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Manual Chapter: Getting Started
Manual Chapter
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The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator system is a delivery solution designed to improve the speed at which users access your web applications (such as Microsoft® SharePoint, Microsoft® Outlook Web Access, BEA AquaLogic®, SAP® Portal, Oracle® Siebel CRM, Oracle® Portal, and others) and wide area network (WAN).
The WebAccelerator system does this through acceleration policy features that modify web browser behavior, as well as compresses and caches dynamic and static content, which decreases bandwidth usage and ensures that your users get the most quick and efficient access to your web applications and WAN. These processes, and deployment options, are discussed in the following sections. For more specific information about the how the WebAccelerator system manages access to your web applications, see Chapter 2, Overview of the WebAccelerator System.
The BIG-IP WebAccelerator system is one of several products that constitute the BIG-IP product family. All BIG-IP products run on the Traffic Management Operating System, commonly referred to as TMOS®. For an overview of the complete BIG-IP product offering, see the Introduction to the BIG-IP System chapter of the TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems.
To accelerate access to your applications, the WebAccelerator system uses acceleration policies that use a proprietary language to manipulate HTTP responses from origin web servers. After the WebAccelerator system manipulates the HTTP responses using its Rewrite Engine, it processes the responses. Therefore, the WebAccelerator system processes manipulated responses, rather than the original responses that are sent by the origin web servers.
In addition to the using the acceleration policy features, you can easily monitor your HTTP traffic and system processes through monitoring tools.
An asymmetric deployment consists of one or more WebAccelerator systems installed on one end of a WAN, and in the same location as the origin web servers that are running the applications to which the WebAccelerator system is accelerating client access.
Figure 1.1 illustrates an asymmetric deployment with a single WebAccelerator system on one end of a WAN.
A symmetric deployment is composed of sets of two WebAccelerator systems: a central WebAccelerator system and a remote WebAccelerator system. These WebAccelerator systems are located on opposite ends of a WAN.
Figure 1.2 illustrates a symmetric deployment with multiple WebAccelerator systems located in remote offices.
In a symmetric deployment, the central WebAccelerator system is installed closest to the origin web servers running the applications to which the WebAccelerator system is accelerating client access. The remote WebAccelerator system is installed close to the clients, which can be in a separate geographic site around the world or across the country.
You can deploy any number of WebAccelerator systems in any combination of configurations, including a simultaneous configuration of asymmetric and symmetric deployments. This flexibility gives you the freedom to choose the most appropriate WebAccelerator system deployment for your environment, guaranteeing that all clients requesting information are getting the fastest possible access.
The Configuration utility is the browser-based graphical user interface that provides you access to the WebAccelerator systems configuration options, as well as the configuration options for the network, system, and local traffic. From the Help tab, you can access context-sensitive information about the controls and settings located on each on each screen.
For example, if the management IP address of the BIG-IP device is, type in the address box.
Figure 1.3 shows an example of the Welcome screen for the Configuration utility. The modules displayed depend on your software licenses.
Important: All users need to use the web-based Configuration utility to license the system for the first time. For the most current list of the supported browsers for the Configuration utility, refer to the current WebAccelerator system release note at
The identification and messages area
This area, above the navigation pane, the menu bar, and the body, is where you find the system identification, including the host name, and management IP address. This area also displays certain system messages.
The navigation pane
This area, located on the left side of the screen, contains the Main tab, the Help tab, and the Search tab. The Main tab provides links to the major configuration objects for the various modules. The Help tab provides context-sensitive help for each screen in the Configuration utility. The Search tab provides a quick way to locate local traffic objects.
The menu bar
Located below the identification and messages area, and above the body, the menu bar provides links to configuration objects within each major object.
The body
Located in the center of the screen, the body displays configuration settings.
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.
In the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Policies.
The Policies screen opens in a new window.
From the Policies screen, you can access additional screens, from which you can perform additional task. For more information managing acceleration policies, see the Policy Management Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAcceleratorTM System.
Configuration Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAcceleratorTM System
Describes the core product concepts and provides the procedures for configuring and monitoring the WebAccelerator system.
Policy Management Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAcceleratorTM System
Provides information about creating and editing policies to tailor the WebAccelerator system for optimal performance.
Release notes
Provide information about new features, fixes, known issues, and workarounds.
Online help
Provides context-sensitive description of each control and setting on each screen.
BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide
For information about performing the required configuration for the BIG-IP Local Traffic ManagerTM, as well as information about installing, enabling, and configuring resource provisioning for the WebAccelerator system license.
Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager
For information about how to define a virtual server and pool.
TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems
For an overview of the complete BIG-IP product offering.
Welcome screen in the Configuration utility
The Welcome screen in the Configuration utility contains links to many useful web sites and resources, including:
Online help
The WebAccelerator system provides context-sensitive online help for each screen. The online help contains descriptions of each control and setting on the screen. To access the online help, click the Help tab on the left navigation pane of the Configuration utility.
F5 Networks Technical Support web site
The F5 Networks Technical Support web site provides the latest documentation set for the product, including:
The AskF5SM Knowledge Base
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