Updated Date: 11/15/2010
This release note documents the version 9.4.6 release of the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system. We recommend this general sustaining release only for those customers who want the fixes listed in New features and fixes in this release. For existing customers, you can apply the software upgrade to version 9.4 and later. For information about installing the software, please refer to Installing the software.
Note: F5 offers general availability releases and general sustaining releases. For detailed information on our policies, refer to Solution 8986, F5 software lifecycle policy, which is available in the AskF5SM Knowledge Base, http://support.f5.com.
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.
Important: You cannot install the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system, version 9.4.6, onto a CompactFlash® media drive; you must install it onto an HD1.1 or HD1.2.
The installation of the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system is integrated with the BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager. Before you begin the installation process, you need to determine which installation option is appropriate: Windows® hosted, USB mass storage device, local, PXE server, or remote. For additional information about these options, see the Installation, Licensing, and Upgrades for BIG-IP® Systems guide, and the BIG-IP® Network and System Management Guide.
Warning: A valid service contract is required to complete this upgrade.
Warning: You must reactivate the license on the BIG-IP system you intend to upgrade before you begin the installation.
Warning: You must turn off mirroring before you attempt to upgrade. Mirroring between units with differing versions of the BIG-IP software is not supported.
Important: You are prompted to install the software on multiple boot images if the unit supports the multiple boot option. The BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 1600 (C102), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), BIG-IP 3410 (C100), BIG-IP 3600 (C103), BIG-IP 6400 (D63), BIG-IP 6800 (D68), BIG-IP 8400 (D84), and BIG-IP 8800 (D88) platforms support this functionality.
Important: You must perform the installation from the management interface (Management) on the BIG-IP system.
Important: You should perform the installation first on the standby unit in a redundant system. If you are satisfied with the results, initiate failover and apply the upgrade to the other unit in the redundant system. Each unit in a redundant system must be running the same version of the software.
Important: We recommend that you run the MD5 checksum on any ISO image or IM upgrade file you download. For information about MD5 checksums, see the section Verifying the MD5 checksum of the installation file in the appropriate installation release note.
Before performing Windows hosted installation, read the following information.
Before performing a USB mass storage installation, read the following information.
Before performing a local installation, read the following information.
Before performing a PXE server installation, read the following information.
Before performing a remote installation, read the following information.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system supports UCS files from all version 9.4 releases.
Important: This installer is capable of automatically generating UCS files at install-time. Installations of 9.4.2 and later generate UCS files, if there is not one already present in the root directory, as /config.ucs. In order to roll-forward a pre-9.4.2 configuration, you must manually create the /config.ucs file before starting the installation.
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.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system saves the system configuration files, pvsystem.conf and globalfragment.xml, to the /config/wa directory for all version 9.4 releases.
If you are upgrading from a previous version of the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system, review the following information.
For upgrades from version 9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4, or 9.4.5 to version 9.4.6, the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system saves the previous system configuration files as pvsystem.conf.<previous version> and globalfragment.xml<previous version>. If you made modifications to the default configuration in the previous version that you want to apply to version 9.4.6 after you upgrade, review the pvsystem.conf.<previous version> and lobalfragment.xml<previous version> files and then modify the pvsystem.conf file as required.
For specific information about how to modify the pvsystem.conf and globalfragment.xml files, refer to the Changing Default Settings chapter of the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP WebAccelerator System.
This release includes the following new features and fixes.
This release contains the following new feature.
Support for the 6900 platform
With this release, you can install BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.6 on the 6900 platform. For more information about the 6900 platform, see Platform Guide: 6900 on the AskF5 Knowledge Base web site.
This release includes the following fixes.
Unexpected proxy reply from %TMM log message (CR92646)
In previous releases, the WebAccelerator system logged the message, Unexpected proxy reply from %TMM, after you checked the system's statistics, invalidated content, or rotated the log files in the access directory. We have resolved this issue and the WebAccelerator system no longer logs these benign messages.
HTTP Expires response header format (CR93301)
The WebAccelerator system no longer logs as invalid, any HTTP Expires response headers that contain a value of Expires: 0 and Expires: -1; The WebAccelerator system now properly processes these objects as expired.
Cache-Control directives for downstream intermediate caching (CR95041)
The WebAccelerator now provides support for custom Cache-Control directives, which you can specify for response headers that are sent from the origin web server. When custom Cache-Control directives are specified, the WebAccelerator system processes the response header without modifying it.
Memory from the pvac service's memory manager (CR96975)
The WebAccelerator pvac service's memory manager now properly releases and reuses allocated memory.
comm_srv process when processing a high number of transactions (CR97174)
The comm_srv process no longer intermittently restarts when the WebAccelerator system is managing a high number of transactions.
Upgrading from version 9.4 to version 9.4.6 (CR107106)
When upgrading from version 9.4 to version 9.4.6, you no longer have to modify the pvsystem.conf and globalfragments.xml files to use new features introduced in the latest release. All new features introduced in a release are now immediately available after you upgrade.
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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.)
New pre-defined acceleration policy for PeopleSoft (CR92585)
This release includes a new version of the pre-defined acceleration policy, Oracle PeopleSoft 9, for Oracle® PeopleSoft Enterprise Management 9.
Support for the 3600 platform (CR93334)
With this release, you can install BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.5 on the 3600 platform. For more information about the 3600 platform, see Platform Guide: 1600 and 3600 on the AskF5 Knowledge Base web site.
