Network Security is a platform designed for the central management of security firewalls for multiple BIG-IP® systems, where firewall administrators have installed and provisioned the BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager™ (AFM™) module.
Network Security system provides:
Managing a firewall configuration includes discovering, importing, editing, and deploying changes to the firewall configuration, as well as consolidation of shared firewall objects (policies, rule lists, rules, address lists, port lists, and schedules). Network Security provides a centralized management platform so you can perform all these tasks from a single location. Rather than log in to each device to manage the security policy locally, it is more expedient to use one interface to manage many devices. Not only does this simplify logistics, but you can maintain a common set of firewall configuration objects and deploy a common set of policies, rule lists, and other shared objects to multiple, similar devices from a central interface.
Bringing a device under central management means that its configuration is stored in the Network Security database, which is the authoritative source for all firewall configuration entities. This database is also known as the working configuration or working-configuration set.
Once a device is under central management, do not make changes locally (on the BIG-IP device) unless there is an exceptional need. If changes are made locally for any reason, reimport the device to reconcile those changes with the Network Security working configuration set. Unless local changes are reconciled, the deployment process overwrites any local changes.
In addition, Network Security is aware of functionality that exists in one BIG-IP system version but not in another. This means, for example, that it prohibits using policies on BIG-IP devices that do not have the software version required to support them.
BIG-IQ® Centralized Management Security contains several groups of capabilities. The Shared Security group contains objects that can be used with Network Security objects and with Web Application Security objects.
Web Application Security enables enterprise-wide management and configuration of multiple BIG-IP® devices from a central management platform. You can centrally manage BIG-IP devices and security policies, and import policies from files on those devices.
For each device that it discovers, the BIG-IQ®Centralized Management system creates a logical container to hold all security policies that are not related to any virtual server on the device. This logical container is called the inactive virtual server, and is only used to track policies that are not directly attached to other virtual servers on that device. Policies attached to the inactive virtual server that are distributed are not enforced.
In order for you to deploy a policy to a BIG-IP device, the policy must be attached to one of the device's virtual servers, or to the inactive virtual server. You can deploy policies to a device that already has the policy by overwriting it. If the policy does not yet exist on the device, you can either deploy it as a new policy attached to an available virtual server, or deploy it as a policy attached to the inactive virtual server (which will deploy the policy to the BIG-IP device without attaching it to a virtual server).
From this central management platform, you can perform the following actions:
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The BIG-IQ® Centralized Management system uses the following terminology to refer to configuration sets for a centrally-managed BIG-IP® device:
The working configuration is created when the administrator first manages the BIG-IP device from the BIG-IQ Centralized Management system. The working configuration is updated when a device is re-imported or re-discovered.
If conflicts are observed during a re-discover and re-import, the object in conflict is only updated in the working configuration when the Use BIG-IP resolution conflict option is used.
Once you have placed a BIG-IP® device under management by the BIG-IQ® system by discovering and importing that device configuration, you should avoid directly changing the BIG-IP device configuration. All changes to the BIG-IP device configuration should be made using the BIG-IQ system to avoid errors.
During the deployment process, the BIG-IQ system imports the current configuration of the targeted BIG-IP devices. Subsequent changes made directly on the BIG-IP device which add new objects to the configuration will be labeled as being not imported and those objects will not be removed during the next deployment. These objects will continue to be labeled as not imported, until you reimport the configuration using the Device Management BIG-IP Devices screen.
To avoid this situation, when you directly modify a BIG-IP device, you must re-discover and re-import the BIG-IP device from the BIG-IQ system to reconcile the configuration differences.