Jan 252011
 

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Many computing environments want to use a BIG-IP® system to intelligently manage their HTTP traffic. You can easily control your HTTP traffic by implementing a BIG-IP system feature known as an HTTP profile. An HTTP profile is a group of settings that affects the behavior of HTTP traffic. An HTTP profile defines the way that you want the system to manage HTTP traffic.

You can use the default HTTP profile, with all of its default values, or you can create a custom HTTP profile. When you create a custom HTTP profile, you not only modify the setting values, but you can enable more advanced features such as data compression of server responses.

When you configure the BIG-IP system to manage HTTP traffic, you can also implement cookie-based session persistence. Cookie persistence directs session requests to the same server based on HTTP cookies that the BIG-IP system stores in the clients browser. To implement cookie persistence, the BIG-IP system offers a default persistence profile that you can implement, or you can create a custom cookie persistence profile.

Configuring HTTP load balancing with cookie persistence

To set up basic HTTP load balancing with persistence that is based on cookies, you need to:

Create a custom cookie persistence profile.

Create a load balancing pool.

Create a virtual server to process the HTTP traffic and send it to the pool.

Because this implementation configures HTTP load balancing using the existing default HTTP profile, you do not need to specifically configure a profile for managing HTTP traffic. The only profile you need to configure is the custom cookie persistence profile.

Creating a custom persistence profile

A good way to implement cookie persistence is to create a custom cookie persistence profile.

To create a custom cookie persistence profile

1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Profiles.
The HTTP Profiles screen opens.

2. On the menu bar, click Persistence.
This displays the list of default persistence profiles.

3. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
The New Persistence Profile screen opens.

Note: If the Create button is unavailable, this indicates that your user role does not grant you permission to create a profile.
4. In the Name box, type a name for the profile, such as mycookie_profile.

5. From the Persistence Type list, select Cookie.

6. From the Parent Profile list, select cookie.

7. To the far right of the Cookie Method setting, check the Custom select box.

8. From the Cookie Method list, select HTTP Cookie Insert.

9. Leave the Cookie Name setting disabled.

10. In the Expiration setting, clear the Session Cookie check box.
Additional settings appear.

11. In the Minutes box, type 60.

12. Click Finished.

Creating a pool

The next task is to create a load balancing pool to which to load balance HTTP connections.

To create a pool for load balancing HTTP traffic

1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Pools.
The Pools screen opens.

2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
The New Pool screen opens.

Note: If the Create button is unavailable, this indicates that your user role does not grant you permission to create a pool.

3. In the Name box, type a name for the pool, such as http_pool.

4. From the Health Monitors list, from the Available box select http, and click the Move button (<<) to move the monitor name to the Active box.

5. For the New Members setting, add the pool members:

a) Click the New Address option.

b) In the Address box, type the IP address of a server in the pool.

c) In the Service Port box, type 80, or select HTTP.

d) Click Add.

e) Repeat steps b, c, and d for each server in the pool.

6. Click Finished.

Creating a virtual server

The next task in a basic configuration is to define a virtual server that references the HTTP pool.

To create a virtual server for HTTP traffic

1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and click Virtual Servers.
The Virtual Servers screen opens.

2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create.
The New Virtual Server screen opens.

Note: If the Create button is unavailable, this indicates that your user role does not grant you permission to create a virtual server.
3. In the Name box, type a name for the virtual server, such as vs_http.

4. In the Destination box:

a) Verify that the type of virtual server is Host

b) In the Address box, type an IP address for the virtual server.

5. In the Service Port box, type 80, or select HTTP from the list.

6. In the Configuration area of the screen, retain the value of the Protocol setting, TCP.

7. From the HTTP Profile list, select http.
This assigns the default HTTP profile to the virtual server.

8. In the Resources area of the screen, locate the Default Pool setting and select the name of the HTTP pool you created in the previous section (for example, http_pool).

9. From the Default Persistence Profile list, select the name of the custom cookie profile you created earlier, such as mycookie_profile.
This implements cookie persistence, using the custom cookie profile.

10. Click Finished.

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