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Manual Chapter: Understanding Devices
Manual Chapter
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What is a device?

A device is a physical or virtual BIG-IP® system. Each device member has a set of unique identification properties that the BIG-IP system generates. In addition to these properties, each BIG-IP device has synchronization and failover connectivity information (IP addresses) that you define. Devices that are members of the trust domain exchange their property and connectivity information through a process known as device discovery.
Note: To configure IP connectivity (that is, config sync, failover, and mirroring IP addresses) on a device, you must log in locally to that device.

IP addresses for config sync, failover, and mirroring

Each trust domain member contains device connectivity information, that is, the IP addresses that you define on a device for configuration synchronization (config sync), failover, and connection mirroring.
Note: You specify a config sync address, as well as failover and mirroring addresses, for the local device only. You do not need to specify the addresses of peer devices because devices in a device group exchange their addresses automatically during device discovery.

Config sync IP address

This is the IP address that you want the BIG-IP® system to use when synchronizing configuration objects to the local device.

By default, the system uses the self IP address of VLAN internal. This is the recommended IP address to use for config sync. You can, however, use a different self IP address for config sync.

Important: A self IP address is the only type of BIG-IP system address that encrypts the data during synchronization. For this reason, you cannot use a management IP address for config sync.

Failover IP addresses

These are the IP addresses that you want the BIG-IP system to use when another device in the device group fails over to the local device. You can specify two types of addresses: unicast and multicast.

For appliance platforms, specifying two unicast addresses should suffice. For VIPRION® platforms, you should also retain the default multicast address that the BIG-IP system provides.

The recommended unicast addresses for failover are:

  • The self IP address that you configured for either VLAN HA or VLAN internal. If you created VLAN HA when you initially ran the Setup utility on the local device, F5 recommends that you use the self IP address for that VLAN. Otherwise, use the self IP address for VLAN internal.
  • The IP address for the local management port.

Mirroring IP addresses

These are the IP addresses that you want the BIG-IP system to use for connection mirroring. You specify both a primary addresses, as well as a secondary address for the system to use if the primary address is unavailable. If you configured VLAN HA, the system uses the associated self IP address as the default address for mirroring. If you did not configure VLAN HA, the system uses the self IP address of VLAN internal.
Note: On a VIPRION® system, you can mirror connections between blades within the cluster (intra-cluster mirroring) or between the clusters in a redundant system configuration (inter-cluster mirroring).

Specifying an IP address for config sync

You can specify the IP address that you want the BIG-IP® system to use when synchronizing configuration objects to the local device.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the device you want to configure.
  3. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose ConfigSync.
  4. For the Local Address setting, retain the displayed IP address or select another address from the list. F5 Networks recommends that you use the default value, which is the self IP address for VLAN internal. This address must be a self IP address and not a management IP address.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Specifying IP addresses for failover

When configuring failover IP addresses, you specify local IP addresses that you want devices in the device group to use for failover communications with the local device.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the device you want to configure.
  3. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose Failover.
  4. For the Failover Unicast Configuration settings, retain the displayed IP addresses. You can also click Add to specify additional IP addresses that the system can use for failover communications.
  5. If the BIG-IP system is running on a VIPRION® platform, then for the Use Failover Multicast Address setting, click Enable.
  6. Click Save Changes.

Specifying IP addresses for connection mirroring

You can configure connection mirroring between any two devices to ensure that in-process connections are not dropped when failover occurs. When configuring IP addresses for connection mirroring, you specify the local IP addresses that you want another device in the device group to use for mirroring connections with the local device. You can mirror connections between a maximum of two devices in a device group.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the device you want to configure.
  3. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose Mirroring.
  4. For the Primary Local Mirror Address setting, retain the displayed IP address or select another address from the list. The default IP address is the self IP address for either VLAN HA or VLAN internal.
  5. For the Secondary Local Mirror Address setting, retain the default value of None, or select an address from the list. This setting is optional. The system uses the selected IP address in the event that the primary mirroring address becomes unavailable.
  6. Click Save Changes.

About device properties

Device properties

The following table lists and describes the properties of a device.

Property Description
Device name The name of the device, such as siterequest.
Host name The host name of the device, such as www.siterequest.com
Device address The IP address for the management port.
Serial number The serial number of the device.
Platform MAC address The MAC address for the management port.
Description A user-created description of the device.
Location The location of the device, such as Seattle, Bldg. 1
Contact The name of the person responsible for this device.
Comment Any user-specified remarks about the device.
Status The status of the device, such as Device is active
Time zone The time zone in which the device resides.
Platform ID An identification for the platform.
Platform name The platform name, such as BIG-IP 8900.
Software version The BIG-IP version number, such as BIG-IP 11.0.0.
Active modules The complete list of active modules, that is, the modules for which the device is licensed.

Viewing device properties

On each member of the local trust domain, the BIG-IP ®system generates a set of information. This information consists of properties such as the device name, serial number, and management IP address. By default, every BIG-IP device in the local trust domain has a set of device properties. You can use the BIG-IP Configuration utility to view these properties.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the device for which you want to view properties. This displays a table of properties for the device.

Specifying values for device properties

Using the BIG-IP® Configuration utility, you can specify values for a few of the properties for a device. The device properties that you can specify are a description, a location, contact information, and a comment about the device. All of these property values are optional.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the device for which you want to view properties. This displays a table of properties for the device.
  3. In the Description field, type a description of the device.
  4. In the Location field, type a location for the device.
  5. In the Contact field, type contact information for the device.
  6. In the Comment field, type a comment about the device.
  7. Click Save Changes.

About device status

A BIG-IP® device can have any status shown in the following table.

Table 1. Device status
Status Description
Active A minimum of one floating traffic group is currently active on the device. This status applies to Sync-Failover device groups only.
Forced offline An administrator has intentionally made the device unavailable for processing traffic.
Offline The device is unavailable for processing traffic.
Standby The device is available for processing traffic, but all traffic groups on the device are in a standby state. This status applies to Sync-Failover device groups only.
Unknown The status of the device is unknown.

Viewing possible status types for a device

You can view a list of possible statuses for a device.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the status column, click Status. This displays a list of all possible statuses for a device.

Viewing the status of a device

Use this procedure to view the status of a device in a device group.
  1. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  2. In the Name column, locate the name of the device for which you want to view status.
  3. In the Status column, view the status of the device.
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