Release Notes : GLOBAL-SITE Controller Release Note

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GLOBAL-SITE Controller

  • 2.1.0
Release Notes
Original Publication Date: 06/13/2001

Summary:

This release note documents version 2.1 of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller. You can apply the software upgrade to existing crypto systems running version 1.1 and later.

Contents:

Installing the upgrade

Complete the following steps to upgrade the GLOBAL-SITE Controller from version 1.1 or later to version 2.1.

  1. On the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, log in as root.

  2. Change to the /var/tmp/ directory:

    cd /var/tmp/

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

  4. From the /globalsite/gsite2.1 directory on the FTP site, download the globalsitekit2.1.tar file to the /var/tmp/ directory on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.

  5. Run the following commands in the /var/tmp directory to install the upgrade:

    tar -xvf globalsitekit2.1.tar
    ./upgrade

  6. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Note that the upgrade from version 1.1 or version 1.1.1 converts your old database to a version 2.0 database.  The upgrade automatically backs up your database to  /gSITE/tmp/Configdb.backup.mm-dd-yy_hhmmss.tgz, where mm-dd-yy_hhmmss is the date and time of the backup.  Your backup is stored for 10 days.  The version 1.1 database will not work with version 2.0 or later of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.  However, if for some reason you need to restore the original database, run the following commands:

su gsite
rm -rf /gSITE/Configdb
tar -zxf /gSITE/tmp/Configdb.backup.mm-dd-yy_hhmmss.tgz -C /gSITE


New features and enhancements

Custom scripts
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller can now run scripts on a subscriber server while delivering a publication.  For details on how to activate this feature, view the online help on the Add Subscriber screen (to get to this screen, open the Configuration utility, click a publication, click the Subscribers tab, click Add a Subscriber, and click the Agent Actions tab.)

Solaris 2.6 agent
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now supports the Solaris 2.6 agent, in addition to the Microsoft Windows 32 agent.  You can download this agent from the first page you see when you start the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, under Additional Software Downloads.


Required configuration changes

There are no required configuration changes in this release.


Fixes

The following issues are resolved in the current release.

Type Description Number
Memory leak The memory leak in the scheduler process no longer exists. CR14446

Known issues

The following items are known issues in the current release.

Type Description Number
Archived and non-archived publishing ignores file names with an embedded line feed character You can remove files during the publishing process when dealing with archived and non-archived publications.  However, these publications cannot parse a file name with an embedded line feed character.  When a publication encounters a file name with an embedded line feed character, it treats that file as if the file has been removed, and successfully finishes the publishing cycle without copying the file.  This happens only with FTP files.  
Archived files that are deleted during publishing no longer generate errors Version 2.0 no longer reports an error or stops publishing if a file is deleted during the Getting New Content phase of an archived publishing cycle.  Instead, as in previous versions, if any file is inaccessible during the Getting New Content phase, the publishing cycle either skips the file or uses the last known version of the file.  
BIG-IP Controller integration You cannot remove a virtual server subscriber when a section is disabled.  The solution is to enable the section before deleting the virtual server subscriber.  
Cache subscribers and partially successful publications

When a publication has multiple, traditional subscribers and at least one cache subscriber, and the GLOBAL-SITE Controller does not successfully deliver content to all of the traditional subscribers, the cache subscriber may populate itself with old content.  To read about how this situation can occur, see the Work-arounds for known issues section.

CR12691
Changing BIG-IP Distributors  On the BIG-IP Detail screen, for a particular BIG-IP Controller listed in the BIG-IP Name box, if you attempt to change a BIG-IP Distributor to one that is not associated with the BIG-IP Controller, you might have to wait several minutes before you receive an error message.  
Deleting distributors associated with BIG-IP Controllers A distributor with subscribers associated with it does not display a Delete button, so you cannot delete it.  However, a distributor with BIG-IP Controllers associated with it does display a Delete button.  If you delete the distributor with BIG-IP Controllers associated with it, you will get the following erroneous warning message:  All subscribers connected to this repeater will be disconnected.  There are no subscribers—it is the BIG-IP Controllers associated with the distributor that are about to be deleted. CR12325
Errors in publications with FTP-Push sections

The following FTP operations cause errors in publications with FTP-Push sections.

