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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, ConfigSync, Failover, and Mirroring IP addresses) on a device, you must log in locally to that device.

IP addresses for ConfigSync, 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 (ConfigSync), failover, and connection mirroring.

Note: You specify a ConfigSync 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.

ConfigSync 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 ConfigSync. You can, however, use a different self IP address for ConfigSync.

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 ConfigSync.

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

Before configuring the config sync address, verify that all devices in the device group are running the same version of BIG-IP® system software.
This task identifies the IP address that devices in the device group will use to synchronize their configuration objects. Use the BIG-IP Configuration utility to set up config sync.
Important: You must perform this task on each device in the device group.
  1. Confirm that you are logged in to the actual device you want to configure.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the device to which you are currently logged in.
  4. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose ConfigSync.
  5. 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 non-floating self IP address and not a management IP address.
  6. Click Update.

Specifying IP addresses for failover

This task specifies the local IP addresses that you want other devices in the device group to use for failover communications with the local device. You must perform this task on each device in the device group.
Note: The failover addresses that you specify must belong to route domain 0.
  1. Confirm that you are logged in to the actual device you want to configure.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the device to which you are currently logged in.
  4. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose Failover.
  5. 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. F5 Networks recommends that you use the self IP address assigned to the HA VLAN.
  6. If the BIG-IP® system is running on a VIPRION® platform, then for the Use Failover Multicast Address setting, select the Enabled check box.
  7. If you enable Use Failover Multicast Address, either accept the default Address and Port values, or specify values appropriate for the device. If you revise the default Address and Port values, but then decide to revert back to the default values, click Reset Defaults.
  8. Click Update.
After you perform this task, other devices in the device group can send failover messages to the local device using the specified IP addresses.

Specifying IP addresses for connection mirroring

Before configuring mirroring addresses, verify that the mirroring peers have the same hardware platform.
This task configures connection mirroring between two devices to ensure that in-process connections are not dropped when failover occurs. You can mirror connections between a maximum of two devices in a device group.
Important: You must perform this task on each device in the device group.
  1. Confirm that you are logged in to the actual device you want to configure.
  2. On the Main tab, click Device Management > Devices. This displays a list of device objects discovered by the local device.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the device to which you are currently logged in.
  4. From the Device Connectivity menu, choose Mirroring.
  5. For the Primary Local Mirror Address setting, retain the displayed IP address or select another address from the list. The recommended IP address is the self IP address for either VLAN HA or VLAN internal.
  6. 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.
  7. Click Update.

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 Update.

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 status types 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 status types 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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