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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP version 9.2 - Solutions Guide for BIG-IP Traffic Management Systems: Installing a BIG-IP System without Changing the IP Network
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4

Installing a BIG-IP System without Changing the IP Network


Installing a BIG-IP system without changing IP networks

A combination of several features of the BIG-IP system allows you to place a BIG-IP system in a network without changing the existing IP network.

Figure 4.1 shows the data center topology before you add the BIG-IP system. The data center has one LAN, with one IP network, 10.0.0.0. The data center has one router to the Internet, two web servers, and a back-end mail server.

Figure 4.1 Existing data center network structure

The existing data center structure does not support load balancing or high availability. Figure 4.2 is an example of the data center topology after you add the BIG-IP system.

Figure 4.2 New structure after adding the BIG-IP system

Both the internal and external interfaces of the BIG-IP system are on the same IP network, 10.0.0.0, but they are effectively on different LANs.

Note that a second switch has been introduced in Figure 4.2 . This switch would be eliminated in a configuration using a BIG-IP system.

Configuring the BIG-IP system for the same IP network

To configure the BIG-IP system for this solution, you must create a VLAN group, a pool of web servers, and a virtual server: More specifically, you must:

  • Remove the self IP addresses from the individual VLANs
    Routing is handled by the self IP address you create for the VLAN group.
  • Create a VLAN group
    Create a VLAN group that includes the internal and external VLANs. This enables layer 2 forwarding. (Layer 2 forwarding causes the two VLANs to behave as a single network.)
  • Create a self IP for the VLAN group
    The self IP for the VLAN group provides a route for packets destined for the network.
  • Create a pool of web servers
    Create a pool that contains the web servers that you want to load balance.
  • Create a virtual server
    Create a virtual server that load balances the web servers.
Note

This example assumes that you are using the default internal and external VLAN configuration with self IP addresses on each of the VLANs that are on the same IP network on which you are installing the BIG-IP system.
Important

The default route on each content server should be set to the IP address of the router. In this example, you set the default route to 10.0.0.2.

Removing the self IP addresses from the individual VLANs

Remove the self IP addresses from the individual VLANs. After you create the VLAN group, you will create another self IP address for the VLAN group for routing purposes. The individual VLANs no longer need their own self IP addresses.

Warning

We recommend that you perform this step from the console or from a self IP address you are not going to delete. If you are connected from a remote workstation though a self IP address you are going to delete, you will be disconnected when you delete it.

To remove the self IP addresses from the default VLANs

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network, and click Self IPs.
    The Self IPs screen opens.
  2. Using the IP Address and VLANs columns, locate the self IP addresses for the Internal and External VLANs.
  3. To the left of each self IP address you want to delete, check the Select box.
  4. Click Delete.
    A confirmation screen appears.
  5. Click Delete again.

Creating a VLAN group

Create a VLAN group that includes the internal and external VLANs. Packets received by a VLAN in the VLAN group are copied onto the other VLAN in the group. This allows traffic to pass through the BIG-IP system on the same IP network.

To create a VLAN group

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network, and click VLANs.
    The VLANs screen opens.
  2. From the VLAN Groups menu, choose List.
    This opens the VLAN Groups screen.
  3. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
    This opens the New VLAN Group screen.
  4. In the Name box, type the name myvlangroup.
  5. For the VLANs setting, from the Available box select the internal and external VLAN names, and click the Move button (<<) to move the VLAN names to the Members box.
  6. Click Finished.

Creating a self IP address for the VLAN group

The self IP address for the VLAN group provides a route for packets destined for the network. With the BIG-IP system, the path to an IP network is a VLAN. However, with the VLAN group feature used in this example, the path to the IP network 10.0.0.0 is actually through more than one VLAN. Since IP routers are designed to have only one physical route to a network, a routing conflict can occur. The self IP address feature on the BIG-IP system allows you to resolve the routing conflict by putting a self IP address on the VLAN group.

To create a self IP address for a VLAN group

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Network, and click Self IPs.
    The Self IPs screen opens.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
  3. In the IP Address box, type a self IP address for the VLAN group.
    In the example shown in Figure 4.2 , this IP address is 10.0.0.6.
  4. In the Netmask box, type a netmask for the self IP address.
  5. For the VLAN setting, select the name myvlangroup from the list.
  6. Click Finished.

Creating a pool of web servers

After you create the network environment for the BIG-IP system, you can create the pool of web servers you want to load balance.

To create a pool

  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Pools.
    The Pools screen opens.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
    The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the Name box, type a name for the pool, such as myweb_pool.
  4. In the Resources area of the screen, use the New Members setting to add the pool members.
    In our example, pool members are 10.0.0.3:80 and 10.0.0.4:80.
  5. Click Finished.

Creating a virtual server

After you create the pool of web servers you want to load balance, you can create the virtual server.

To create a virtual server

  1. On the Main tab, of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Virtual Servers.
    The Virtual Servers screen opens.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
    The New Virtual Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name box, type a name for the virtual server, such as vs_myweb.
  4. In the Destination box, verify that the type of virtual server is Host, and in the Address box, type an IP address.
    Continuing with our example, this address would be 10.0.0.5.
  5. From the Service Port list, select *All Ports.
  6. In the Resources area of the screen, locate the Default Pool setting and select the name of the pool you created using the previous procedure.
    In our example, this pool name is myweb_pool.
  7. Click Finished.



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