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Manual Chapter: Using Acceleration Policies
Manual Chapter
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An acceleration policy is a collection of defined rule parameters that dictate how the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator system handles HTTP requests and responses. The WebAccelerator system uses two types of rules to manage content: matching rules and acceleration rules. Matching rules are used to classify requests by object type and match the request to a specific acceleration policy. Once matched to an acceleration policy, the WebAccelerator system applies the associated acceleration rules to manage the requests and responses.
Depending on the application specific to your site, information in requests can sometimes imply one type of response (such as a file extension of .jsp), when the actual response is a bit different (like a simple document). For this reason, the WebAccelerator system applies matching rules twice: once to the request, and a second time to the response. This means that a request and a response can match to different acceleration rules, but it ensures that the response is matched to the acceleration policy that is best suited to it.
Tip: See Chapter 4, Using HTTP Headers to Configure Acceleration Policy Rules, for details about how the WebAccelerator system performs matching on specific parameters in acceleration policy rules.
Pre-defined Acceleration Policies
The WebAccelerator system ships with several pre-defined acceleration policies that are optimized for specific web applications, as well as two non-application specific policies for general delivery, and one for an optional symmetric deployment.
The general-delivery acceleration policies work well for sites that use Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications, and are defined as follows:
Level 1 Delivery
Prompts the WebAccelerator system to send all requests for HTML pages to the origin web server for content, ignore any no-cache directives included in HTTP Cache-Control request headers, and use the cache response directives that it receives from the origin web server. This policy is compliant with HTML version 2.0.
Level 2 Delivery
Prompts the WebAccelerator system to cache HTML pages and set a lifetime setting for content to 0, use the Intelligent Browser Referencing feature only for documents and includes, ignore any no-cache directives included in HTTP Cache-Control request header, and use the cache response directives that it receives from the origin web server. This policy is compliant with HTML version 3.0, and later. In most cases, you should use this pre-defined policy for those applications for which there is no application-specific pre-defined policy available.
User-defined Acceleration Policies
A policy that you create by either copying an existing policy and modifying or adding rules, or by creating a new acceleration policy and specifying all new rules.
Signed Acceleration Policies
A policy created, certified, and encrypted by its author, such as a consultant or vendor. You can also create your own signed acceleration policy by configuring a user-defined acceleration policy, and signing it. After an acceleration policy is signed, you cannot view or modify the configured rules, as you can for pre-defined and user-defined acceleration policies.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
The Policies screen opens in a new window.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
2.
Click the name of the acceleration policy you want to view.
Note that you cannot view rules for a signed acceleration policy. For more information, see Creating a signed acceleration policy.
3.
Click a node on the Policy Tree.
The matching rules display for the selected node.
4.
From the Matching Rules list, choose Acceleration Rules.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
3.
In the Name box, type a new name for the acceleration policy.
4.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
5.
Click the Rename button to save the changes.
Warning: Do not delete an acceleration policy unless you are sure that you do not ever want to refer to it again. You cannot recover a deleted acceleration policy. You can retain an acceleration policy to use later, even if you do not have an application that is currently using it.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
2.
Check the box next to an acceleration policy, and then click the Delete button.
Note that you cannot delete a pre-defined acceleration policy.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
2.
From the Tools column for the acceleration policy you want to modify, click the Logging link.
Note that you cannot change the logging options for a pre-defined acceleration policy.
3.
5.
If you select Log all transactions, or Only log transactions served from cache, then select a format for the logs from the Log Format list for each protocol.
6.
Click the Save button.
If you have a unique application for which you cannot use a pre-defined acceleration policy, you can create a new, user-defined acceleration policy or a signed acceleration policy.
Before you can create a new acceleration policy, you need to analyze the type of traffic that your sites applications receive, and decide how you want the WebAccelerator system to manage those HTTP requests and responses. To help you do that, consider questions similar to those that follow.
Are there responses for static documents that can remain in the WebAccelerator systems cache for several days before being refreshed?
After you decide how you want the WebAccelerator system to handle certain requests for your site, you can identify the HTTP data parameters that the WebAccelerator system uses to match requests and responses to the appropriate acceleration policies.
For example, the path found on requests for static documents may be different than the path for dynamic documents. Or the paths may be similar, but the static documents are in PDF format and the dynamic documents are Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. These differences help you specify matching rules that prompt the WebAccelerator system to match the HTTP request to the acceleration policy that will handle the request and the response most expeditiously.
You can create a user-defined acceleration policy most efficiently by copying an existing acceleration policy and modifying its rules to meet your unique requirements. Alternatively, you can create a new user-defined acceleration policy and define each matching rule and acceleration rule individually.
