Many computing environments want to use a BIG-IP system to intelligently manage their HTTP traffic. You can easily control your HTTP traffic by implementing a BIG-IP system feature known as an HTTP profile. An HTTP profile is a group of settings that affect the behavior of HTTP traffic. An HTTP profile defines the way that you want the BIG-IP system to manage HTTP traffic.
You can use the default HTTP profile, with all of its default values, or you can create a custom HTTP profile. When you create a custom HTTP profile, you not only modify the setting values, but you can enable more advanced features such as data compression of server responses.
When you configure the BIG-IP system to manage HTTP traffic, you can also implement simple session persistence, also known as source address affinity persistence. Source address affinity persistence directs session requests to the same server based solely on the source IP address of a packet. To implement source address affinity persistence, the BIG-IP system offers a default persistence profile that you can implement. Just as for HTTP, you can use the default profile, or you can create a custom simple persistence profile.
The remainder of this chapter describes how to set up a basic HTTP load balancing scenario and source address affinity persistence, using the default HTTP and persistence profiles. For detailed information on managing HTTP traffic and setting up source address affinity persistence, see the Configuration Guide for Local Traffic Management.
To set up basic HTTP load balancing with persistence that is based on source IP addresses, you need to create a load balancing pool, and then create a virtual server to process the HTTP traffic and send it to the pool. Because this solution configures HTTP load balancing and session persistence using the default HTTP and source address affinity profiles, you do not need to specifically configure these profiles. Instead, you simply configure some settings on the virtual server when you create it.
The first task in a basic configuration is to create a load balancing pool to load balance HTTP connections. Use the Configuration utility to create this pool. For more detailed information about configuring a pool, see the Configuration Guide for Local Traffic Management.
The next task in a basic configuration is to define a virtual server that references the HTTP pool. You use the Configuration utility to create the virtual server. For more information about configuring a virtual server, see the Configuration Guide for Local Traffic Management.