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Release Note: BIG-IP WOM version 10.0.0
Release Note

Updated Date: 06/07/2009

Summary:

This release note documents the version 10.0.0 release of the WAN Optimization Module. To review the features introduced in this release, see New features in this release. For information about installing the software, 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 on the AskF5 web site, http://support.f5.com.

Contents:

- User documentation for this release
- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- Installing the software
- Upgrading from earlier versions
- New features in this release
- Known issues


User documentation for this release

In addition to these release notes, the following user documentation is relevant to this release.

WAN Optimization Module documentation

BIG-IP system documentation

Because the BIG-IP® WAN Optimization Module 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 Technical Support web site.

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Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

Note: F5 Networks recommends that the BIG-IP platform on which you plan to provision the WAN Optimization Module has a minimum of 4 GB of RAM.

The supported browsers for the Configuration utility and BIG-IP Dashboard are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, version 6.x or version 7.0
  • Mozilla® Firefox® 1.5x or version 2.0x, and other browsers that use the Mozilla engine

Note: F5 Networks recommends that you leave the browser cache options at the default settings.

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.

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Supported platforms

This release supports the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 1600 (C102)
  • BIG-IP 3600 (C103)
  • BIG-IP 6900 (D104)
  • BIG-IP 8900 (D106)

If you are unsure of which platform you have, the sticker on the back of the chassis states the platform number.

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Installing the software

This section lists only the very basic steps for installing the BIG-IP software, which includes the WAN Optimization Module. The BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide contains details and step-by-step instructions for completing an installation. F5 Networks recommends that you consult the getting started guide for all installation operations.

If the software is already installed on your hardware platform, refer to Chapter 3, Configuring WAN Optimization for the First Time in the Configuration Guide for the BIG-IP® WAN Optimization Module.

The steps in this section assume that:

  • The license and service contract are already updated for this release, if applicable.
  • You downloaded the .iso file from F5 Downloads to /shared/images on the source for the operation.
    (Note that you might need to create this directory. If so, use this exact name, including capitalization.)
  • There is at least minimal partitioning on the system drives.
  • You have already configured a management port.
  • You are logged on to the management port of the system you want to upgrade.
  • You are logged on to a hard drive installation location other than the target for the operation.
  • You logged on using an account with administrative rights.
  • You have saved the user configuration set (UCS) in the /var/local/ucs directory on the source installation location, if applicable.
  • You are logged on to the standby unit in a redundant system, if applicable, and you will synchronize the configuration to the active unit.
  • You turned off mirroring, if applicable.
  • If you are upgrading from 9.3.x or 9.4.x, you have run im <downloaded_filename.iso> to copy over the new installation utility.

Installation consists of the following steps.

  1. To copy the upgrade utility, run the command im (for first-time 10.x installation).
  2. To install the software, use one of the following methods:
    • Run the command image2disk --instslot=HD<volume_number> <downloaded_filename.iso> (for first-time 10.x installation).
    • Run the command bigpipe software desired HD<volume_number>version 10.0.0 build <nnnn.n> product BIG-IP
    • Use the Software Management screens in the browser-based Configuration utility.

After the installation finishes, you must complete the following steps before the system can pass traffic.

  1. Reboot to the new installation location.
  2. Log on to the browser-based Configuration utility.
  3. Run the Setup utility.
  4. Provision the modules.

Each of these steps is covered in detail in the BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide, and F5 Networks recommends that you reference the guide to ensure successful completion of the installation process.

The upgrade process installs the software on the inactive installation location that you specify. This process usually takes between three minutes and seven minutes. During the upgrade process, you see messages posted on the screen. For example, you might see a prompt asking whether to upgrade the End User Diagnostics (EUD), depending on the version you have installed. To upgrade the EUD, type yes, otherwise, type no.

You can check the status of an active installation operation by running the command b software status.

If installation fails, you can view the log file. For image2disk installations, the system logs messages to the file you specify using the --t option. For other installations, the system stores the installation log file as /var/log/liveinstall.log.

