Manual Chapter : GLOBAL-SITE Administator Guide v1.0: Introduction to the GLOBAL-SITE Controller

Applies To:

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GLOBAL-SITE Controller

  • 1.0 PTF-03, 1.0 PTF-02, 1.0 PTF-01, 1.0.0
Manual Chapter


Introduction to the global/SITE Controller

Welcome to the global/SITE Controller

The global/SITE Controller is a network appliance that manages publishing, distribution, and synchronization of file-based content and applications to local and geographically distributed Internet sites. The global/SITE Controller uses a publishing metaphor, tracking your content as publications. When you log on to the global/SITE Controller, you can view the current state and status of your publications at a glance. You can see specific information about each publication, view or modify sections and versions, and update or publish any publication as easily as using the mouse to point and click.

Figure 1.1 The global/SITE Controller Publication List screen

Application tools

The global/SITE Controller supports the F5 Configuration utility, which is a browser-based application, and also supports an administrative command line utility. The browser application provides access to all global/SITE Controller features and functions. Figure 1.1 shows the Publication List screen, the application screen that you see when you first connect your browser to the Configuration utility from the global/SITE Controller home page. Figure 1.2 shows the F5 Networks Configuration Utility home page for global/SITE Controller.

Figure 1.2 F5 Networks Configuration Utility home page

The browser application

The Publication List screen (shown in Figure 1.1) gives you a quick overview of your publications, and status of each, and a quick way to delete any publication. In addition, it provides a link to the Publication Editions screen where you can view further details about each publication. Figure 1.3 shows the Publication Editions screen, which shows details for the editions of each publication, and provides access to the sections, section versions, subscribers, and publication options associated with each publication that you manage.

Figure 1.3 The global/SITE Controller Publication Editions screen

The Publication Editions screen, shown in Figure 1.3, is one of a series of publication screens that display the basic building blocks of your publications, provide status of each, and lead you through the publication process. There are tabs for each of the major pieces of a typical publication: Editions, Sections, Subscribers, and Publication Options. Each tab displays a screen that provides an overview of the element, and access to status and details for that element. You can typically create, modify, or delete each element, and add or remove that element from a publication. You also use the publication screens to start and monitor the publication process.

The User and Distribution screens assist you in managing the administrative functions of the global/SITE Controller. Use them for adding or removing user accounts, and viewing or adding global/SITE Controllers that function as distributors.

The navigation pane, displayed in the left frame, provides links that you can use for administrative tasks, such as managing or adding new user accounts or distributors. Click Publications, Distribution, or Users to see summary help for that group. Click any of the other options on the navigation pane to access an application screen for use.

The global/SITE Controller screens have a standard application title bar across the top, which includes both the screen title and a help button. You can click the help button to open a page of help pertinent to the screen you are viewing when you click the button.

The global/SITE Controller screens also have a locator on the right side of the screen. This representative graphic provides a reminder of which part of the publication you are currently working with.

The UNIX command line utility

The supplemental UNIX command line utility supports important maintenance commands that allow you to perform troubleshooting tasks. The command line utility also supports basic administrative commands, such as creating and updating the global/SITE Controller. For more information on the command line, refer to Appendix A and Appendix B.


The global/SITE Controller requires no additional hardware or software from the user. Simply plug it in, configure it, and it is ready to go with your existing server and publishing systems.

Operating systems

The global/SITE Controller runs on the RedhatTM Linux version 5.2.1.

The global/SITE Controller supports a variety of source and target server operating systems:

  • Windows NT®
  • Windows® 95
  • UNIX platforms
  • Mac® OS

Web browsers

You can connect to the global/SITE Controller using either of the following popular web browsers:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer, version 4.0 and later
  • Netscape® Navigator, version 4.0 and later

global/SITE Controller features

The global/SITE Controller offers a variety of management and control features for your content synchronization and distribution needs.

Application and content synchronization

The global/SITE Controller provides total control of all content publishing processes. The browser-based application makes it easy for you to pull data from multiple staging servers, and then synchronize final delivery across all servers simultaneously, at one or more sites, regardless of location.

The global/SITE Controller allows web publishers to intelligently deploy files and directories to web servers. Web publishers can define standard file distribution profiles, or set up one-time distribution rules. In addition, when doing updates between publisher and distributor controllers, the global/SITE Controller transmits only updates, reducing traffic on network resources.

