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Manual Chapter: Understanding Clusters
Manual Chapter
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Cluster overview

The slots in a VIPRION® chassis work together as a single, powerful unit. This entity is called a cluster. The size of the cluster depends on the number of running blades installed in the chassis. Blades in the cluster share the overall workload, and can be configured to mirror each others’ connections, so that if a blade is taken out of service or becomes unavailable for some reason, any in-process connections remain intact.

When a blade is installed in a slot and turned on, it automatically becomes a member of the cluster.

One of the first tasks performed as part of the platform installation is to insert blades and assign a unique cluster IP address to the primary blade in the cluster. The cluster IP address is a floating management IP address used to access the primary blade to configure the system. If the primary blade becomes unavailable for any reason, the primary designation moves to a different blade, and the cluster IP address floats to that blade. This ensures that you can always access the cluster using the cluster IP address, even when the primary blade changes.

When you log on to the system using the cluster IP address, you can configure features such as trunks, VLANs, administrative partitions, and virtual servers. If you have a redundant system configuration, you can configure failover IP addresses, as well as connection mirroring between clusters.

Viewing cluster properties

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to view the properties for the cluster.

  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 System > Clusters. The Cluster screen opens, showing the properties of the cluster, and listing the cluster members.

Cluster properties

The Cluster screen displays the properties of the cluster.

Property Description
Name Displays the name of the cluster.
Cluster IP Address Displays the IP address assigned to the cluster. Click this IP address to change it.
Network Mask Displays the network mask for the cluster IP address.
Primary Member Displays the number of the slot that holds the primary blade in the cluster.
Software Version Displays the version number of the BIG-IP® software that is running on the cluster.
Software Build Displays the build number of the BIG-IP software that is running on the cluster.
Hotfix Build Displays the build number of any BIG-IP software hotfix that is running on the cluster.
Chassis 400-level BOM Displays the bill-of-materials (BOM) number for the chassis.
Status Displays an icon and descriptive text that indicates whether there are sufficient available members of the cluster.

Viewing cluster member properties

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to view the properties for cluster members.

  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 System > Clusters. The Cluster screen opens, showing the properties of the cluster, and listing the cluster members.
  3. To display the properties for one cluster member, click the slot number of that member. The Cluster Member properties screen opens, showing the properties of that member.

Cluster member properties

In addition to displaying the properties of the cluster, the Cluster screen also lists information about members of the cluster. The table lists the information associated with each cluster member.

Property Description
Status The Status column indicates whether the cluster member is available or unavailable.
Slot The Slot column indicates the number of the slot. Click this number to display the properties of that cluster member.
Blade serial number The Blade Serial Number column displays the serial number for the blade currently in that slot.
Enabled The Enabled column indicates whether that cluster member is currently enabled.
Primary The Primary column indicates whether that cluster member is currently the primary slot.
HA State The HA State column indicates whether the cluster member is used in a redundant system configuration for high availability.

Enabling and disabling cluster members

To gracefully drain the connections from a cluster member before you take that blade out of service, you can mark that cluster member disabled. Before you can return that member to service, you need to enable it.

Important: Perform this task while logged in to the vCMP® host; not from a guest.
  1. Use a browser and the cluster management IP address of the vCMP® host to log in to the vCMP host (hypervisor) and access the BIG-IP® Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Clusters. The Cluster screen opens, showing the properties of the cluster, and listing the cluster members.
  3. Locate the cluster member you want to enable or disable, and select the box to the left of the Status icon.
  4. Click Enable or Disable/Yield.

Changing a cluster-related management IP address

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to view or change the properties for a vCMP® cluster.

Important: Perform this task while logged in to the vCMP host; not from a guest.
  1. Use a browser and the cluster management IP address of the vCMP® host to log in to the vCMP host (hypervisor) and access the BIG-IP® Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Clusters. The Cluster screen opens, showing the properties of the cluster, and listing the cluster members.
  3. On the menu bar, click Management IP Address. The Management IP Address screen opens.
  4. Locate the specific management IP address or cluster member IP address that you would like to change, and type the new IP address.
  5. Click Update.
The specific management IP address or cluster member IP address that you edited is changed. You can now use that new address to access the cluster.

Cluster-related IP addresses

The cluster-related addresses that you can modify are defined in the table.

Setting Type Setting Description
Cluster IP address IP Address Specifies the management IP address that you want to assign to the cluster. This IP address is used to access the Configuration utility, as well as to function as a cluster identifier for the peer cluster in a device service clustering configuration.
Cluster IP address Network Mask Specifies the network mask for the cluster IP address.
Cluster IP address Management Route Specifies the gateway for the cluster IP address. Typically, this is the default route.
Cluster Member IP Address Slot 1 IP Address Specifies the management IP address associated with slot 1 of the cluster. You can also set this value to None.
Cluster Member IP Address Slot 2 IP Address Specifies the management IP address associated with slot 2 of the cluster. You can also set this value to None.
Cluster Member IP Address Slot 3 IP Address Specifies the management IP address associated with slot 3 of the cluster. You can also set this value to None.
Cluster Member IP Address Slot 4 IP Address Specifies the management IP address associated with slot 4 of the cluster. You can also set this value to None.
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