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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 8, 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 predefined acceleration policies that are optimized for specific web applications, as well as four non-application specific policies for general delivery.
The general-delivery acceleration policies work well for sites that use Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications, and are defined as follows:
Generic Policy - Complete
This predefined acceleration policy is ideal for Apache HTTP servers, Internet Information Services (IIS) web servers, WebLogic application servers, and IBM Websphere Application Servers. HTML pages are cached and Intelligent Browser Referencing is enabled.
Generic Policy - Enhanced
This predefined acceleration policy is ideal for Apache HTTP servers, Internet Information Services (IIS) web servers, WebLogic application servers, and IBM Websphere Application Servers. HTML pages are cached and Intelligent Browser Referencing is enabled for includes.
Generic Policy - Extension Based
This predefined acceleration policy is ideal for High Performance policy for Ecommerce applications that uses File Extensions instead of mime-types. This application policy is ideal if response-based matching is not required.
Generic Policy - Fundamental
This predefined acceleration policy is ideal for Apache HTTP servers, Internet Information Services (IIS) web servers, WebLogic application servers, and IBM Websphere Application Servers. HTML pages are always proxied and Intelligent Browser Referencing is disabled.
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.
An acceleration policy is a collection of matching rules and acceleration rules that determine how the WebAccelerator system manages and responds to HTTP requests to your web applications. The Policies screen displays all of the acceleration policies available for assignment to your applications.
If you have a unique application for which you cannot use a predefined acceleration policy, you can create a new, user-defined 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.
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.
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.
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.
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