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Manual Chapter: Using Acceleration Policies
Manual Chapter
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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 application. The WebAccelerator uses the matching rules to match a request to a leaf node, and then applies the associated set of acceleration rules to cache, assemble, and respond to the HTTP request.
The WebAccelerator system offers three types of acceleration policies that you can use to ensure efficient access to your web applications.
Pre-defined Acceleration Policies
The WebAccelerator system comes with several pre-defined acceleration policies, most of which are optimized for a specific application. Additionally, the WebAccelerator system offers pre-defined acceleration policies for general delivery and symmetric deployment, which are not application-specific.
User-defined Acceleration Policies
A user-defined acceleration policy is a policy that you create by either copying an existing policy and modifying the rules, or by creating a new acceleration policy and specifying all new rules.
Signed Acceleration Policies
A signed acceleration policy is 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. Unlike pre-defined and user-defined acceleration policies, you cannot view or modify the configured rules for a signed acceleration policy.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
Figure 3.1, following, shows an example of the Policies screen.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
4.
Click a node on the Policy Tree.
The matching rules display for the selected node.
5.
From the Matching Rules menu, choose Acceleration Rules.
The acceleration rules appear on the menu bar.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
On the User-defined Acceleration Policies or Signed Acceleration Policies table, click Rename next to the user-defined acceleration policy that you want to rename.
The Rename Policy screen opens.
4.
In the Name box, type a new name for the acceleration policy.
5.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
6.
Click the Rename button to save the changes.
The Policies screen opens with the new name listed for the acceleration policy.
Warning: Do not delete an acceleration policy unless you are sure that you do not ever want to refer to it again. If you delete an acceleration policy, you cannot recover it. You can retain an acceleration policy to use later, even if you do not have an application that is currently using it.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
On the User-defined Acceleration Policies or Signed Acceleration Policies table, check the box next to the acceleration policy that you want to delete, and then press the Delete button.
The Delete Policy Confirmation screen opens.
4.
Click the Delete button to confirm the deletion, keeping in mind that you cannot recover a deleted acceleration policy.
The Policies screen opens, and the table refreshes without the acceleration policy you deleted.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
On the User-defined or Signed Acceleration Policies table, click the Logging link next to the acceleration policy for which you want to specify logging.
4.
If you want the WebAccelerator system to create individual logs for the HTTP and HTTPS protocols, check the box for Log HTTP and HTTPS requests separately in the What to Log area.
The screen refreshes with additional HTTP log options.
6.
If you select Log all transactions, or Only log transactions served from cache, then select a format for the HTTP logs from the Log Format list.
7.
In the HTTPS Log area (available only if you are logging HTTP and HTTPS separately), click the button next to the following options as required:
8.
If you select Log all transactions, or Only log transactions served from cache, then select a format for the HTTPS logs from the Log Format list.
9.
Click the Save button.
From the Policy Editor screen, you can view the matching rules and acceleration rules for user-defined and pre-defined acceleration policies, as well as create or modify user-defined acceleration policies.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click the name of an existing acceleration policy.
The Policy Editor screen opens, where you can view the matching rules and acceleration rules for the selected acceleration policy.
Figure 3.2 illustrates the Policy Editor screen for an example acceleration policy.
Policy Tree
The Policy Tree is located on the left side of the Policy Editor screen. Each leaf node on the Policy Tree represents matching rules and acceleration rules. The Policy Tree function bar includes the following options:
Add
Use this option to add a new branch or leaf node.
Rename
Use this option to change the name of a branch or leaf node.
Delete
Use this option to remove a branch or leaf node.
Copy
Use this option to copy a branch or leaf node.
up, down arrows
Use these options to change the priority of a leaf node up or down within the branch node of the Policy Tree.
Screen trail
Located to the right of the Policy Tree, and above the Policy Editor menu bar, the screen trail displays (horizontally) the screens that you accessed in order to arrive at the current screen. You can click the name of a screen in the trail to move back to a previous location.
Policy Editor menu bar
Located below the screen trail, the Policy Editor menu bar contains a list from which you select Matching Rules or Acceleration Rules.

If you select Matching Rules, the matching rules options display for the specified acceleration policy, as illustrated in Figure 3.3. For more information, see Chapter 6, Configuring Matching Rules.
If you select Acceleration Rules, the following acceleration rules menu bar displays, as illustrated in Figure 3.4.
Variation
For more information, see Chapter 7, Configuring Variation Rules.