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Upgrading from earlier versions

How you upgrade from earlier versions depends on the version of software you have.

Upgrading from version 9.6.x or earlier 10.x versions

When you upgrade from software version 9.6.x or earlier 10.x versions, you can use the Software Management screens in the Configuration utility to complete these steps. To open the Software Management screens, in the navigation pane of the Configuration utility, expand System, and click Software Management. For information about using the Software Management screens, see the online help, or the relevant chapters in the BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide.

Upgrading from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x

If you plan to install this version of the software onto a system running 9.3.x or 9.4.x, you must perform a one-time upgrade procedure to make your system ready for the new installation process. When you update from software version 9.3.x or 9.4.x to 10.x, you cannot use the Software Management screens in the Configuration utility. Instead, you must run the image2disk utility on the command line. For information about using the image2disk utility, see the BIG-IP® Systems: Getting Started Guide.

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New features in this release

This release includes the following new features.

Performance Dashboard
The Dashboard is a graphical interface that you use to monitor system statistics. On the Performance Overview screen, you can view overall statistics for the system, including CPU and memory usage, the number of connections, and system throughput. You can view details about the WAN Optimization Module on the WAN Optimization screen.

Dynamic Discovery
Dynamic Discovery is a process through which the WAN Optimization Module identifies and adds remote endpoints automatically, saving configuration time.

TCP optimization
The WAN Optimization Module employs adaptive TCP optimization to speed up traffic using techniques such as session-level application awareness, persistent tunnels, selective acknowledgements, error correction, and optimized TCP windows.

Symmetric Data Deduplication
Symmetric Data Deduplication uses references to previously transmitted data to reduce the amount of bandwidth it takes to transfer data over the WAN.

Symmetric Adaptive Compression
Symmetric Adaptive Compression compresses data through the use of dictionary-based compression and advanced encoding schemes.

CIFS optimization
The WAN Optimization Module can optimize Common Internet File System (CIFS) traffic, resulting in faster performance during file transfer, when downloading or saving files, when opening Microsoft applications, and when browsing directories on networked drives.

MAPI optimization
The WAN Optimization Module can optimize MAPI (Messaging Application Program Interface) traffic to reduce the amount of bandwidth required to transfer email traffic over the WAN.

NAT traversal
The WAN Optimization Module supports deployments where one or both of the BIG-IP systems are behind a Network Address Translation (NAT) router.

WCCPv2 support
Web Cache Communication Protocol (WCCP) is available in the Network section of the navigation pane when the WAN Optimization Module is provisioned. The BIG-IP system supports WCCP version 2. You can use the WCCP feature in a deployment where the WAN Optimization Module is located out-of-path, that is, not inline. The benefit is that if the device fails, the WCCP feature automatically bypasses the failed device.

TOS/DSCP bits preserved
The WAN Optimization Module preserves Type of Service (TOS) priorities or Differentiated Services Codepoint (DSCP) values for traffic moving through the tunnel.

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Known issues

The following items are known issues in the current release.

Active FTP data connections not optimized (CR108811)
In this release, the WAN Optimization Module does not support optimizing Active FTP connections. If you attempt to optimize Active FTP traffic, the system optimizes only the control connection, not the data connection.

Traffic blocked if self IP Port Lockdown is set to Allow Default (CR109093)
If you are using a self IP address for the WAN Optimization Module and the Port Lockdown setting of the self-IP address on the server-side endpoint is set to Allow Default (the default value), certain types of TCP and UDP traffic are blocked; for TCP: SSH, domain, SNMP, HTTPS, and 4353; and for UDP: domain, SNMP, EFS, 1026, and 4353. You must set the self IP address to Allow None (the command line default) to successfully optimize all types of traffic.

No warning when advertised routes conflict with remote routes (CR109097)
The system does not log a warning if local advertised routes conflict with advertised routes on remote endpoints. Having two systems with conflicting routes is most likely a configuration error.

