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Manual Chapter: Configuring Mirroring for VIPRION Systems
Manual Chapter
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When you configure mirroring for a VIPRION® system, you enhance the reliability of the system. You do this by configuring the system to process connections without interruption, even in the case of a system failure. This chapter defines mirroring, and describes how to configure mirroring for VIPRION systems.
Connection mirroring
The VIPRION system mirrors network connections.
Session persistence mirroring
The VIPRION system mirrors session persistence records.
Intra-cluster mirroring
The VIPRION system mirrors the connections and session persistence records within the cluster, that is, between the blades in the cluster. You can configure intra-cluster mirroring on both single devices and redundant system configurations. It is important to note that F5 does not support intra-cluster mirroring for Layer 7 (non-FastL4) virtual servers.
Inter-cluster mirroring
The VIPRION system mirrors the connections and session persistence records that the blades in a cluster are processing to the other cluster in a redundant system configuration. You can configure inter-cluster mirroring on a redundant system configuration only, and only when the identical number of blades are present in the identical number of slots in each of the two clusters of the redundant system configuration.
Intra-cluster mirroring and inter-cluster mirroring are mutually exclusive.
F5 recommends that you configure intra-cluster mirroring, except when you want to perform maintenance on the active cluster of a redundant system configuration. For more information, see Configuring mirroring when performing system maintenance.
When you want to add an extra level of reliability to a VIPRION system, you can configure one or more virtual servers to mirror connections. You can also configure the virtual servers to mirror session persistence records.
The first step to configuring mirroring is to access a cluster using the clusters floating IP address. Then you must perform two tasks to configure mirroring on the system:
Configure network mirroring
Specify the way that you want the system to mirror connections.
Configure the virtual servers
Enable connection mirroring on each applicable virtual server. Optionally, you can configure the virtual server to mirror session persistence records.
You can configure network mirroring settings for a cluster. Table 5.1 shows the network mirroring settings with a description, and the default value of each setting.
Specifies whether you want to mirror connections and session persistence records between blades within the cluster (intra-cluster mirroring) or between the clusters in a redundant system configuration (inter-cluster mirroring).
Specifies the static self IP address of VLAN HA of the cluster you are configuring.
When you configure intra-cluster mirroring, you configure a cluster to mirror the connections it is processing between the blades (within the cluster). You do this on the Redundancy Properties screen.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click High Availability.
The System Fail-safe screen opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Network Mirroring.
The Redundancy Properties screen opens.
4.
From the Network Mirroring list, select Within cluster.
5.
Click Update.
6.
If you are creating a redundant system configuration, on the menu bar, click ConfigSync.
The ConfigSync screen opens.
7.
Click the Synchronize TO Peer button.
The system applies the configuration change to the peer cluster in the redundant system configuration.
After you configure a VIPRION system to mirror connections within the cluster, you must enable connection mirroring on any applicable virtual servers. These virtual servers must be assigned a Fast L4 profile. You do this on the Virtual Servers screen.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Virtual Servers.
The Virtual Servers screen opens.
3.
Click the name of the virtual server that you want to mirror the connections that it processes.
The configuration screen for that virtual server opens.
Tip: BIG-IP® systems support intra-cluster mirroring only for virtual servers that reference a Fast L4 profile.
4.
From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
The Configuration area expands to include additional settings.
5.
To enable connection mirroring, click the Connection Mirroring check box.
6.
Click Update.
7.
If you are creating a redundant system configuration, on the menu bar, click ConfigSync.
The ConfigSync screen opens.
8.
Click the Synchronize TO Peer button.
The system applies the configuration change that you made in this procedure to the peer cluster in the redundant system configuration.
You can also configure a virtual server to mirror the session persistence records of the traffic the virtual server processes. To do this, you configure session persistence mirroring on a profile, and then associate the profile with the virtual server that you want to mirror the session persistence records of the traffic that it processes.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Profiles.
The HTTP Profiles screen opens.
3.
Click the name of the Persistence profile on which you want to enable persistence record mirroring.
The configuration screen for that profile opens.
Note: The system cannot mirror stateless persistence methods, such as Cookie Insert mode, because the persistence information is not maintained in a table on the VIPRION system; however, the persistence information is maintained after a failover because the cookie submitted by the client contains that information.
4.
Check the Mirror Persistence box.
5.
Click Update.
7.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Virtual Servers.
The Virtual Servers screen opens.
8.
Click the name of the virtual server that you want to configure to mirror session persistence records for the traffic that it processes.
The configuration screen for that virtual server opens.
10.
From the Default Persistence Profile list, select the profile that you want to associate with the virtual server.
Tip: With the exception of Cookie Hash mode, cookie persistence does not require mirroring, because the system stores persistence information in a cookie on the client.
11.
From the Fallback Persistence Profile list, select the profile that you want the system to use if it cannot use the specified default persistence profile.
12.
Click Update.
13.
Repeat steps 7 through 12 for each virtual server that you want to configure to mirror session persistence records.
14.
If you are creating a redundant system configuration, on the menu bar, click ConfigSync.
The ConfigSync screen opens.
15.
Click the Synchronize TO Peer button.
The system applies the configuration change to the peer cluster in the redundant system configuration.
Sometimes, you might need to perform maintenance on the active unit of a redundant system configuration while still maintaining in-process Fast L4 connections and persistence records. In this case, you must change the mirroring configuration before you perform the system maintenance.
