Updated Date: 10/09/2007
This release note documents the version 9.4.2 feature release of the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system. To review the features introduced in this release, see New features and fixes in this release. You can apply the software upgrade to version 9.4.0 and later, and you can migrate from version 5.2. For information about installing the software, refer to Installing the software.
Note: F5 offers both feature releases and maintenance releases. For more information about our release policies, see Description of the F5 Networks software version number format.
In addition to these release notes, the following user documentation is relevant to this release.
Because the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system now runs on TMOS™, the following documentation is also relevant to this release:
You can find the product documentation and the solutions database on the AskF5 Knowledge Base web site.
The Configuration utility (graphical user interface) supports the following browsers:
Important: Popup blockers and other browser add-ons or plug-ins may affect the usability of the Configuration utility. If you experience issues with navigation, we recommend that you disable these types of browser plug-ins and add-ons.
This release applies only to the supported platforms listed below; each platform provides all minimum system requirements.
If you are unsure of which platform you have, look at the sticker on the back of the chassis to find the platform number.
The installation instructions vary depending, on whether you are installing the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.2 software onto a system that is running 9.4 or 9.4.1, or a system running version 5.2. Please refer to the installation section appropriate to your installation.
Important: You cannot install the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system, version 9.4.2, onto a CompactFlash® media drive; you must install it onto an HD1.1 or HD1.2.
Important: If you are performing an upgrade on a 4500 platform from version 5.2 to BIG-IP WebAccelerator version 9.4.2, you must contact F5 Networks Technical Support to obtain a new Base Registration Key. Do not attempt to perform an upgrade on a 4500 platform without first obtaining and installing the new Base Registration Key.
If you are running WebAccelerator™ system version 5.2 on a BIG-IP 4500 platform and want to upgrade to BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.2, see Migrating from version 5.2 to version 9.4.2 on the WebAccelerator™ 4500 Platform. This document explains the tasks required for the upgrade.
Important: If you are upgrading from BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System version 9.4 or 9.4.1 to version 9.4.2, you must change the HTTP profile for the virtual server from http to http-acceleration, in order to use the Hot Cache feature introduced in this release. For specific instructions about configuring an HTTP profile, see Chapter 3, Configuration and Maintenance in the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System.
Important: You must perform the installation from the management interface (Management) on the BIG-IP system.
Important: If your configuration includes a redundant system, perform the installation first on the standby unit. If you are satisfied with the results, initiate failover and apply the upgrade to the other unit in the redundant system.
For a local upgrade, you copy an IM package onto the system you intend to upgrade. You can apply the version 9.4.2 upgrade to any system with a hard drive. For details about downloading the software and using this installation method, see Local Installation: Upgrading from BIG-IP software version 9.2.x, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.4.1 to BIG-IP software version 9.4.2.
For a remote upgrade, you run the upgrade from a management workstation that is not directly connected to the system you intend to upgrade. For details about downloading the software and using this installation method, see Remote Installation: Upgrading from BIG-IP software version 9.2.x, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.4.1 to BIG-IP software version 9.4.2.
If you do not plan to roll forward a configuration, you can perform a clean installation on the system. For details about downloading the software and using this installation method, see PXE Installation: Performing a clean installation of BIG-IP software version 9.4.2.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system supports .ucs files from all version 9.4 releases.
For specific information about the initial configuration of the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system, see Chapter 3, Configuration and Maintenance in the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System. All product documentation is located on the AskF5 Knowledge Base web site.
This release includes the following new features and fixes.
This release includes the following new features.
Support for the 4500 platform
With this release, you can install BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.2 on the 4500 platform. Customers currently running WebAccelerator version 5.2 can now upgrade their systems to take advantage of the features of the TMOS platform. This TMOS-based platform includes the following features:
For more information about the listed TMOS features supported on the 4500 platform, see the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
Content invalidation coherency feature
All BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ version 9.4.2 systems deployed in a symmetrical configuration now share content invalidation information. For specific information about configuring a symmetrical deployment, see Chapter 3, Configuration and Maintenance in the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™System.
Updated Policy Editor
In this release, the Policy Editor has a new look and feel, and includes the following improvements.
New names for assembly rule options
The assembly rule's Express Loader option is now called Intelligent Browser Referencing, and the Express Connect option is now called MultiConnect. For more information about these features, see Chapter 8, Configuring Assembly Rules, in the Policy Management Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system now utilizes Hot Cache in conjunction with Smart Cache to quickly and efficiently serve dynamic and static content. The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system uses Hot Cache to store objects that do not require special assembly, and Smart Cache to store objects that do require special assembly processing, such as objects for which variation rules apply.
