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Manual Chapter: Web Hosting Multiple Customers Using an External Switch
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Web hosting multiple customers using an external switch

You can use the BIG-IP system to provide hosting services, including application delivery, for multiple customers.

To host multiple web customers, you can incorporate an external switch into the configurations. In this illustration, the BIG-IP system has an interface (5.1) assigned to three VLANs on a network. The three VLANs are vlanA, vlanB, and vlanB. Interface 5.1 processes traffic for all three VLANs. Note that each VLAN contains two servers, and serves a specific customer.

Tip: An alternate way to implement web hosting for multiple customers is to use the route domains feature.

Illustration for hosting multiple customers using an external switch

Task summary for hosting multiple customers

Perform these tasks to host multiple customers using an external switch.

Task list

Creating a VLAN with a tagged interface

When you create a VLAN with tagged interfaces, each of the specified interfaces can process traffic destined for that VLAN.
  1. On the Main tab, click Network > VLANs. The VLAN List screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New VLAN screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the VLAN. Names can contain only letters, numbers, and the underscore character.
  4. In the Tag field, type a numeric tag, from 1 to 4094, for the VLAN. Leave the field blank if you want the BIG-IP system to automatically assign a VLAN tag. The VLAN tag identifies the traffic from hosts in the associated VLAN.
  5. For the Interfaces setting, click an interface number or trunk name in the Available list, and use the Move button to add the selected interface or trunk to the Tagged list. Repeat this step as necessary. You can use the same interface for other VLANs later, as long as you always assign the interface as a tagged interface.
  6. Select the Source Check check box if you want the system to verify that the return route to an initial packet is the same VLAN from which the packet originated.
  7. In the MTU field, retain the default number of bytes (1500).
  8. If you want to base redundant-system failover on VLAN-related events, check the Fail-safe box.
  9. Click Finished. The screen refreshes, and displays the new VLAN in the list.
The new VLAN appears in the VLAN list.

Creating a load balancing pool

You can a create load balancing pool (a logical set of devices, such as web servers, that you group together to receive and process traffic) to efficiently distribute the load on your server resources.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Pools. The Pool List screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the pool.
  4. For the Health Monitors setting, in the Available list, select a monitor type, and click << to move the monitor to the Active list.
    Tip: Hold the Shift or Ctrl key to select more than one monitor at a time.
  5. From the Load Balancing Method list, select how the system distributes traffic to members of this pool. The default is Round Robin.
  6. For the Priority Group Activation setting, select the way to handle priority groups:
    • Retain the default option, Disabled to disable priority groups.
    • Select Less than, and type the minimum number of members in the Available Members field that must remain available in each priority group in order for traffic to remain confined to that group.
  7. Using the New Members setting, add each resource that you want to include in the pool:
    1. Either type an IP address in the Address field, or select a node address from the Node List.
    2. Type a port number in the Service Port field, or select a service name from the list.
    3. To specify a priority group, type a priority number in the Priority field.
    4. Click Add.
  8. Click Finished.
The load balancing pool appears in the Pools list.

Creating a virtual server for HTTP traffic

This task creates a destination IP address for application traffic. As part of this task, you must assign the relevant pool to the virtual server.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers. The Virtual Server List screen displays a list of existing virtual servers.
  2. Click the Create button. The New Virtual Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the virtual server.
  4. For the Destination setting, in the Address field, type the IP address you want to use for the virtual server. The IP address you type must be available and not in the loopback network.
  5. In the Service Port field, type 80, or select HTTP from the list.
  6. From the HTTP Profile list, select http.
  7. In the Resources area of the screen, from the Default Pool list, select a pool name.
  8. Click Finished.
You now have a virtual server to use as a destination address for application traffic.
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