Using Dashboard with Internet Explorer 6 (CR109099)
When using Internet Explorer 6 to display the Dashboard, the system may display a message about mixed https and http on the page. This is a known issue in version 6, and Microsoft has fixed it in Internet Explorer 7. You may ignore the message. All communications remain secure.

Disabling all compression settings on iSession profile (CR111261)
When creating an iSession profile, you need to enable at least one compression setting. If you inadvertantly create an iSession profile with all compression settings disabled, you may receive a warning when you associate the profile with a virtual server that states that Method null must be enabled if all other methods are disabled. The message means if you do not want compression to occur on connections, you must enable the Null compression setting on both the local and remote endpoints. In any case, at least one compression setting must be the same on both the local and remote endpoints (even if it is Null) for any connections to be established between them.

Dashboard Overview CPU table view missing state for some CPUs (CR113126)
When you look at the table view of the CPU panel of the dashboard, state information may be missing for some CPUs. This occurs because more than one CPU on a multicore system share a fan and thermometer, and the system reports the status for only one of the CPUs.

TCP profile congestion control settings have no effect (CR113431)
In a TCP profile, the Packet Loss Ignore Rate and Packet Loss Ignore Burst settings, which perform congestion control, are not operational for this release. Leave them set to the default value of 0.

Compression configuration changes may require clearing RAM cache (CR114972)
If you change the compression or deduplication options for the iSession profile on a BIG-IP® system that is running both the WAN Optimization Module and the WebAccelerator system, you must also clear the RAM cache from the command line. To clear the RAM cache, use the b profile http <http profilename> ramcache entry all delete command. If you do not clear the RAM cache after changing these options, the WebAccelerator system may not accelerate the HTTP traffic as expected.

Disabling local endpoint on receiving side WAN Optimization Module (CR114939)
If you disable the local endpoint on the receiving (server) side WAN Optimization Module, the systems may continue to optimize traffic. You need to disable the local endpoint on the initiating (client) side to stop optimizing traffic between the two endpoints.

Disable Address Translation for virtual servers optimizing traffic (CR115250)
If you use the command line or Local Traffic Manager to create a virtual server that optimizes traffic and the virtual server has a Destination setting of type Host, the Address Translation setting defaults to Enabled. We recommend that you disable Address Translation for virtual servers optimizing traffic. If you create optimization policies (virtual servers) from the WAN Optimization screens, the Address Translation setting is automatically set to Disabled.

TCP Profile Verified Accept setting is not operational for optimized connections (CR115565)
On a TCP profile, the Verified Accept setting ensures that the system can communicate with the server before it establishes a client connection. In this release, this setting works fine on Local Traffic Management but has no effect on optimized traffic.

Manually changing the system time may affect deduplication (CR115749)
If you manually change the system time to an earlier time using a method other than Network Time Protocol (NTP), some WAN Optimization services related to data deduplication may restart. If you are optimizing traffic, you may want to use NTP to synchronize the BIG-IP system time rather than manually changing it at the command line.

Invalid segment message requires no action (CR115805)
The system may issue an Invalid Segment message in the tmm.log while performing data deduplication. No action is required on your part. The system handles this issue internally.

Disable SMB signing to optimize CIFS traffic (CR116389)
The Configuration Guide fails to mention an important detail about CIFS optimization. You need to disable SMB signing on all servers with CIFS shares, or establish a security policy to disable SMB signing on the domain server, if you want to optimize CIFS traffic.

Symmetric data deduplication mode changes (CR118501)
By default, symmetric data deduplication uses the disk (as well as memory) to store information that is used later for optimization. You can change the deduplication mode using the Mode setting on the Local Endpoint - Advanced screen, or using a command on the command line: b datastor disk usage enable (or disable). In either case, for the change to be enacted, you must restart the datastor service from the command line: bigstart restart datastor. The system and documentation do not warn you that you need to restart datastor.

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Contacting F5 Networks

  Phone: (206) 272-6888
Fax: (206) 272-6802
Web: http://support.f5.com
Email: support@f5.com

For additional information, please visit http://www.f5.com.


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