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Manual Chapter: Implementing BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager on a vCMP System
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Initial vCMP setup

Virtual Clustered Multi-Processing (vCMP) is a feature of the BIG-IP system that makes it possible for you to run multiple instances of the BIG-IP software on a single hardware platform.

Using the following implementation, you can create one guest on a vCMP system, and then, within the guest, configure the basic Local Traffic Manager objects for processing HTTP application traffic: a pool, an HTTP profile, and a standard virtual server. A vCMP guest is a virtual BIG-IP device.

Task summary

Before implementing the BIG-IP LTM module within a vCMP guest, verify that you have completed the tasks from the appropriate Viprion Platform Guide. As part of the platform installation, you will have assigned an IP address that provides access to the primary cluster and then licensed the platform.

The tasks involved in implementing the BIG-IP LTM module within a vCMP guest consist of configuring the vCMP host, creating, provisioning, and deploying a guest, and finally using the BIG-IP LTM Configuration Utility to create the required TMOS and LTM objects within the guest.

Task list

Creating a vCMP guest

To create a vCMP guest, you need a VIPRION chassis system configured with a floating cluster management IP address, some base network objects such as trunks and VLANs, and you must license and provision the system to run the vCMP feature.
You create a vCMP guest when you want to configure and run one or more BIG-IP modules as though the modules were running together on their own BIG-IP device. For example, you can create a guest that runs BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager and BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager. A guest can run on one available slot or all available slots of a chassis.
Note: This procedure creates a guest in Bridged mode.
Note: When creating a guest, if you see an error message such as Insufficient disk space on /shared/vmdisks. Need 24354M additional space., you must delete existing unattached virtual disks until you have freed up that amount of disk space.
  1. Use a browser to log in to the VIPRION chassis's management IP address. This logs you in to the floating IP address for the cluster.
  2. On the Main tab, click vCMP > Guest List.
  3. Click Create.
  4. From the Properties list, select Advanced.
  5. In the Name field, type a name for the guest.
  6. In the Host Name field, type the host name of the BIG-IP system. Assign a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN). If you assign a name that is not an FQDN, the system might display an error message. If you leave this field blank, the system assigns the name localhost.localdomain.
  7. From the Number of Slots list, select either Single Slot or All Slots. This causes the guest to reside on one slot or to span all slots. Note that once you configure a guest to span all slots, you cannot change this value later to Single Slot, unless you first change the state of the guest to Configured. Also note that if you decide to reconfigure an all slot guest to a single slot guest, you cannot specify on which available single slot the guest will reside.
  8. From the Management Network list, select Bridged.
  9. For the Cluster IP Address setting, fill in the required information:
    1. In the IP Address field, type a unique management IP address that you want to assign to the guest. You use this IP address to access the guest when you want to manage a module running within the guest.
    2. In the Network Mask field, type the network mask for the cluster IP address.
    3. In the Management Route field, type a gateway address for the cluster IP address.
  10. From the Initial Image list, select an ISO image file for installing TMOS software and the BIG-IP license onto the guest's virtual disk. The license associated with the selected image provides access to the correct BIG-IP modules.
  11. In the Virtual Disk list, retain the default value of None. The BIG-IP system creates a virtual disk with a default name (the guest name plus the string .img, such as guestA.img). Note that if an unattached virtual disk file with that default name already exists, the system displays a message, and you must manually attach the virtual disk. You can do this using the tmsh command line interface, or use the Configuration utility to view and select from a list of available unattached virtual disks.
  12. For the VLAN List setting, select both an internal and an external VLAN name from the Available list, and use the Move button to move the VLAN names to the Selected list.
  13. From the Requested State list, select Provisioned. This allocates all necessary resources to the guest, such as CPU cores, virtual disk, and so on.
  14. Click Finish.
After clicking Finished, wait while the system installs the selected ISO image onto the guest's virtual disk. When this process is complete, you can deploy the guest.
Note: You can also skip the Provisioned state and instead go straight to the Deployed state if you are confident of your guest configuration. Provisioning first and then deploying makes it more straightforward to make changes to the slots to which your guests are allocated if you find you need to make changes.

