Release Notes : GLOBAL-SITE Controller Release Note

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GLOBAL-SITE Controller

  • 1.1.1
Release Notes
Original Publication Date: 06/20/2000

Summary:

This release note documents the 1.1.1 version upgrade to the GLOBAL-SITE Content Controller.  The release note covers changes since version 1.1.  This release is recommended, but not mandatory, for all customers.  It contains significant new features.

Contents:

Installing the Release

The GLOBAL-SITE Controller will be completely installed by an F5 Networks representative.  Here we provide three sets of instructions for upgrading the GLOBAL-SITE Controller:

Please refer to the correct instructions for the process you are attempting.

Upgrading from version 1.1 to version 1.1.1

Use the following process to upgrade the GLOBAL-SITE Controller from version 1.1 to version 1.1.1:

  1. Connect to the F5 Networks FTP site (ftp.f5.com).

    To find out how to download software from the F5 FTP site, see SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

  2. From the /globalsite/gsite111 directory, download the globalsitekit.tar file to the /var/tmp/ directory on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.
  3. Run the following command in the /var/tmp directory to install this upgrade: 

    tar -xvf globalsitekit.tar

  4. While logged in as root, enter the following commands: 

    cd /

    /var/tmp/install

  5. Follow the instructions on the screen.

The checksums for this upgrade are included in a file called sums which can be downloaded from the FTP site.

Installing the upgrade from version 1.0 to version 1.1.1

Use this process to upgrade from GLOBAL-SITE Controller version 1.0 to version 1.1.1.  These instructions assume that you have:

  • A GLOBAL-SITE Controller version 1.0 machine
  • A RedHat CD-ROM with a globalsite.tgz file and upgrade script on it
  • A RedHat upgrade kickstart floppy.

Note that this process requires on-site support from a field engineer.

Instructions:

  1. Insert the CD-ROM and upgrade kickstart floppy disk into the appropriate drives and reboot the machine.
  2. If for some reason the machine does not go into the kickstart upgrade process, you may need to change the boot sequence in your BIOS settings.
    To do this:
    1. Reboot the machine, and when you see Press DEL to enter SETUP at the bottom of the screen, press the Delete key.
    2. Select BIOS FEATURES SETUP and scroll down to the boot sequence field.
    3. On your keyboard, use the plus and minus keys (+ and - ) on the keypad to change the sequence to A,CDROM,C.
    4. On your keyboard, press Esc to return to the main menu, then F10 to save and exit, and type Y to save to CMOS and exit.
  3. About half-way through the installation process, you see a window titled Customize Packages to Upgrade.  Choose NO, since the kickstart file knows which files it needs to upgrade.
  4. If you see a screen titled Kudzu telling you that it has detected a new device, ATI: 3D Rage IIC AGP, you can either choose Ignore, or wait for the screen to time out.
  5. When you see the screen showing completion of upgrade, remove both the CD-ROM and the floppy from the drives, and press Enter to reboot.

    Note:  You may need to wait for the machine to start shutting down before you are able to remove the CD-ROM from the drive.
  6. When the machine finishes rebooting, log on as root (if you need your password, contact your support service).
  7. Re-insert the CD ROM.
  8. Type: mount /mnt/CDrom .
  9. Type: /mnt/CDrom/gsite/upgrade
    This takes you through the upgrade procedure, and prompts you for the following items:
    • Passphrase - If you chose to encrypt the private key with a passphrase on the original installation, then you are prompted for that passphrase when the GLOBAL-SITE administrative web server is restarted. 
    • SSH configuration - SSH is configured on your machine.  If the system finds SSH already configured on your machine, it keeps the configuration.  If the system perceives no SSH configuration, this runs.  You may restrict SSH access to your machine by editing the file /etc/sshd_config and adding the line:  AllowHosts host1 host2 , where host1, host2, and so on, are the hosts that you would like to allow access to your machine.  Otherwise, any host will be allowed access.

First-Time Boot utility

Use this process if you are installing the GLOBAL-SITE Controller for the first time.  The GLOBAL-SITE Controller will be completely installed by an F5 Networks representative.  The last step of installation, usually completed at the customer site, is to run the First-Time Boot utility. 

