Manual Chapter : BIG-IP 4.6 Features Guide: Introduction to this Guide

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BIG-IP versions 1.x - 4.x

  • 4.6.0
Manual Chapter


Introduction to this Guide

What's new in BIG-IP version 4.6

The BIG-IP software version 4.6 release includes a number of new features. These features include enhancements to CRL authentication, SSL proxy re-encryption, and ICMP message handling.

The new features in this release are documented either in this guide or in the release note for BIG-IP software version 4.6. For a complete list of the new features in this release, see the release note.

The new features documented in this guide are:

  • SSL proxy selective encryption
    SSL proxy server-side re-encryption at the pool level allows you to override the re-encryption option for selected pools. This is useful for configurations that include a local pool that does not require server-side re-encryption and a remote pool that requires server-side re-encryption. For more information, see Chapter 2, SSL Proxy Selective Re-encryption.
  • Node counting
    This release includes the active_nodes function which indicates how many nodes are available in a pool. The active_nodes function is useful for configuring rules that send traffic to a particular pool based on how many nodes are available in that pool. For more information, see Chapter 3, Node Counting Rule Function.
  • CRL authentication enhancements
    This release includes enhancements to CRL functionality including the addition of CRL management using distribution points and a configurable update interval that refreshes CRLs at a specified interval. For more information, see Chapter 4, CRL Authentication Enhancements.

Using this guide

Before using this guide, it is helpful to understand how the guide relates to other BIG-IP documentation. It is also helpful to understand the stylistic conventions that appear throughout the text.

Scope of this guide

This guide documents only those new features that are included in the BIG-IP version 4.6 release. You should therefore use this guide in conjunction with the complete set of product documentation that applies to the BIG-IP version 4.6 release.

The BIG-IP version 4.6 documentation set comprises these documents:

  • Platform Guide version 4.5
    This guide includes information about the BIG-IP unit. It also contains important environmental warnings.
  • BIG-IP Solutions Guide version 4.5
    This guide provides examples of common load balancing solutions.
  • BIG-IP Reference Guide version 4.5
    This guide provides detailed configuration information for the BIG-IP system. It also provides syntax information for bigpipe commands, other command line utilities, configuration files, system utilities, and monitoring and administration information.
  • Link Controller Solutions Guide version 4.5
    This guide provides examples of common link load balancing solutions using the Link Controller.
  • BIG-IP e-Commerce Guide version 4.5 (optional)
    This guide provides detailed configuration information for BIG-IP e-Commerce Controller systems.
  • Release notes
    Release notes for BIG-IP version 4.6 are available from the product web server home page, and are also available on the technical support site. The release notes contain the latest information for BIG-IP version 4.6, including a list of new features and enhancements, a list of fixes, and, in some cases, a list of known issues.
  • Online help
    You can find help online in three different locations:
    • The web server on the product has PDF versions of the guides included in the Administrator Kit.
    • The web-based Configuration utility has online help for each screen. Simply click the Help button.
    • Individual bigpipe commands have online help, including command syntax and examples, in standard UNIX man page format. Simply type the command followed by the word help, and the BIG-IP system displays the syntax and usage associated with the command.

Stylistic conventions

To help you easily identify and understand important information, our documentation uses the stylistic conventions described below.

Identifying new terms

To help you identify sections where a term is defined, the term itself is shown in bold italic text. For example, a virtual server is a specific combination of a virtual address and virtual port, associated with a content site that is managed by a BIG-IP system or other type of host server.

Identifying references to objects, names, and commands

We apply bold text to a variety of items to help you easily pick them out of a block of text. These items include web addresses, IP addresses, utility names, and portions of commands, such as variables and keywords. For example, with the bigpipe pool <pool_name> show command, you can specify a specific pool to show by specifying a pool name for the <pool_name> variable.

Identifying references to other documents

We use italic text to denote a reference to another document. In references where we provide the name of a book as well as a specific chapter or section in the book, we show the book name in bold, italic text, and the chapter/section name in italic text to help quickly differentiate the two. For example, you can find information about load balancing methods in the BIG-IP Reference Guide, Chapter 4, Pools.

Identifying command syntax

We show complete commands in bold Courier text. Note that we do not include the corresponding screen prompt, unless the command is shown in a figure that depicts an entire command line screen. For example, the following command shows the configuration of the specified pool name:

bigpipe pool <pool_name> show


b pool <pool_name> show

Table 1.1 explains additional special conventions used in command line syntax.

Command line syntax conventions

Item in text



Indicates that the command continues on the following line, and that users should type the entire command without typing a line break.

< >

Identifies a user-defined parameter. For example, if the command has <your name>, type in your name, but do not include the brackets.


Separates parts of a command.

[ ]

Indicates that syntax inside the brackets is optional.


Indicates that you can type a series of items.