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Manual Chapter: Introducing the WebAccelerator System
Manual Chapter
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The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator system is an advanced web application delivery solution designed to overcome performance issues involving browsers, web application platforms, and network latency.
By modifying the web browsers behavior and interaction with web applications, as well as by compressing and caching dynamic and static content, the WebAccelerator system decreases bandwidth usage and ensures efficient access to 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). These processes, and deployment options, are discussed in the following sections.
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.
The WebAccelerator system provides seamless access to your applications through the following acceleration policy features.
MultiConnect prompts the clients browser to open simultaneous TCP connections to perform parallel data transfers, decreasing content access time.
PDF linearization rapidly displays PDF documents, based on the information the user needs to see first.
Intelligent browser referencing manipulates the web browser cache to reduce requests to your site for relatively static content, such as images and style sheet (CSS) files.
To perform these tasks, the WebAccelerator system uses 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 the way the WebAccelerator system is managing HTTP traffic and system communication methods through monitoring tools that include:
For more information about monitoring the WebAccelerator system processes and traffic, see the Monitoring the WebAccelerator System chapter, in the Configuration Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator System.
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 across the office 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.
For specific information about how to deploy an optional symmetric deployment, see Configuration Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator System.
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.
Figure 1.3 shows an example of the Welcome screen for the Configuration utility. The products that you are licensed for may vary.
Important: All users need to use the web-based Configuration utility to license the system for the first time. For a list of the supported browsers for the Configuration utility, refer to the most current release note for the WebAccelerator system at
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 Manager, as well as information about installing, enabling, and configuring resource provisioning for the WebAccelerator system license.
Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management
For information about how to define a virtual server and pool.
TMOSTM Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems
For an overview of the complete BIG-IP product offering.
This guide describes the administrative concepts and procedures for managing acceleration policies. The intended audience for this guide is the IT or operations professional, who is responsible for configuring and providing the ongoing management of the WebAccelerator system.
To help you easily identify and understand certain types of information, this documentation uses the following stylistic conventions.
All examples in this documentation use only private IP addresses. When you set up the solutions we describe, you must use valid IP addresses suitable to your own network in place of our sample IP addresses.
Most sites are built on a collection of web servers, application servers, and database servers that we refer to collectively as origin web servers.
We refer to all products in the BIG-IP product family as BIG-IP systems. We refer to the software modules by their name; for example, we refer to the WebAccelerator module simply as the WebAccelerator system. If configuration information relates to a specific hardware platform, we note the platform.
We apply bold text to a variety of items to help you easily pick them out of a block of text. These items include web addresses, IP addresses, utility names, most controls in the Configuration utility, and portions of commands, such as variables and keywords.
If the WebAccelerator system can map multiple requested host names to a request, it chooses the host name that most closely matches the request. Consider the following defined host names:
A request to is mapped to, not to *
A request to maps to
Requests to and both map to *
A request to maps to *
We use italic text to denote a reference to another document or section of a document. We use bold, italic text to denote a reference to a book title. For example, you can find information about local traffic virtual servers in the Configuring Virtual Servers chapter of the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
We show actual, complete commands in bold Courier text. Note that we do not include the corresponding screen prompt, unless the command is shown in a figure that depicts an entire command line screen. Table 1.1 explains additional special conventions used in command line syntax.
You enter text for the enclosed item. For example, if the command has <your name>, type your name.
Syntax inside the brackets is optional.
Indicates that you can type a series of items.
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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