Before starting the First-Time Boot utility, you should have this information at hand:

  • Host name
  • Aliases
  • IP address
  • Name server(s)
  • Search domains(s)
  • Gateway IP address
  • Netmask
  • Your time zone
  • Current time
  • Browser password, for user access
  • System password (optional, used for SSH or Telnet access)
  • Root password, for admin user, or change password
  • SSH Configuration details
  • Disk mirroring information
  • SSL certification information, private key passphrase
  • GLOBAL-SITE identifier for the machine

Once you install the software upgrade, refer to the Configuring and using the updated software section, following.


What's new in this version

This section provides a concise look at enhancements included in the release.

New features and enhancements

This is a brief summary of the enhancements included in the current upgrade.   

  • XML Provider
    This version of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller includes the XML Provider for the SEE-IT Network Manager.  The XML Provider assists the SEE-IT Manager in collecting data on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller global configuration and physical system.  The XML Provider uses an HTTPS agent residing on the controller to return data to the SEE-IT Network Manager in XML format.  For details about enabling the XML Provider, refer to the SEE-IT Network Manager 2.0 documentation. 
  • Removed Unused Editions button
    The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now provides functionality to remove unused editions.  The Publication Editions screen now includes a Remove Unused Editions button that displays a popup window to collect the information on editions that you want to remove from the publication.  For more information, see Remove Editions.
  • Add RAID status to system information screen
    In a mirroring configuration, disk failures were not apparent to users.  Although sync errors are displayed on the console during bootup and initialization, the system would function as normal with one of the two mirrored disks.  We have added a table in the GLOBAL-SITE Controller browser interface to display the current RAID status.  For more information, see System Settings.
  • Improved error messages
    The system now provides more descriptive error messages in several places.  For instance, if the user enters a correct virtual server address but wrong port number in the virtual server address field, the new error message clearly indicates that the port number must be corrected.
  • Compress files copied to distributors in non-archived publications
    We have improved the network throughput of non-archived publications by compressing the files that are copied to distributors.
  • Throttle non-archived publishing to control the load on servers
    We have changed the non-archived publishing process so that now the copy phase controls the number of processes that service the active publications.  This method should ensure that the GLOBAL-SITE Controller does not experience problems under extremely heavy processing loads. 

Remove Editions

If you have a series of editions to remove from your archived publication, you can now do it faster with the Remove Unused Editions button than by using the delete button (trashcan icon) on the Publication Editions screen.  Use this feature to remove groups or series of old editions that are no longer being used in a current publication.  This option cleans up the listing on the Publication Editions screen, and makes it easier for you to focus on the current editions.

Click the Remove Unused Editions button to display a popup window where you can remove unused editions for the current publication.  Use this option when you want to delete several editions in a series.  This button is available only when there are two or more editions in an archived publication.

The popup window provides three options; each option allows you to delete a range of editions.  The first choice allows you to delete a editions specified by edition number:  you could delete a series of editions from the middle of your list if you like, and retain both the oldest and newest editions.  The second and third options let you delete a series of older editions only, starting with the oldest in your list, and keeping only the newer editions, which you can specify either by number of editions to keep, or by number of days' editions to keep.  The default option for this window is to delete from the oldest up to the day you specify.

Before deleting any editions, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller considers your criteria, and applies its own criteria to the editions specified.  To be removed, editions must meet these conditions: 

  • The edition cannot be published anywhere; it cannot belong to any currently published subscriber.
  • The publication must be in an Idle or Unavailable state.
  • There can be no parent/child relationship for any edition you are deleting.
  • The edition must be within the range you specified to remove. 
    Note:  Be careful when specifying removal by days, as the GLOBAL-SITE Controller will remove files that are as little as 1 minute older than the time you specified to keep. 

Regardless of your choices, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller does not remove your last published edition.

For details about the specific new controls, the task steps, requirements, and defaults, refer to the online help for the Publication Editions screen.


System Settings

The System Settings screen now displays the status of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller disks and partitions, for systems that have dual disk configurations.

You can use the lower part of the System Setting screen to do a quick check on the disk status and drive status if your system is configured with dual disks.  The top row of the table clearly shows any applicable partitions, by name, along with the Type and Status of each.  The bottom row of the table shows icons indicating whether the disk is active or inactive. 