When you copy or create an acceleration policy, the WebAccelerator system maintains that acceleration policy as a development copy until you publish it, at which time the WebAccelerator system creates a production copy. Only a production (published) copy of an acceleration policy is available for you to assign to an application. You can make as many changes as you like to the development copy of an acceleration policy without affecting current traffic to your applications.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
3.
In the Name box, type a descriptive name for the acceleration policy so you can easily identify it later.
4.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
5.
Click Copy.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
3.
Click the branch node for the type of content you want to modify or a leaf node for a specific page type.
The matching rules display for the selected node, and you can make changes as required.
4.
From the Matching Rules list, choose Acceleration Rules.
6.
After you make the last change, click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor.
Alternatively, you can publish an acceleration policy from the Policies screen as described in Publishing acceleration policies.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
2.
Click the Create button.
3.
In the Name box, type a descriptive name for the acceleration policy so you can easily identify it later.
4.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
5.
Click the Create button.
7.
Create the Policy Tree by defining branch nodes for the groups of content, and leaf nodes for specific content.
9.
After you make the last change, click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor.
Alternatively, you can publish an acceleration policy from the Policies screen as described in Publishing acceleration policies.
A signed acceleration policy is encrypted and certified by its author and customized to work specifically for an application. You cannot view or modify the specific rules for a signed acceleration policies; the policy is locked.
You can import a signed acceleration policy from several sources, such as the publisher of a specific application or a consultant, or you can sign a user-defined policy that you have created and customized.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
3.
From the SSL Certificate(s) to encrypt to list, select one or more SSL certificate that you want to use for the signed acceleration policy.
Alternatively, you can create a new SSL certificate and key, or import one by clicking the Create or Import link. For specific information about creating or importing SSL certificates and keys refer to the online help, or see the Managing keys and certificates section in the Managing SSL Traffic chapter of the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager.
4.
From the Signing SSL Certificate private key list, select the private key that you want to use.
5.
Click the Export button.
6.
Click the Save button.
8.
Click the Save button.
Once you sign and save the acceleration policy to an XML file, you can load it onto any system running the same version of the WebAccelerator system software. Then, you can publish it and make it available for assignment to your applications. See Publishing acceleration policies.
Important: Before importing a signed acceleration policy, you must first import the SSL certificate of the system on which the policy was signed. For a symmetric deployment, the signed acceleration policy must be signed against each WebAccelerator system in the deployment. For specific information about importing SSL certificates and keys, refer to the online help, or see the Managing keys and certificates section in the Managing SSL Traffic chapter of the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
2.
Click the Import button.
3.
Click the Browse button to browse to the location of the XML file you want to import.
If you do not want to replace the existing acceleration policy, clear the Overwrite existing policy of the same name box. You can rename the acceleration policy after you import it.
If you want to replace an existing acceleration policy with the imported acceleration policy with the same name, check Overwrite existing policy of the same name.
Tip: If you have more than one application that requires the same signed acceleration policy, but with different logging options, you can copy the signed acceleration policy and modify the logging options as required. See To copy an existing acceleration policy. For more information about logging options, see Chapter 12, Specifying Log Formats for Hit Logs.
When you modify rules for a user-defined acceleration policy that is currently assigned to an application, the WebAccelerator system creates a development copy and continues to use the currently published (production) copy to manage requests. The WebAccelerator system uses the modified acceleration policy to manage traffic only after you publish it.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
3.
In the Comment box, type any optional text that you want displayed with the publishing details, such as a brief summary of the changes you made.
4.
Click Publish Now.
You can use the export feature to save an acceleration policy to an XML file. We recommend that you use the export feature every time you change a user-defined acceleration policy, so that you always have a copy of the most recent acceleration policy. You can use this file for back up and archival purposes, or to provide to the F5 Networks® Technical Support team for troubleshooting issues.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
3.
From the Export list, select one of the following:
Published Policy
Select this option to export an acceleration policy that an application is currently using. If the acceleration policy has not been published, this option does not display.
Development Policy
Select this option to export an unpublished acceleration policy.
4.
Click the Export button.
5.
Click the Save button.
7.
Click the Save button.
1.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
2.
Click Import.
3.
Click the Browse button to browse to the location of the XML file you want to import.
If you do not want to replace the existing acceleration policy, clear the Overwrite existing policy of the same name box. You can rename the acceleration policy after you import it.
If you want to replace an existing acceleration policy with the imported acceleration policy of the same name, check Overwrite existing policy of the same name.
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