As mentioned previously, there are two types of connection mirroring that you can configure on a redundant system configuration: intra-cluster and inter-cluster. During normal operation of an active/standby configuration, F5 recommends intra-cluster mirroring as the best practice for the processing of application traffic. Intra-cluster mirroring ensures that if a blade with active connections suddenly becomes unavailable, another blade in the same cluster can process those connections.
However, if you want to take the active unit of a redundant system configuration offline to perform system maintenance, you must first configure the system for inter-cluster mirroring. Inter-cluster mirroring ensures that if a cluster with active connections becomes unavailable, the peer cluster can process those connections.
There are a number of steps you must perform before, during, and after the maintenance window to ensure that the system processes traffic without interruption:
Configure mirroring IP addresses
First, you must configure each cluster with the IP addresses that you want the cluster to use for mirroring. For step-by-step instructions, see Configuring connection mirroring addresses for a cluster.
Configure inter-cluster mirroring
Then you must configure inter-cluster mirroring on both clusters, beginning with the standby cluster. For step-by-step instructions, see Configuring inter-cluster mirroring during a maintenance window.
Force the active cluster offline
When you are ready to perform maintenance on the active cluster, you then force the active cluster offline. For step-by-step instructions, see Forcing an active cluster offline.
Configure mirroring on the newly-active cluster
Now that the newly-active cluster is processing application traffic, and the other cluster is offline, you must configure the active cluster to mirror connections to other blades in the same cluster. For step-by-step instructions, see Configuring a cluster for intra-cluster mirroring.
Change cluster status
When your maintenance is complete, you have two options:
You can change the status of the cluster that you have been performing maintenance on to standby, and configure the cluster for intra-cluster mirroring. For step-by-step instructions, see Manually changing the status of a cluster, and Configuring a cluster for intra-cluster mirroring.
You can change the status of the cluster that you have been performing maintenance on to active. However, in order for the system to process connections without interruption, before you do this, you must configure the clusters for inter-cluster mirroring. Then, after the currently active cluster becomes the standby cluster, you must again configure the clusters for intra-cluster mirroring. For step-by-step instructions, see Manually changing the status of a cluster, Configuring inter-cluster mirroring during a maintenance window, and Configuring a cluster for intra-cluster mirroring.
When you configure inter-cluster mirroring for a redundant system configuration, you configure the IP addresses that you want each cluster to use for mirroring. On each cluster, you must configure the primary connection mirroring address for both the cluster and the peer cluster.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click High Availability.
The System Fail-safe screen opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Network Mirroring.
The Redundancy Properties screen opens.
4.
In the Mirroring Address Self box, remove the notation ::, and then type the static self IP address of VLAN HA on the cluster you are configuring.
5.
In the Mirroring Address Peer box, remove the notation ::, and then type the static self IP address of VLAN HA on the peer cluster.
6.
Click the Update button.
When you want to perform maintenance on a redundant system configuration, you must configure the system for inter-cluster mirroring. This enables the system to maintain the long-lived connections and persistence records, which the virtual servers associated with Fast L4 profiles are processing, during the maintenance window.
It is very important to configure inter-cluster mirroring on the standby cluster, before you configure inter-cluster mirroring on the active cluster. That way, when you configure inter-cluster mirroring on the active cluster, the standby cluster is ready to process the mirrored connections.
After you configure inter-cluster mirroring on the active cluster, you can verify that the system is mirroring the connections and persistence records to the standby cluster. However, you must give the system time to incorporate the configuration change. If you are mirroring connections, wait 10 seconds before you check the system. If you are mirroring persistence records, wait 35 seconds before you check the system.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click High Availability.
The System Fail-safe screen opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Network Mirroring.
The Redundancy Properties screen opens.
4.
From the Network Mirroring list, select Between clusters.
5.
Click Update.
6.
After you configure the standby cluster for inter-cluster mirroring, only then do you configure the active cluster for inter-cluster mirroring. To do this, repeat steps 1 through 5 for the active cluster.
When you are ready to perform maintenance on the active cluster, you force the active cluster offline. When you force the active cluster offline, the standby cluster becomes active, and begins processing the connections that the previously active cluster was processing.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click High Availability.
The System Fail-safe screen opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Failover.
The Failover screen opens.
4.
From the Failover Status list, select forced_offline.
5.
Click the Update button.
The active cluster goes offline, and the standby cluster becomes active and begins to process application traffic.
Now that the newly active cluster is processing application traffic, and the other cluster in the redundant system configuration is offline, the system cannot mirror connections between the clusters. Therefore, you must modify the mirroring configuration on the newly active cluster so that it mirrors connections to the other blades in the cluster.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click High Availability.
The System Fail-safe screen opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Network Mirroring.
The Redundancy Properties screen opens.
4.
From the Network Mirroring list, select Within cluster.
5.
Click Update.
The system mirrors the connections that the cluster is processing to between the blades in the cluster.
When you complete maintenance on a cluster that you have forced offline, you can change the status of the cluster to either active or standby mode, depending upon your needs.
When a redundant system configuration is configured in an active/standby configuration, and you change the status of a cluster to active, the peer cluster becomes the standby cluster. Likewise, when you change the status of a cluster to standby, the peer cluster becomes the active cluster.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click High Availability.
The System Fail-safe screen opens.
3.
On the menu bar, click Failover.
The Failover screen opens.
4.
From the Failover Status list, select either active or standby.
5.
Click the Update button.
The cluster status changes to the status you selected in step 4.
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