If the partition is showing a status of sync error, you probably should resynchronize the disks.  Contact your F5 Networks representative, who will need to correct this for you. 


Configuring and using the updated software

This release does not require any configuration changes (either required or optional).  There are no configuration changes. 


Known issues

These are characteristics of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, version 1.1.1, that may affect your publishing.

  • Non-archived publishing ignores file names with an embedded linefeed character.
    Non-archived publications tolerate removing files during the publishing process.  However, they cannot parse a file name with an embedded linefeed character.  When a non-archived publication encounters a file name with an embedded linefeed character, it treats that file as though the file has been removed, and successfully finishes the publishing without copying the file.  (Archived publications parse these file names correctly, but report an error if a file is removed during this parsing.)
  • Non-archived publishing does not show updating section progress  
    For non-archived publications, the Publish Progress Display screen for the updating sections phase may not show the progress that is taking place.  During the update process, the File Listing and MB areas on the screen remain at zero until the process is complete.  Because the total elapsed time for non-archived delivery is much faster, this may not be a significant amount of time, but it could be noticeable if you are waiting for a sign of progress.
  • "File no longer exists" 
    During the update process for archived publications, if a file is removed from a source server during the update, the publishing process fails, and you see an error message that says, "File no longer exists."  You may notice this when running a scheduled publication.  You can avoid this issue by not modifying or moving files once the publishing process has started.
  • Cannot change path on subscriber you have already published to
    If you are working with a particular subscriber that you have already published to, and try to change the server name, user name, and one of the paths, and save it, you get an error screen.  The GLOBAL-SITE Controller will get only part-way through the process.  The problem is in trying to change a path that you have already published to.
  • Must run manual publishing cycle after adding new subscriber to a scheduled publication
    When adding a new subscriber to a scheduled publication, you must run a manual publishing cycle before returning the publication to a scheduled cycle.  The process is:
    1. Turn off the scheduler for the publication.  (Use the Pause Schedule button on the Publication Sections screen.)
    2. Add the new subscriber.
    3. Initiate a publishing cycle manually.
    4. Return the publication to its scheduled state, if preferred.

  • NcFTPd incompatibility
    GLOBAL-SITE Controller version 1.1.1 has compatibility issues with the NcFTPd server.  Attempting the publishing process using the NcFTPd server may result in errors.
  • Distributors
    • You cannot switch an existing subscriber to a new distributor that has not already published the same version that the subscriber has.  The subscriber and distributor must be in synch on a section-by-section basis.
    • For a particular BIG-IP Name (on the BIG-IP Detail screen), if you attempt to change a BIG-IP Distributor to one that is not associated with the BIG-IP Controller, it can take several minutes to receive the error message.
  • BIG-IP Controller integration
    • You cannot remove a virtual server subscriber when a section is disabled.  The solution is simply to enable the section before deleting the virtual server subscriber. 
    • Each subscriber name must be unique, regardless of which system or distributor it goes through.  With virtual server subscribers, the node names must also be unique, across the entire GLOBAL-SITE system.

  • Section status can be confused with publication status. 
    For instance, when two sections are updated together, and one section completes, the Section Detail screen can report that the finished section is still updating.  This keeps configuration changes from being made for that section, and keeps you from using the section in another publication.  
  • The GLOBAL-SITE Controller publishing process is constrained by the restrictions of your file system.
    For example: 
    • There are device names reserved for use by Windows NT®.  These include: AUX, CON, PRN, and NUL.
    • Be aware of issues with case-sensitivity on some file systems. For instance, on a UNIX server, you could have three different files:  mygoodfile, MyGoodFile, and MYGOODFILE.  If you published to an Windows NT® server, they would all be put to only one file, as NT is not case-sensitive.
    • If you have heterogeneous file systems, your file names must be able to work across the systems.
    • Be aware of the constraints on special characters in NT, and with Netscape.  NT does not allow some special characters, shown here in brackets [ \ / : * ? " < > # | ].
    • The only special characters that GLOBAL-SITE names can handle safely are the space and the underscore, shown in brackets [ ] and [ _ ].  Do not use other special characters in any GLOBAL-SITE publication, section, or subscriber names:  no double quotation marks, no apostrophes, no slashes, no question marks, no dashes.