Manual Chapter : Configuring HTTP Load Balancing with Cookie Persistence

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Manual Chapter

Configuring HTTP Load Balancing with Cookie Persistence

Overview: HTTP load balancing with cookie persistence

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 client’s browser.

Task summary for creating a basic HTTP load balancing scenario with cookie persistence

This implementation describes how to set up a basic HTTP load balancing scenario and cookie persistence, using the default HTTP profile.
Because this implementation configures HTTP load balancing and session persistence using the default HTTP, you do not need to specifically configure this profile. Instead, you simply configure some settings on the virtual server when you create it.

Creating a custom cookie persistence profile

A good way to implement cookie persistence is to create a custom cookie persistence profile.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Local Traffic
    Profiles
    Persistence
    .
    The Persistence profile list screen opens.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The New Persistence Profile screen opens.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a unique name for the profile.
  4. From the
    Persistence Type
    list, select
    Cookie
    .
  5. From the
    Parent Profile
    list, select
    cookie
    .
  6. Select the
    Custom
    check box.
  7. From the
    Cookie Method
    list, select
    HTTP Cookie Insert
    .
  8. If you want the BIG-IP system to encrypt the pool name specified in the BigIPServer default cookie, select the
    Default Cookie Encrypt Pool Name
    check box.
  9. Retain or change all other profile settings.
  10. Click
    Finished
    .
The custom cookie persistence profile appears in the Persistence list.

Creating a pool to process HTTP traffic

You can create a pool of web servers to process HTTP requests.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Local Traffic
    Pools
    .
    The Pool List screen opens.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a unique name for the pool.
  4. For the
    Health Monitors
    setting, from the
    Available
    list, select the
    http
    monitor and move the monitor to the
    Active
    list.
  5. From the
    Load Balancing Method
    list, select how the system distributes traffic to members of this pool.
    The default is
    Round Robin
    .
  6. For the
    Priority Group Activation
    setting, specify how to handle priority groups:
    • Select
      Disabled
      to disable priority groups. This is the default option.
    • Select
      Less than
      , and in the
      Available Members
      field type the minimum number of members that must remain available in each priority group in order for traffic to remain confined to that group.
  7. Using the
    New Members
    setting, add each resource that you want to include in the pool:
    1. Type an IP address in the
      Address
      field.
    2. Type
      80
      in the
      Service Port
      field, or select
      HTTP
      from the list.
    3. (Optional) Type a priority number in the
      Priority
      field.
    4. Click
      Add
      .
  8. Click
    Finished
    .
The new pool appears in the Pools list.

Creating a virtual server for HTTP traffic

This task creates a destination IP address for application traffic. As part of this task, you must assign the relevant pool to the virtual server.
You can also use HTTP Cookie Insert persistence with a Performance (HTTP) type of virtual server.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Local Traffic
    Virtual Servers
    .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the
    Create
    button.
    The New Virtual Server screen opens.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a unique name for the virtual server.
  4. In the
    Destination Address
    field, type the IP address in CIDR format.
    The supported format is address/prefix, where the prefix length is in bits. For example, an IPv4 address/prefix is
    10.0.0.1
    or
    10.0.0.0/24
    , and an IPv6 address/prefix is
    ffe1::0020/64
    or
    2001:ed8:77b5:2:10:10:100:42/64
    . When you use an IPv4 address without specifying a prefix, the BIG-IP system automatically uses a
    /32
    prefix.
    The IP address you type must be available and not in the loopback network.
  5. In the
    Service Port
    field, type
    80
    , or select
    HTTP
    from the list.
  6. From the
    HTTP Profile
    list, select
    http
    .
  7. In the Resources area of the screen, from the
    Default Pool
    list, select the relevant pool name.
  8. 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 a custom cookie persistence profile.
  9. Click
    Finished
    .
You now have a virtual server to use as a destination address for application traffic.