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Manual Chapter: Managing Client-side HTTPS Traffic using a CA-signed Certificate
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Managing client-side HTTPS traffic using a CA-signed certificate

When you want to manage HTTP traffic over SSL, you can configure the BIG-IP system to perform the SSL handshake that target web servers normally perform.

A common way to configure the BIG-IP system is to enable client-side SSL, which makes it possible for the system to decrypt client requests before sending them on to a server, and encrypt server responses before sending them back to the client. In this case, you need to install only one SSL key/certificate pair on the BIG-IP system.

This implementation uses a certificate signed by a certificate authority (CA) to authenticate HTTPS traffic.

Task summary

To implement client-side authentication using HTTP and SSL with a certificate signed by a certificate authority, you perform a few basic configuration tasks.

Task list

Requesting a certificate from a certificate authority

You can generate a certificate and copy it or submit it to a trusted certificate authority for signature.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > SSL Certificate List. The SSL Certificate List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Name the SSL certificate with a unique name.
  4. In the Issuer list, select Certificate Authority.
  5. In the Common Name field, type a name.
  6. Configure any additional Certificate Properties settings, as necessary.
  7. For Key Properties, in the Size list, select a size in bits.
  8. Click Finished.
  9. Do one of the following to download the request into a file on your system.
    • In the Request Text field, copy the certificate.
    • For Request File, click the button.
  10. Follow the instructions on the web site for either pasting the copied request or attaching the generated request file.
  11. Click Finished.
The generated certificate is submitted to a trusted certificate authority for signature.

Creating a custom HTTP service profile

An HTTP profile defines the way that you want the BIG-IPsystem to manage HTTP traffic.
Note: Other HTTP profile types (HTTP Compression and Web Acceleration) enable you to configure compression and cache settings, as required. Use of these profile types is optional.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > Services > HTTP. The HTTP profile list screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New HTTP Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the profile.
  4. From the Parent Profile list, select http.
  5. Select the Custom check box. The fields in the Settings area become available for revision.
  6. Modify the settings, as required.
  7. Click Finished.
The custom HTTP profile now appears in the HTTP profile list screen.

Creating a custom Client SSL profile

A Client SSL profile makes it possible for the BIG-IP system to perform decryption and encryption for client-side SSL traffic.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > SSL > Client. The Client profile list screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Client SSL Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the profile.
  4. Select clientssl in the Parent Profile list.
  5. From the Configuration list, select Advanced. This selection makes it possible for you to modify additional default settings.
  6. Select the Custom check box for Configuration. The settings in the Configuration area become available for configuring.
  7. Select the Custom check box for Client Authentication. The settings in the Client Authentication area become available for configuring.
  8. Modify the settings, as required.
  9. From the Configuration list, select Advanced. This selection makes it possible for you to modify additional default settings.
  10. Click Finished.

Creating a pool to manage HTTP traffic

You can create a pool to manage HTTP connections.
  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, from the Available list, select the http monitor, and click << to move the monitor to the Active list.
  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, specify how to handle priority groups:
    • Select Disabled to disable priority groups. This is the default option.
    • Select Less than, and in the Available Members field, type the minimum number of members 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. Type an IP address in the Address field, or select a node address from the Node List.
    2. Type 80 in the Service Port field, or select HTTP from the list.
    3. (Optional) Type a priority number in the Priority field.
    4. Click Add.
  8. Click Finished.
The new pool appears in the Pools list.

Creating a virtual server for client-side HTTPS traffic

You can specify a virtual server to be either a host virtual server or a network virtual server to manage HTTPS traffic.
  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. Specify the Destination setting, using 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. Type 443 in the Service Port field, or select HTTPS from the list.
  6. From the HTTP Profile list, select the HTTP profile that you previously created.
  7. For the SSL Profile (Client) setting, from the Available list, select the name of the Client SSL profile you previously created, and using the Move button, move the name to the Selected list.
  8. Click Finished.
The HTTPS virtual server appears in the Virtual Server List screen.

Implementation results

After you complete the tasks in this implementation, the BIG-IP system can authenticate and decrypt HTTPS traffic coming from a client system. The BIG-IP system can also re-encrypt server responses before sending them back to the client.

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