Assembly
For more information, see Chapter 8, Configuring Assembly Rules.
Proxying
For more information, see Chapter 9, Configuring Proxying Rules.
Lifetime
For more information, see Chapter 10, Configuring Lifetime Rules.
Invalidations
For more information, see Chapter 11, Configuring Invalidations Rules.
In most cases, you can use one of the pre-defined acceleration policies that ship with the WebAccelerator system to manage HTTP requests for your sites applications. If, however, you have a unique application for which you cannot use a pre-defined acceleration policy, you can further customize the WebAccelerator system's behavior by creating a new, user-defined acceleration policy or by creating or importing a signed acceleration policy.
The first step in customizing an acceleration policy to manage traffic unique to your site, is to analyze the types of HTTP requests that you receive. When deciding how you want the WebAccelerator system to manage requests and responses for your sites applications, you must consider questions similar to those that follow.
Are there requests for static documents that can remain in the WebAccelerator systems cache for several days before being refreshed?
Once you decide on the different ways that the WebAccelerator system should handle requests for your site, you need to identify the parameters in the HTTP requests that the WebAccelerator system uses to match to requests and responses to the appropriate acceleration policies.
For example, consider the fact that 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 with the appropriate acceleration rule.
Depending on how your site works, 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 the WebAccelerator system can match a request and a response to different acceleration rules, but it ensures that the response is matched to the acceleration policy that is best suited to it.
If you analyze your application requirements and determine that you need to create a user-defined acceleration policy, you can do it most efficiently by copying an existing acceleration policy and modifying the associated matching rules and acceleration rules to meet your unique requirements. Or, 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. This means you can edit the development copy of an acceleration policy, while the WebAccelerator system continues to use the current production version of the acceleration policy. You can make as many changes as you like to the development copy of the user-defined acceleration policy without affecting the acceleration policy currently managing traffic to your applications.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click Copy next to the acceleration policy that you want to copy.
The Copy Policy screen opens.
4.
In the Name box, type a name for the copy of the acceleration policy. Make the name descriptive so you can easily identify this acceleration policy when viewing the User-Defined Acceleration Policies table.
5.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
6.
Click the Copy button.
The Policies screen displays the acceleration policy that you copied in the User-Defined Acceleration Policies table. This new acceleration policy contains all of the matching rules and acceleration rules from the original acceleration policy that you copied.
For a new or modified acceleration policy to be in effect for your site, you must publish it. One way to do this is to click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor to open the publish screen. We recommend that when you make a series of changes to an acceleration policy, you click the Publish button on the Policy Editor screen only after you make the last change in the series. Alternatively, you can publish an acceleration policy from the Policies screen. See Publishing acceleration policies, for more information.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click the Create button located above the User-Defined Acceleration Policies table.
The New Policy screen opens.
4.
In the Name box, type a name for the acceleration policy. Make the name descriptive so you can easily identify this acceleration policy when viewing the User-Defined Acceleration Policies table.
5.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
6.
Click the Create button.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the new acceleration policy that you created in the User-Defined Acceleration Policies table.
7.
On the User-defined Acceleration Policies table, click the name of the acceleration policy that you created.
The Policy Editor screen opens.
See Chapter 4, Understanding the Policy Tree, for details about how to create a Policy Tree.
For a new or modified acceleration policy to be in effect for your site, you must publish it. One way to do this is to click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor to open the publish screen. We recommend that when you make a series of changes to an acceleration policy, you click the Publish button on the Policy Editor screen only after you make the last change in the series. Alternatively, you can publish an acceleration policy from the Policies screen. See Publishing acceleration policies, for more information.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
4.
Click a node on the Policy Tree.
The matching rules display for the selected node and make changes as required.
5.
From the Matching Rules menu, choose Acceleration Rules.
The acceleration rules appear on the menu bar.
6.
Click the name of an acceleration rule to view the configured rule parameters for the selected node and make changes as required.
For a new or modified acceleration policy to be in effect for your site, you must publish it. One way to do this is to click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor to open the publish screen. We recommend that when you make a series of changes to an acceleration policy, you click the Publish button on the Policy Editor screen only after you make the last change in the series. Alternatively, you can publish an acceleration policy from the Policies screen. See Publishing acceleration policies, for more information.