You can configure BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ systems in an optional symmetric deployment, providing advanced bi-directional application acceleration for users on remote or mobile networks. Symmetric deployments are often used to create Enterprise Content Delivery Networks (ECDN) or to augment existing public Content Delivery Network deployments. For specific information about the configuring a symmetrical deployment, see Chapter 3, Configuration and Maintenance, in the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System.
F5 Networks standard syslog support
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ now supports F5 Network's best practices for syslog error logging, by managing system information and error messages using F5 Network's standard syslog functionality.
You can now use SNMP to monitor throughput, cache, queues, and processes on the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system. For specific information see Chapter 6, Monitoring with SNMP in the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System.
This release includes the following fixes.
Performance reports for normalized documents (CR73085)
The performance report, Traffic Reports, now properly displays information for documents that the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system has normalized.
MultiConnect feature and HTML tags (CR76935)
When the MultiConnect feature is enabled for a variation rule, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system now correctly rewrites qualifying links.
Using Mozilla Firefox browser to modify user-defined acceleration policies in the Policy Editor (CR77744)
When accessing a user-defined acceleration policy in the Policy Editor using a Mozilla® Firefox® browser, the inheritance icon now correctly displays inheritance details and properly saves any changes you make to a node's inherited rules.
Changes to user-defined acceleration policies (CR80816)
When you make changes to an existing user-defined acceleration policy and publish it, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system now uses the newly configured acceleration rules.
Support for Microsoft Office Open XML MIME object types (CR83356)
BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.2 supports Microsoft® Office® Open XML MIME object types. This support enables the WebAccelerator™ system to accelerate HTTP traffic for Microsoft® Office® applications.
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The current release includes the features and fixes that were distributed in prior releases, as listed below. (Prior releases are listed with the most recent first.)
The 9.4.1 release included the following feature.
New Daylight Saving Time handling
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was passed by the US Congress in August 2005, changed both the start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time in the United States, effective March 2007. Canada is also adopting this change. The resulting changes have been addressed in this version of the product software. To find out more about this issue, refer to Solution 6551: F5 Networks software compliance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
The 9.4.1 release contained the following fixes.
SNAT Automap feature and redundant systems with accelerated virtual servers (CR73433)
On redundant systems that use the SNAT Automap feature, accelerated virtual servers no longer cause some client sessions to fail.
Accelerated resources and load balancing (CR75534)
When the system receives requests for accelerated resources, the system now performs load balancing on a per-request basis. Previously, the system performed load balancing on a per-connection basis.
System performance and memory allocation (CR78910)
In this release, we modified the parameters for the minObjectSizeForHds and newObjectCacheRatio objects to improve system performance.
The 9.4 release included the following features.
The 9.4 release introduced the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system for the BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager. The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system is designed to accelerate web applications by changing the web browser's behavior and interaction with the web application, and reducing traffic to the web application servers by compressing and caching dynamic and static content.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system also provides the following benefits.
This BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system release includes the following pre-defined policies:
Browser behavior control
Without requiring changes to the browser, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system ensures that users do not download duplicate content.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system provides content acceleration by:
Reports and logs
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system provides:
The 9.4 release contained no release-specific fixes.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.2 release contains the following known issues.
Modifying settings for the http-acceleration profile (CR76031)
If you make changes to the http-acceleration profile settings, Minimum Object Size, Maximum Object Size, URI Caching, and Ignore Headers, it will adversely affect the way the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system manages HTTP traffic for your site. You should not modify these settings.
Support for Basic and Digest Authentication scheme (CR80537)
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system does not currently support the Basic and Digest Access Authentication schemes. To ensure that clients receive properly-authenticated content, enable the proxying rule option, , for the acceleration policy that is assigned to the application using Basic and Digest Access Authentication schemes. See Enabling the always proxy option, in the Workarounds for known issues section.
Synchronizing configuration changes to BIG-IP WebAccelerator systems in a symmetrical deployment (CR80763)
If the comm_srv system process is down on a BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system in a symmetrical deployment, and you make changes to other BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ systems in the symmetrical deployment, the configuration changes may not synchronize properly.
Using the Local Traffic Manager's http monitor to report the status of an origin web server in a symmetrical deployment (CR80878)
In a symmetrical deployment of BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ systems, a BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager http monitor on the remote WebAccelerator system does not properly report the status of the origin web server located behind the central WebAccelerator system. To work around this issue, monitor the status of the origin web server, through the BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager’s http monitor, only on the central WebAccelerator system. For more information about configuring and using http monitors, see the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
Applications for remote BIG-IP WebAccelerator systems in a symmetrical deployment (CR81082)
If you add a new application to a BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system that is a member of a symmetrical deployment, you must assign to the new application both a remote and a local acceleration policy, which are configured for symmetrical deployment. If you do not assign the remote and local symmetrical deployment acceleration policies to the application, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system returns an HTTP 403 Forbidden error to clients requesting the new application.
