AMI) of the application server so you can use it for Auto Scaling.

Create a launch configuration for pool members

Before you can create a launch configuration for a pool member, you must have an Amazon machine image (AMI) of the pool member you want to use for Auto Scaling.
A launch configuration is a template that determines how new virtual instances will be launched.
Note: Launch configurations cannot be revised after they are created.
  1. In the AWS Management Console, from the Services menu at the top of the screen, select EC2.
  2. In the Navigation pane, under AUTO SCALING, select Launch Configurations.
  3. From the My AMIs list, select the pool member image.
  4. Specify settings appropriate for your use.
    Setting Details
    Enable CloudWatch detailed monitoring Select this option.
    Advanced Details > IP Address Type > Assign a public IP address to every instance Select this option to assist with troubleshooting.
    Configure Security Group Select an existing group that is associated with the VPC. If you create a new security group, Auto Scaling will fail.
  5. Click Create launch configuration.

Create an Auto Scaling group for pool members

Auto Scaling groups are a logical grouping of auto scaled instances. In order for AWS to automatically create application servers, you must create an Auto Scaling group with CloudWatch alarms that trigger Auto Scaling.
  1. In the AWS Management Console, from the Services menu at the top of the screen, select EC2.
  2. In the Navigation pane, under AUTO SCALING, select Auto Scaling groups and Create Auto Scaling group.
  3. Specify settings appropriate for your use.
    Setting Details
    Group name Type the autoscale-group name you specified when you defined the Auto Scaling resources in the iApp.
    Network and Subnet Select the virtual private cloud (VPC) and its subnet (10.0.0.0/24).
    Receive traffic from Elastic Load Balancer(s) Clear this check box. Traffic to the pool members is coming from BIG-IP VE, not the AWS ELB.
    Use scaling policies to adjust the capacity of this group Select this option, enter the minimum and maximum number of instances, and create alarms that will trigger Auto Scaling.
  4. When done, click Create Auto Scaling group.
New instances will be created and removed based on the alarms you created. When new instances start, BIG-IP VE will add them to the pool. When instances terminate, they will no longer be active in the pool.
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