Another way that you can customize the WebAccelerator system is to use a signed acceleration policy, which is encrypted and certified by its author. You can import a signed acceleration policies from several sources, such as the publisher of a specific application or a consultant, or you can sign an existing user-defined policy that you have created.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
From the Tools column in the User-Defined Acceleration Policies table, click Sign next to the acceleration policy that you want to sign.
The Sign and Export and Acceleration Policy screen opens.
4.
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 Management.
5.
From the Signing SSL Certificate private key list, select the private key that you want to use.
6.
Click the Export button.
A separate window opens, prompting you to open or save the XML file.
7.
Click the Save button.
A separate window opens, prompting you to navigate to the location where you want to save the file.
8.
Click the Save button.
The file is saved to the location you specified.
Once you sign and export the acceleration policy, you can import it into any system running the same version of the WebAccelerator system software. After you import a signed acceleration policy, you can publish it and make it available for assignment to your applications.
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 Management.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click the Import button (located above the User-defined Acceleration Policies table).
The Import Policies screen opens.
4.
Click the Browse button to browse and locate 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 check 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 the box Overwrite existing policy of the same name.
In some cases, you may have more than one application that requires the same signed acceleration policy, but with different logging options. In this scenario, you can copy the signed acceleration policy, and then modify the logging options as required.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click Copy next to the acceleration policy that you want to copy.
The Copy Policy screen opens.
4.
In the Name box, type a name for the copy of the acceleration policy. Make the name descriptive so you can easily identify this acceleration policy when viewing the Signed Acceleration Policies table.
5.
In the Description box, type an optional description.
6.
Click the Copy button.
The Policies screen displays the acceleration policy that you copied in the Signed Acceleration Policies table. This new acceleration policy contains all of the matching rules and acceleration rules from the original acceleration policy that you copied.
For a new or modified acceleration policy to be in effect for your site, you must publish it. One way to do this is to click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor to open the publish screen. We recommend that when you make a series of changes to an acceleration policy, you click the Publish button on the Policy Editor screen only after you make the last change in the series. Alternatively, you can publish an acceleration policy from the Policies screen. See Publishing acceleration policies, for more information.
When you are modifying, creating, or copying an acceleration policy, the WebAccelerator system keeps that acceleration policy in development mode, until you publish it. This allows you to edit the acceleration policy as required, while the WebAccelerator system continues to process requests to your applications, using the currently published (production) copy of the acceleration policy.
Once you have completed configuring the new or modified acceleration policy, you must publish it before the WebAccelerator system can assign it to an application.
When you modify rules for an existing user-defined acceleration policy that is already assigned to an application, the WebAccelerator system propagates the changes to the acceleration policy profile that is in production as soon as you publish it. Once published, the WebAccelerator system starts using the modified acceleration policy to handle requests.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
On the User-defined Acceleration Policies table, click Publish next to the acceleration policy that you want to publish.
The screen refreshes and displays a comment box.
4.
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 to the acceleration policy.
5.
Click the Publish Now button.
The Policies screen refreshes and displays the current date and time in the Last Published column, next to the acceleration policy that you published.
Optionally, you can click the Publish button from any screen within the Policy Editor to open the publish screen, where you can publish the acceleration policy. We recommend that if you are making a series of changes to an acceleration policy, click the Publish button on the Policy Editor screen only after you make the last change in the series.
You can use the export feature to save an acceleration policy to an XML file for back up and archival purposes, or to provide to the F5 Networks Technical Support team for troubleshooting issues. 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.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click Export next to the acceleration policy that you want to export.
The Export Policy screen opens.
4.
From the Export list, select one of the following:
Published Policy
Exports the published acceleration policy that your applications is currently using. If you have not yet published the acceleration policy you are exporting, this option does not display in the list.
Development Policy
Exports the unpublished development acceleration policy.
5.
Click the Export button.
A separate window opens, prompting you to open or save the XML file.
6.
Click the Save button.
A separate window opens, prompting you to navigate to the location where you want to save the file.
7.
Click the Save button.
The file is saved to the location you specified.
Once you export an acceleration policy and save the XML file, you can import it, using the following import feature. After you import an acceleration policy, you can publish it to make it available for assignment to your applications.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand WebAccelerator and click Applications.
The Applications screen opens in a new window.
2.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane in the new window, click Policies.
The Policies screen opens, displaying the existing acceleration policies.
3.
Click the Import button (located above the User-defined Acceleration Policies table).
The Import Policies screen opens.
4.
Click the Browse button to browse and locate 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 check 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 the box Overwrite existing policy of the same name.
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