Using destination hosts for WebAccelerator systems in a symmetrical deployment (CR81083)
Destination hosts are not supported for BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ systems in symmetrical deployments. To use destination hosts, you must configure pools through the BIG-IP®Local Traffic Manager. For information about configuring pools, see the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
Unmapped host processing in a symmetrical deployment (CR81084)
When configured in a symmetrical deployment, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system does not properly process requests for unmapped hosts.
Synchronizing changes to a user-defined acceleration policy for WebAccelerator systems in a symmetrical deployment (CR81333)
If you modify a user-defined acceleration policy on a BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ systems in a symmetrical deployment, and you do not publish the policy before you synchronize the configuration, your changes may be lost. To avoid losing configuration changes to user-defined acceleration policies, always publish the policy you changed before you synchronize the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ systems in a symmetrical deployment.
Hit logs for normalized documents (CR81698)
The hit log does not currently report statistics for documents on which the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system has performed URL normalization.
HTTP logging report for content served from Hot Cache (CR81829)
The logging feature does not currently report requests that the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system has served from Hot Cache (previously known as RAM Cache).
Invalidating content for a specific application (CR84569)
If you invalidate content for a specific application, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system invalidates the Hot Cache for all applications.
Removing an http class profile from a virtual server (CR85606)
If you remove an http class profile from the BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager's virtual server's resources, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system may continue to accelerate traffic. To resolve this issue, restart the pvac service using the bigstart restart pvac command. Traffic flow may momentarily halt while the service restarts.
Changing a source definition value for parameter value substitutions in an assembly rule (CR85721)
If you change a configured path segment, query parameter, or unnamed query parameter source definition on a root node for an assembly rule, and then attempt to save the change, the value reverts to the originally configured value. To resolve this issue, delete the source definition that you want to change, and add it back to the assembly rule with the new value.
Specifying a value for the Content Type parameter in a matching or invalidations rule (CR85777)
When configuring the Content Type parameter for a matching or invalidations rule, you must type a regular expression in the form of a single line into the Value(s) text box. The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system cannot properly process traffic for the rule if the regular expression value for the parameter contains a line break. To configure multiple Content Type parameters for a rule, specify the values in the form of a regular expression on a single line the same way you do for other rule parameters.
Lifetime for static objects in pre-defined acceleration policies (CR85808)
The default lifetime rule options for some pre-defined acceleration policies may prompt the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system to use the http-acceleration profile's RAM cache Maximum Age setting. To ensure that clients are receiving the most current data for cached static objects, change the http-acceleration profile's RAM cache Maximum Age setting to 60 seconds. See Configuring the Maximum Age setting for RAM cache, in the Workarounds for known issues section.
The following section describes the workarounds for the corresponding known issue listed in the previous section.
If you are using Basic and Digest Access Authentication schemes for certain applications, you must enable the always proxy feature for the user-defined acceleration policy assigned to those applications. For information about the known issue, see Support for Basic and Digest Authentication scheme.
Enabling the always proxy option
For the new policy to be in effect for your site, you must publish it. For more information, see Chapter 3, Using Acceleration Policies, in the Policy Management Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System. Once you publish the acceleration policy, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system sends all matched requests to the origin server for content.
If you are using a pre-defined acceleration policy, you must change the Maximum Age setting for RAM cache to 60 seconds to ensure that clients are receiving the most current data for cached static objects. For information about the known issue, see Lifetime for static objects in pre-defined acceleration policies.
Changing the Maximum Age setting for RAM cache to 60 seconds
For additional information, please visit http://www.f5.com
Copyright © 2007, F5 Networks, Inc., Seattle, Washington. All rights reserved.
F5, F5 Networks, the F5 logo, BIG-IP, 3-DNS, iControl, Internet Control Architecture, IP Application Switch, iRules, OneConnect, Packet Velocity, SYN Check, Control Your World, ZoneRunner, uRoam, FirePass, TrafficShield, Swan, WANJet, WebAccelerator, and TMOS are registered trademarks or trademarks, and AskF5 is a service mark, of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. F5 Networks' trademarks may not be used in connection with any product or service except as permitted in writing by F5.
This product protected by U.S. Patents 6,505,230; 6,640,240; 6,772,203; 6,970, 933; 7,113,962; and 7,114,180. Other patents pending.