Setting a vCMP guest to the Deployed state

Until you deploy a vCMP guest, your vCMP VIPRION has no medium for provisioning and running the BIG-IP modules that you can use to process traffic.
  1. Ensure that you are still logged in to the vCMP host using the BIG-IP system's cluster IP address.
  2. On the Main tab, click vCMP > Guest List.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the vCMP guest that you want to deploy.
  4. From the Requested State list, select either Provisioned or Deployed.
  5. Click Update.
After moving a vCMP guest to the Deployed state, wait while the guest boots and becomes accessible. Then, you can log into the vCMP guest to provision specific BIG-IP modules.

Provisioning a BIG-IP module within a guest

Before you can access a guest to provision BIG-IP modules, the vCMP guest must be in the Deployed state.
You determine which BIG-IP modules run within a guest by provisioning the modules. For example, if you want guestA to run LTM and GTM, log into guestA and provision it with LTM and GTM. If you want guestB to run LTM and ASM, log into guestB and provision it with BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP ASM. Bear in mind that guests inherit the licenses of the vCMP host on which they were created, so any BIG-IP modules that you want to provision on a guest must be included in the license you installed with the vCMP host.
Note: This procedure applies to guests in Bridged mode only. Guests in isolated mode can be accessed only using vconsole and tmsh.
  1. Use a browser and the management IP address that you configured for the guest to log in to the guest. If the system prompts you to run the Setup Utility, do not. Instead, complete this task to produce an initial configuration better suited for a vCMP guest. The BIG-IP Configuration utility opens so that you can configure the guest.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Resource Provisioning.
  3. In the Resource Provisioning (Licensed Modules) area, from the Local Traffic (LTM) list, select Minimal, Nominal, or Dedicated, depending on your needs.
  4. Click Update.
After provisioning the module from within the guest, create self IP addresses and assign a vCMP host VLAN to each one. The vCMP host VLANs that you assign to these self IP addresses are the VLANs you created before creating the guest.

Creating a custom HTTP profile

Before configuring Local Traffic Manager (LTM), verify that the guest is in the Deployed state.
An HTTP profile defines the way that you want the BIG-IP system to manage HTTP traffic.
Note: With other HTTP profile types (HTTP Compression and Web Acceleration), you can configure compression and cache settings, as required. Use of these profile types is optional.
  1. Use a browser and the management IP address that you configured for the guest to log in to the guest. The BIG-IP Configuration utility opens so that you can configure the guest.
  2. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > Services > HTTP. The HTTP profile list screen opens.
  3. Click Create. The New HTTP Profile screen opens.
  4. In the Name field, type a name for the profile.
  5. From the Parent Profile list, retain the default value, http.
  6. Select the Custom check box. The fields in the Settings area become available for revision.
  7. Modify or retain the settings to suit your needs.
  8. Click Finished.
The custom HTTP profile appears in the list of HTTP profiles.

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 to manage HTTP traffic

You can create a virtual server to manage HTTP traffic as either a host virtual server or a network 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. 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. 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.
The HTTP virtual server appears in the list of existing virtual servers on the Virtual Server List screen.

Viewing host properties for slots

You must have created at least one vCMP guest on the system to view host properties.

Use the BIG-IP Configuration utility to view the host properties for all slots on the system or for a single slot. The host properties that you can view are:

  • The state of each guest
  • The slot numbers on which each guest runs
  • The number of CPU cores allocated to each guest
  1. Use a browser to log in to the VIPRION chassis's management IP address. This logs you in to the floating IP address for the cluster.
  2. On the Main tab, click vCMP > Host Properties.
  3. View host properties for all slots, or in the upper right corner of the screen, from the View list, select a slot number.
The screen displays the host properties for the chosen slots.
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