  • If there is an open FTP session to the publication, you cannot begin a publishing cycle.  You see the message Wrong state for request.

  • If there is an open FTP session to a section, you cannot purge versions of that section.  You see the message Wrong state for request.

  • While purging versions of an FTP-Push section, you cannot log in to that section using FTP.  You see the message Login incorrect.

  • While getting new content from an FTP-Push section in a publishing cycle, you cannot log in to that section using FTP.  You see the message Login incorrect.
 
Failed content verification notification

When subscribers have failed content verification, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller marks them to be fixed during the next delivery of the publication.  Subscribers and subscriber paths that are marked to be fixed have an icon indicating so in the Edition and Version columns of the Subscriber List and Subscriber Details screen, respectively.

 
Figure 2.11 in Administrator Guide missing information Figure 2.11 The Deliver screen, in the GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide, version 2.0, does not show the Verify box.  
File name case sensitivity and the publishing process

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 a Windows NT server, the server would put all three of these files to only one file, as Windows NT is not case-sensitive.  If you have heterogeneous file systems, your file names must be able to work across the systems.

The GLOBAL-SITE Controller's file system is case sensitive.  As a result, you may encounter some unexpected behaviors when the controller interacts with non-case sensitive file systems like Windows 2000 and Windows NT.  Specifically, you may encounter inaccurate errors when verifying the content when you deliver files to subscribers using the GLOBAL-SITE agent on Windows NT.  You can ignore these verification errors.

 
NcFTPd incompatibility GLOBAL-SITE Controller, version 2.1 has compatibility issues with the NcFTPd server.  If you attempt to complete the publishing process using the NcFTPd server, you may encounter errors.  
New subscribers and scheduled publications When adding a new subscriber to a scheduled publication, you must run a manual publishing cycle before returning the publication to a scheduled cycle.  To complete this process, follow the steps in the Work-arounds for known issues section.  
Non-archived publications and the Publish Progress Display screen For non-archived publications, the Publish Progress Display screen for the Getting New Content 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 if you are waiting for a sign of progress, it could be noticeable.  
Renaming files and directories If you rename a file or directory, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller republishes its contents, even if the content did not change.  To rename a file or directory without republishing its contents, complete the steps in the Work-arounds for known issues section. CR12285
Reusing a subscriber IP address makes the first subscriber inaccessible 

Do not use the same IP address for more than one subscriber or you could make the first subscriber inaccessible.  For example, suppose you have a virtual subscriber that includes a BIG-IP Controller, a distributor, and at least one target server, and the target server is disabled at the moment, listed on the Publication Subscribers screen as unavailable.  If you add a regular subscriber that shares the same distributor as the virtual subscriber, and you assign the same IP address to the new subscriber that you used for the disabled server, two problems occur:

  • The disabled server is no longer listed on the Publication Subscribers screen, so you cannot make changes to the server and it remains disabled.

  • The new subscriber acquires the same name as the virtual subscriber.  Even if you delete the new subscriber, the disabled server remains inaccessible.
 
Section status can be confused with publication status When two sections are updated together, and one section completes, the Section Detail screen can report that the finished section is still updating.  This prevents the GLOBAL-SITE Controller from making configuration changes for that section, and prevents you from using the section in another publication.  
Secure and non-secure items message If you are using Internet Explorer 5.5, and in the Section Browser popup screen you click the Refresh button, the following message appears:

This page contains both secure and non-secure items.  Do you want to display the non-secure items?

Click Yes to continue.  Your data is already secure.
You can eliminate this message by installing Internet Explorer, version 5.5, Service Pack 1.

 
Stop HTTP Server before activating content

If you use the GLOBAL-SITE agent, and check the Stop HTTP Server before activating content box, the agent shuts down IIS completely, just before the Activating New Content phase.  The agent starts those same services back up after the Activating New Content phase is complete.

The most typical services that are shut down are:  MSFTPSVC (FTP server), SMTPSVC (SMTP), and W3SVC (HTTP server).  However, anything that depends on IISADMIN also shuts down.

Only IIS-related services are shut down.  The agent does not shut down an Apache web server on Windows NT.

