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Manual Chapter: Getting Started with Enterprise Manager
Manual Chapter
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F5 Networks® Enterprise Manager is an appliance that simplifies the administrative tasks associated with managing multiple F5 Networks devices. Enterprise Manager also collects and stores information about managed devices in a database, which you can access through a web-based interface. The product is scalable, so as you add F5 Networks devices to your network, you can manage them using Enterprise Manager.
Once the devices are a part of the Enterprise Manager device list, you can perform a variety of tasks including software upgrades, managing configuration archives, and configuring alerts.
Devices running BIG-IP® software version 9.3 or later
WANJet® version 5.0 or later
Although Enterprise Manager works with multiple versions of BIG-IP software, we recommend that you upgrade your managed devices to the latest version to ensure the most optimal performance.
Enterprise Manager works in your network in a manner similar to your other F5 devices. Rather than manage traffic, however, Enterprise Manager helps you manage network administration for F5 Networks devices. The management appliance is robust and flexible so that it can work in many types of network topologies, even if you use multi-tiered configurations, address translation, or multiple firewalls.
You can find details about incorporating Enterprise Manager into your network in Chapter 2, Planning Your Implementation, and information about how to license and complete basic configuration tasks for Enterprise Manager in Chapter 3, Licensing and Basic Configuration.
After you set up Enterprise Manager in your network, you can use it to discover devices in the network by individual address, or you can scan an entire subnet. Discovering devices is the first step toward central device management.
After you complete a device discovery task, you can manage software, configurations, alerts, and user account information on all F5 Networks devices in your network through Enterprise Manager.
Chapter 4, Performing Basic Device Management, describes which devices Enterprise Manager can manage, explains how to discover devices and add them to the device list, and introduces the concept of device grouping.
Once your devices are part of the managed device list, you can create device groups to further customize device management. You can use device groups to quickly configure management tasks to several devices simultaneously, rather than having to complete tasks on individual devices.
For example, when a number of devices belong to a device group, you can deploy software or assign alerts to the group, ensuring that all members of the group receive the same upgrade, or are assigned the same alert. Additionally, grouping devices may help organize the management of a wide range of devices.
After you discover devices and add them to your device list, you can search for specific pool members and nodes in your network, and enable or disable them from a centralized location. To locate the objects, Enterprise Manager searches across multiple device groups, or within the same device group, for objects that meet the criteria that you specify.
Enterprise Manager serves as a central user configuration set (UCS) repository, enabling you to save multiple UCS archives per device. This feature provides the additional security of stable configurations in the event of a required system restoration. Before you start using Enterprise Manager to manage your software or user accounts, we recommend that you first archive your device configurations and set up rotating archive schedules.
In addition to managing basic UCS archives, you can store and deploy extended sets of device configuration data through the use of changesets. A changeset can store all the configuration data on a BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager system that is required to manage traffic, including information about system settings and network objects.
You can also use configuration templates to easily replicate device configuration management options. This means that you can create specific configuration, change guidelines with variables in a configuration template, and then perform those configuration changes on multiple devices through staged changesets. Staged changesets place a device configuration change in a staged state where a user can review and approve the changes prior to deployment.
These configuration management features can greatly reduce the time it takes to install and configure multiple F5 Networks devices in your network. For example, you can configure one BIG-IP system with a prototypical configuration, save the systems configuration data to a configuration template, then deploy the configuration data to additional BIG-IP systems in the network.
Enterprise Manager provides wizards to create templates and changesets and stage changesets. You can even use a wizard to take a current device configuration setting, edit it to suit your needs, and then immediately deploy it to another device.
Enterprise Manager simplifies security policy management for the BIG-IP® Application Security Manager systems in your network by synchronizing security policies among devices.
After you set up device configurations in your network, or deploy a device configuration to other devices, you can start managing the software images. Enterprise Manager provides a software image repository that you can use to store software, hotfix, and Application Security Manager attack signature images. Once you add these images to the repository, you can deploy an upgrade to one device, or configure multiple device upgrades. If you choose to configure device groups, you can create an upgrade task that installs upgrades to all compatible members in a device group.
You can also check which upgrades are compatible on a per device basis and install only the upgrades that suit your needs. For any software, hotfix, or attack signature definition upgrade, you can choose multiple upgrade options, including the installation location and reboot location on each device.
Enterprise Manager provides tools to let you centrally manage accounts across multiple devices. Using an Enterprise Manager wizard, you can view user permissions on each device in your network, change the password for any user on any device, and even copy the user access configuration settings from one device to one or more other devices.
In addition to monitoring the health of individual devices in the network, you can also monitor certain metrics for devices and network objects. Using Enterprise Manager, you can create statistics profiles for a variety of configurations in your network, and view network health indicators through graphs at both the device and object level. Additionally, you can use statistics data in conjunction with Enterprise Managers alerting feature to more closely track when device or object statistics have exceeded defined data thresholds.
