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Manual Chapter: Enterprise Manager Overview
Manual Chapter
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Overview of Enterprise Manager

Enterprise Manager™ is an appliance that helps you streamline the administrative tasks associated with managing multiple network devices. These administrative tasks include: performance monitoring, software installation and upgrades, configuration archival and restoration, certificate monitoring, security policy management, software image storage, and user account management.

Enterprise Manager is robust and flexible, and works in many types of network topologies, including those in multi-tiered configurations containing multiple firewalls. You can use Enterprise Manager to manage networks with devices running the following software.

  • BIG-IP® system version 9.3 and later
  • BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ Virtual Edition (VE) version 10.2 and later
  • BIG-IP® Secure Access Manager™ version 8.0 and later
  • WANJet® version 5.0 and later
  • Enterprise Manager™ version 1.0 and later
Note: Although Enterprise Manager works with previous software releases, we recommend that you upgrade your managed devices to the current software version to ensure optimal performance.

About Enterprise Manager documentation

You can access all of the following Enterprise Manager™ documentation from the AskF5™ Knowledge Base located at http://support.f5.com/. Procedures and examples described in all documentation and online help are written for administrator-level users with full access (non-restricted) privileges to Enterprise Manager.

Document Description
Enterprise Manager™ Getting Started Guide This guide provides you with the basic concepts and tasks required to set up your Enterprise Manager and start managing devices.
Enterprise Manager™ Administrator Guide This guide includes more in-depth information about the basic concepts of device management and configuration options.
Enterprise Manager™ New Features Guide This guide introduces you to new features included in the latest release of Enterprise Manager.
Enterprise Manager 3000, and Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager™ 4000 These guides include Enterprise Manager system hardware platform specifications, installation instructions, and important environmental warnings.
BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide This guide contains specific information required to install and license BIG-IP systems.
TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems This guide provides you with the information you need to configure VLANs, SNMP traps, redundant BIG-IP systems, BIG-IP system logging features, and so on.
Release notes Release notes contain information about the current software release, including a list of associated documentation, a summary of new features, enhancements, fixes, known issues and available workarounds, as well as installation and upgrade instructions.
Solutions and Tech Notes Solutions are responses and resolutions to known issues. Tech Notes provide additional configuration instructions and how-to information.

Understanding how to incorporate Enterprise Manager into your network

You incorporate Enterprise Manager™ into your network as you would any F5 Networks device. However, it is important to keep in mind that Enterprise Manager requires bilateral communication with each device for successful management. Therefore, you must select a network configuration option that ensures Enterprise Manager has open communication with your devices and is able to translate a device's IP address into an address it can use.

The most common network configurations for address translation are:

Tiered network, BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ performs address translation
A tiered network configuration where a BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager system (or a non-F5 device) manages load balances requests for multiple devices and translates the IP addresses for those devices through a firewall.
Tiered network, a SNAT performs network translation
A tiered network configuration where a BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (located in front of Enterprise Manager) load balance requests for multiple devices, and a SNAT translates the IP addresses for those devices.
Tip: Place the Enterprise Manager system on a management subnet that is separate from traffic management to keep device management and communication independent from traffic management activities.

About interfaces used for communication

Enterprise Manager™ communicates with devices in your network through the following physical ports, also called interfaces.

Management (MGMT) interface
F5 devices use the management (MGMT) interface port exclusively for administrative traffic and do not forward user application traffic, such as traffic slated for load balancing, through this interface.
TMM switch interface
F5 devices typically use the TMM switch interface only to send or receive application traffic for load balancing; however, it can be used for communication between Enterprise Manager and a managed device. If you choose to dedicate a TMM switch interface for management communication, do not use that same interface for managing traffic.

Ports required for two-way communication

For Enterprise Manager™ to properly manage devices, the ports in this list are open by default to facilitate two-way communication.

Open port Used for Purpose
443 Communication between managed devices and the Enterprise Manager system Device management
4353 Communication between Enterprise Manager and a managed device's big3d agent Collecting statistics
3306 Communication between Enterprise Manager and a remote statistics database Storing and reporting statistics on a remote database

About device management through the management (MGMT) interface

When you use the management (MGMT) interface for enterprise management communication, you do not have to dedicate a TMM switch interface for device management, and less configuration is required when you add new devices on the same subnet. Using the management interface on Enterprise Manager and managed devices for communication is preferable.

Attention: The only exception is for high availability configurations. Peer devices in a high availability configuration must use a floating self IP address to communicate with the active device. If you have a high availability configuration, use the TMM switch port on each device because it can support floating self IP addresses.

About device management through the TMM switch interface

Although typically used to send or receive application traffic for load balancing, you can use a dedicated TMM switch port for communication between Enterprise Manager ™and managed devices. However, if you use the TMM switch interface on managed devices, you cannot use it for managing traffic, because Enterprise Manager sends software upgrades to the managed device on this interface.

Use the TMM switch interface option for device management if have a high availability system configuration (for both static and floating self IP address support).

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