 
Subscribers on same server must receive concurrent editions  When one server hosts more than one subscriber, the subscribers all must have received the same last edition before you deliver a new edition to that server.  If the editions are not synchronized, the next delivery fails, and generates an error.  For example, if subscriber A last received edition 5, while subscriber B last received edition 6, then the GLOBAL-SITE Controller cannot deliver the next edition successfully.  You can avoid this error by bringing each individual subscriber up-to-date before delivering a new edition to all subscribers on the same server.  
Subscribers on separate servers without concurrent editions may lack publication history When subscribers on separate servers have not all received the same last edition, and another edition is delivered, the delivery succeeds.  However, the subscribers who were not up-to-date do not appear in the Publication Log.  You can keep your Publication Log current by bringing each subscriber up-to-date before delivering a new edition to all subscribers on separate servers.  
The GLOBAL-SITE agent and selecting a transfer method When you install the GLOBAL-SITE agent, you decide whether to enable SSL security.  Regardless of your choice, you must make the same choice on the Section Detail and Subscriber Detail screens when selecting the transfer method to use with the agent.  Otherwise, neither section updates nor deliveries occur successfully, and when you click Test Connection, the test continues indefinitely.  To work around this problem, complete the steps in the Work-arounds for known issues section.

 
Unique subscriber name 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 Controller system.  
User access is re-used If you have two subscribers who share the same user, server, and transfer method, but have a different distributor, they must have the same password.  When you add the second subscriber, if you enter the same user with a different password, the original subscriber's password is changed to match the second subscribers password. CR12402
Using the GLOBAL-SITE Controller with non-crypto EDGE-FX Caches

The GLOBAL-SITE Controller does not work with non-crypto EDGE-FX Caches.


CR12240
Waiting for Subscriber to Restart message The Waiting for Subscriber to Restart message displays during the Activating Content phase, while the agents are renaming files and the file counters are incrementing.  This message should appear after the Activating Content phase ends. CR12385
Windows NT file system constraints Your file system can impose constraints on publishing with the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.  Windows NT has reserved the use of certain device names, including:  AUX, CON, PRN, and NUL.  

Work-arounds for known issues

The following sections describe work-arounds for some of the known issues listed in the previous section.


To understand how a cache subscriber might populate itself with old content

  1. The GLOBAL-SITE Controller instructs the cache subscriber to populate itself by retrieving content associated with a URL.

  2. The origin site is load balanced in such a way that the URL resolves to an origin server that is associated with a subscriber to which the content was not successfully delivered.

  3. The origin server returns, to the cache subscriber, either stale content or an error message.

You can avoid this situation, as described in the following paragraph, if the following two conditions exist:

  • The subscribers associated with the origin server are part of a GLOBAL-SITE Controller virtual subscriber.

  • A BIG-IP Controller load balances the origin server.

You can configure the GLOBAL-SITE Controller to disable a node that is associated with a virtual subscriber while the controller delivers content to the node.  If the delivery to any of those virtual subscribers is not successful, the subscriber is not re-enabled.  Since the controller re-enables only nodes that successfully receive a delivery, the cache is guaranteed to populate itself with content from an origin server with fresh content.

Another example of how you can avoid having cache subscribers populate themselves from origin servers with stale content is, if you use the GLOBAL-SITE agent to disable the HTTP service while the GLOBAL-SITE Controller delivers content, the controller does not re-enable the server unless the delivery is successful.


To add a new subscriber to a scheduled publication

  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.

  5. Reinstall the agent and select the transfer method that matches your existing sections and subscribers.

To rename files and directories without republishing their contents

  1. Rename the file or directory in the section.

  2. Rename the file or directory on all the subscribers.

  3. On the Deliver screen (or, for archived publications, the Deliver Edition screen), choose Without Delivery in the Verify Content box, and click Deliver (or, for archived publications, click Deliver Edition).

  4. After the Cleaning Up phase, click Continue to reconcile the files on the next delivery.

To work around the test connection problem

  1. On the Connection Test screen, after you click Test Connection, and the test continues indefinitely, click Cancel.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Change the sections and subscribers that use the GLOBAL-SITE agent to match the transfer method you selected during the agent installation.

    • Reinstall the GLOBAL-SITE agent and select the transfer method that matches your existing sections and subscribers.