HDS prune enhancement (CR93501)
In this release, the hds_prune script is improved and it now performs pruning processes more efficiently. This enhancement optimizes the WebAccelerator system's performance, especially when processing a large number of HTTP requests.
Support for Crystal Reports (CR93932)
WebAccelerator system now offers support for Business Objects Crystal Reports™.
IP address for central or remote WebAccelerator system (CR91229)
Previously, if you attempted to create a central or remote WebAccelerator system with a zero (0) as one of the octets in the IP address, the process failed and the Configuration utility displayed an error. This issue is resolved and you can now use a zero (0) as an octet in the IP address when you create a central or remote WebAccelerator system.
pvac service's memory manager (CR98151)
In this release, the pvac service's memory manager is enhanced and now manages memory more efficiently.
Accept-Encoding gzip headers (CR85169)
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system can now send Accept-Encoding headers with the value of gzip to the origin web server, which optimizes bandwidth requirements in certain network configurations by compressing content. The Accept-Encoding gzip feature is installed, but disabled by default in the pvsystem.conf file. To enable the Accept-Encoding gzip feature, see Enabling the Accept-Encoding gzip feature in the Optional Configuration Changes section.
Changing a source definition value for parameter value substitutions in an assembly rule (CR85721)
In previous releases, you had to delete the source value that you wanted to change, and add it back to the assembly rule with the new value. This is no longer required; The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system now properly saves any changes you make to the value of a path segment, query parameter, or unnamed query parameter source definition on a root node for an assembly rule.
Specifying a value for the Content Type parameter in a matching or invalidations rule (CR85777)
Starting in this release, you configure multiple Content Type parameters for a rule by typing them in a single line, in the form of a regular expression, into the Value(s) box. Previously the system incorrectly allowed you to enter line breaks between values.
Lifetime for static objects in pre-defined acceleration policies (CR85808)
In previous versions the default lifetime rule options for some pre-defined acceleration policies prompted the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system to use the http-acceleration profile's RAM Cache Maximum Age setting. We have fixed this issue, and you are no longer required to set the WebAccelerator™ system's http-acceleration profile's RAM Cache Maximum Age to 60 seconds to ensure that clients are receiving the most current data for cached static objects.
Half-closed TCP connection management (CR86490)
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system can now manage half-closed TCP connections. The half-closed TCP connection management feature is installed, but disabled by default in the pvsystem.conf file. To enable the half-closed TCP connection management feature, see Enabling the half-closed TCP management feature in the Optional Configuration Changes section.
4500 platform reports memory as exabytes instead of megabytes (CR87578)
In previous releases, if a WebAccelerator™ 4500 platform contained 4GB of memory and more than 2GB was provisioned for the host, the used memory for the host was reported in exabytes, rather than megabytes. We have fixed this issue and the bigpipe memory show command and the Memory Used performance graph now properly display host memory used, in the form of megabytes.
There are no features specific to this release.
Missing httpd file and Configuration utility access (CR85993, CR80083)
In previous releases, a rare installation error condition or a clean installation could block creation of the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) httpd file, which prevented access to the Configuration utility. In this release, the installation process correctly creates the httpd file, so this problem no longer occurs.
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. For specific information about migrating to the 4500 platform, refer to the Migrating from version 5.2 to version 9.4.2 on the WebAccelerator™ 4500 Platform guide.
Content invalidation coherency feature
All BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ version 9.4.2 systems deployed in a symmetric configuration now share content invalidation information. For specific information about configuring a symmetric deployment, see the Configuration and Maintenance chapter 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 the Configuring Assembly Rules chapter 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 symmetric deployment, see the Configuration and Maintenance chapter 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 the Monitoring with SNMP chapter in the Administrator Guide for the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ System.
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.
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:
There are no fixes specific to this release.
This software release includes the following features:
The Accept-Encoding gzip feature is installed, but disabled by default.
Using SSH, log on to the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system using the root user name and password.
bigstart restart pvac
The half-closed TCP connection management feature is installed, but disabled by default.
Using SSH, log on to the BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system using the root user name and password.
The BIG-IP® WebAccelerator™ system version 9.4.6 release contains the following known issues. Known issues are cumulative, and include all known issues for a release.
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. For more information about the default settings, refer to SOL8780: The default RAM Cache settings for the http-acceleration profile should not be modified.
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, Always proxy requests for this node, for the acceleration policy that is assigned to the application that is 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.
Disk cache space on the 4500 platform (CR92643)
The 4500 platform currently provides 100 GB of unused space in the /shared file system; however, the WebAccelerator system uses the /var file to store disk cache content by default. Depending on the system configuration and the amount and type of system traffic you are processing, you may run into disk allocation issues. To resolve this issue, you can configure the 4500 platform to use the 100 GB of additional disk space in the /shared file. See Modifying the pvsystem.conf file to use additional disk space, in the Workarounds for known issues section.
The following section describes the workaround 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 this 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 running the WebAccelerator system on the 4500 platform, you can configure the system to use the additional 100 GB of disk space located in the 4500 platform’s /shared file.
Important: This procedure is applicable to only the 4500 platform. The /shared file system on the BIG-IP 3600, 6400, 8400, and 8800 platforms is larger than the /var file system. Therefore, the following procedure provides no additional benefit for those platforms
cp pvsystem.conf pvsystem.conf.sol8325
bigstart restart pvac
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