Version control

The global/SITE Controller is designed to track and save all changes while providing continual access to all prior versions. It synchronizes the project data accordingly. Your web publishers are no longer limited to publishing only the most recent content. The complete history of each project is now accessible.

Site recovery and one-button rollback

The global/SITE version-control feature provides instantly available application and content rollback. This feature is critical for effective management of your applications and content at Internet speed. In case of problems with a site or with content, web publishers can immediately select any previous edition to be republished to production web servers and they can accomplish this with the click of a button.

Content and administration security

Built-in security mechanisms throughout the global/SITE Controller protect Internet content and applications for transfer between the publisher and the distributor, then ensure proper delivery of content and applications to the production server. The browser-based administrative tool uses SSL to encrypt information passed between the browser and the global/SITE administrator web server.

Visibility into publishing process

The design of the browser interface makes viewing the publication organization, and monitoring the publishing process easy. You start at the overview and work to more specific details of each publication. At any level, you are one click away from a different perspective of your publication.

With the Section Progress and Publish Progress screens, web publishers can monitor the process as they update sections, or deliver content to subscribers. The Section File Listing screen shows the name, size, and revision date for each file in a section version.

Throughout the browser interface, screens provide status of the publication, edition, or section. If you choose the optional edition delivery pause options on the Pub. Options screen, your publishing process will stop at selected times so that you can confirm status before continuing with the delivery of the edition.

Adaptable open systems and web publishing support

The global/SITE Controller supports all source and target servers running UNIX, NT, and Macintosh operating systems. You manage all processes through a browser-based interface, or the command line utility.

The global/SITE Controller also works with all existing web publishing tools, including those with staging servers. Some of the file-based content and applications that the global/SITE Controller supports are:

  • HTML
  • Java Scripts
  • Active Server Pages
  • Adobe® PDF
  • Microsoft Windows applications

    The global/SITE Controller adapts to your organization's existing IT investment by synchronizing content, applications, and configurations across arrays of heterogeneous servers. You do not even need to contemplate the tedious and expensive task of installing additional server software.

Secure, succinct network traffic

Pairing a global/SITE Controller distributor with a global/SITE Controller publisher provides increased scope for delivering content while maintaining both security and cost effectiveness. This publisher/distributor configuration allows you to publish securely behind firewalls, and take advantage of less expensive communication options.

When you use global/SITE publisher to global/SITE distributor publishing, this is what happens:

  • The information is encrypted by the global/SITE publisher.
  • The publisher sends to the distributor only the differences (file changes) between the current edition on the distributor and the new edition.
  • The information is transferred across the WAN only once, from the publisher to the global/SITE distributor.
  • The distributor then transfers the whole edition of changed files to all of the subscribers.

Finding help and other technical support resources

In addition to this administrator guide, you can find help and technical documentation about the global/SITE Controller in the following locations.

Release notes

You can access the release notes for the current version of the global/SITE Controller by clicking Release Notes on the global/SITE Controller home page. The release note contains the latest information for the current version, including a list of new features and enhancements, a list of fixes, and, in some cases, a list of known issues. You can always view the newest release notes on the F5 Technical Support page.

Online help

You can find different types of help online in the following locations:

  • PDF version of the global/SITE Controller Administrator Guide
    A PDF version of this administrator guide is available from the global/SITE Controller technical support page at This site always has the most recent version of the Administrator Guide. Note that if you upgrade your global/SITE Controller at a later time, the upgrade may include an updated PDF version of the guide.
  • Getting started help
    Each heading in the navigation pane, including Publications, Distribution, and Users, provides a basic summary of the related features.
  • Screen help
    Each screen in the global/SITE Controller has an online help page that you can access by clicking the help button at the upper right of the screen. The help page describes the screen you are currently working in. The Tasks tab gives brief procedures for how to use the screen, and the Controls tab lists each control on the screen and provides an explanation of what it does.

Technical support

The F5 Networks Technical Support web site,, provides the latest technical notes, answers to frequently asked questions, and updates for administrator guides (in PDF format). To access this site, you need to obtain a customer ID and a password from your F5 service engineer.

You can also obtain technical support from the following sources:

Phone (206) 272-6888
Fax (206) 272-6802
email (support issues)
email (suggestions)