Note: Device and object performance monitoring is available on only the Enterprise Manager 3000 and Enterprise Manager 4000 platforms.
The Device list screen provides you with an overview of the status of managed devices in your network, including the failover state of high availability pairs.
You can also create alerts to notify specific team members about certain tasks completing, certificates expiring, thresholds met, and so forth. Or you can send an SNMP trap to an existing network management server. These tools assist you in maintaining the health of BIG-IP systems in your network by providing you with an alert log that records all alert events.
Another important task of maintaining a robust network is ensuring that all the device certificates are current. Enterprise Manager can monitor every certificate on each managed device in your network, providing you the opportunity to monitor certificate expiration dates and renew certificates before they expire.
You can also combine the certificate monitoring features with the alerting features of Enterprise Manager to create warnings when certificates expire or near their expiration dates.
Enterprise Manager provides a comprehensive set of auditing features so that you can track the types of enterprise management tasks initiated from a particular Enterprise Manager system. Depending on the options you choose, you can create and view logs of system, local traffic, and audit events on the Enterprise Manager system.
See Chapter 15, Auditing Enterprise Manager System Events, for more information about system event auditing.
Enterprise Manager uses the TMOS® platform, like other F5 Networks Application Delivery Networking products, and presents a web-based interface called the Configuration utility. From the Configuration utility, you access different screens using the navigation pane and menu bar. Click the Help tab on the navigation pane to access context-sensitive help, including a definition of the screen elements.
Object list screens display a list of all running or completed tasks, managed devices, alerts, or software and hotfix images stored in the Enterprise Manager software repository. When you select a management area on the Main tab, the object list screen for that management area opens. For example, when you click Software, the Software Image List screen displays, as shown in Figure 1.1.
If the object list contains more items than can appear on one page, a paging control displays below the list table. You can use the arrow buttons to move to the next or previous screen, or you can select a specific screen from the drop-down list.
Tip: To immediately add a network object to an object list, click the Add button (+) in the navigation pane, instead of using a button on an object list screen. For example, to import a software image, you can either open the Software Image list screen and click the Import button, or you can click the Add button (+) next to Software Images in the navigation pane.
To help you easily find specific objects among a large list, you can sort table columns on most screens by clicking the column heading. A sortable table is indicated by arrows next to the column heading. For example, in the Software Image column in Figure 1.1, the list is sorted in descending order, with the latest version of the software at the top of the list. If you click the Software Image heading, the information in the table re-sorts to show the earliest version of the software images.
In some tables, you can filter objects by column heading. For these columns, you click the Column Filter button to select a filtering option. For example, in Figure 1.1, you can filter the Image Status column by clicking the associated Column Filter button. From the list, you can select an option so that the screen displays only software images in a particular state such as imported, importing, or corrupt. Additionally, a Filter box displays above the list table, where you can type a term to limit the list to only objects that contain the specified term.
When you click the name or IP address of a device, task, alert, or software image on most object list screens, the objects general properties screen opens. This screen provides you with more detail about the object, and is usually the starting point for more specific management activity on a particular object.
On screens other than an object list screen, a menu bar displays above the main configuration area. Each menu bar option opens a configuration screen related to the currently-selected object, from which you can manage object-specific details.
You can find the following documentation in the AskF5SM Knowledge Base, by accessing
Enterprise Manager Administrator Guide
The Enterprise Manager Administrator Guide (this document) introduces the concepts of managed devices, software image management, configuration management, and custom alerting.
Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager 500, Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager 3000, and Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager 4000
The Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager 500, Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager 3000, and Platform Guide: Enterprise Manager 4000 each includes information about the Enterprise Manager system hardware platform. They also contain important environmental warnings.
BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide
The BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide contains specific information about installing and licensing BIG-IP® systems.
TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems
The TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems contains details about configuring VLANs, SNMP traps, redundant systems, managing user accounts, BIG-IP system logging features, and so forth.
Release notes
Release notes for the Enterprise Manager are available in HTML format. The release note contains the latest information for the current version, including new features and enhancements, fixes, and known issues.
Online help for Enterprise Manager features
Enterprise Manager has online help for each screen. On the navigation pane, click the help tab to view context-sensitive user assistance.
Technical support from the AskF5 Knowledge Base
In addition to the comprehensive technical documentation listed here, the AskF5SM Knowledge Base also has technical notes and answers to frequently asked questions.
Important: Procedures and examples described in the Enterprise Manager Administrator Guide, and in the online help, are written for administrator-level users with full access privileges to Enterprise Manager. The Enterprise Manager system logs on to managed devices using an administrator-level account, so all users with administrator-level access to Enterprise Manager can perform the high-level management tasks described in this document on devices in the network through the Enterprise Manager interface.
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