Release Notes : GLOBAL-SITE Controller Release Note

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GLOBAL-SITE Controller

  • 2.2.0
Release Notes
Original Publication Date: 11/30/2001

Summary:

This release note documents version 2.2 of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.  You can apply the software upgrade to existing systems running version 2.0 and later.

Contents:

Installing the upgrade

To install the upgrade, you need to obtain a license key, called f5.license, from Technical Support.  The following steps detail how to authorize the license key and how to upgrade the GLOBAL-SITE Controller from version 2.0 or later to version 2.2.

Note:  If you are upgrading from the version 2.2 beta to the version 2.2 final release, you do not need to obtain an additional license key.  Click here to go to the beta upgrade instructions.

To get and install the license key

  1. Call Technical Support to get your license key.  Support needs the following information from you:
    • The serial number from the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, which is found inside the front cover of the machine.
    • The machine's MAC address
      To get the MAC address for the eth0 interface, at the command prompt, type:
      /sbin/ifconfig

    Technical Support sends you email containing the content for the license key.  Keep that email available so that you can copy the license key content into a file you create on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, in step 6. 
  2. Open an SSH session to the controller (using MindTerm or another SSH program), and log in to the controller.
  3. Create a directory called /config:
    mkdir /config
  4. Change to the /config directory:
    cd /config
  5. Using vi or another text editor, create an empty file and name it f5.license.
  6. Copy the contents of the email you received from Support to the file f5.license that you created.
  7. Save and close the file.

To install the upgrade

Note:  The upgrade instructions are a bit different due to the size of the upgrade kit, and space limitations in the /var/tmp directory.  Please note the use of the /gSITE/tmp directory in the instructions that follow.

Note:  Install the upgrade only when you are not publishing and when no FTP Push activity is occurring.  If you are publishing, the installation waits until the controller completes the publishing cycle.  If there is FTP Push activity, the controller terminates the FTP session.  The FTP Push section is left in a non-idle state, which only clears when the FTP session resumes after the upgrade.

Note:  The GLOBAL-SITE Controller upgrade does not preserve non-standard configurations.  The GLOBAL-SITE Controller upgrade from version 2.0 or 2.1 to version 2.2 erases the current system partitions and overwrites them with new system software.  In particular, the upgrade does not preserve the existing environment variables and arguments for the in.gsited daemon.  We only use these environment variables and arguments to debug system problems.  We do not require them for proper system behavior.  If you suspect that the upgrade changed these, you can run the following commands after the upgrade and check for any output.  No output indicates that they were not changed by the upgrade.

grep -i global /etc/profile.old
grep -i global /etc/inetd.conf.old | grep [1-4]


You can apply changes, if needed, from /etc/profile.old to /etc/profile and from /etc/inetd.conf.old to /etc/xinetd.d/f5-globalsite.

  1. On the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, log in as root.
  2. Change to the /gSITE/tmp/ directory:
    cd /gSITE/tmp/
  3. Connect to the F5 Networks FTP site (ftp.f5.com).
  4. From the /globalsite/gsite2.2 directory on the FTP site, download the system_globalsite_22kit.tar file to the /gSITE/tmp directory on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.
  5. While still as user root, type cd /var/tmp.
  6. Run the following commands in the /var/tmp directory:

    tar xf /gSITE/tmp/system_globalsite_22kit.tar upgrade_install

    ln -s /gSITE/tmp/system_globalsite_22kit.tar . 
  7. To install the upgrade, type:
    ./upgrade_install

    This opens the configuration section for the upgrade.

    Note:  To continue the upgrade you must have already installed your license key.  If you have not installed the license key, please see To get and install the license key.

  8. Type your serial number.  The serial number is found inside the front cover of your GLOBAL-SITE Controller and starts with the letters bip and ends with the letter s.
  9. Type yes to check the operating system partitions.  You have the choice to not do this check, but we highly recommend it. 

    After the partition check, the system reboots.  The process can take up to 20 minutes.

    Note:  The upgrade process cannot migrate your encrypted browser passwords.  Therefore, the upgrade process changes all browser passwords to match their corresponding user name.  Please change the browser passwords as soon as possible after completing this upgrade.  To view the procedure for changing the passwords, please see To change web user account passwords in the Required Configuration Changes section.

  10. Once the reboot is complete, log in to the root account. 
    The Configure LDAP Server screen opens.
  11. Choose the Remote LDAP server if you are already using an LDAP server within your company.  You need the LDAP server name and the admin account name and password.

    Choose Standalone or Master server if you do not have an available LDAP server.
  12. Accept the default (127.0.0.1) to specify only local access to the LDAP server.  Change the default only if the GLOBAL-SITE Controller acts as an LDAP server for other systems.
  13. Confirm your LDAP settings by selecting Accept settings.

After LDAP is configured, the system reboots for a second time.  It takes approximately one minute for the system to complete its second reboot.  After the second reboot is finished, the GLOBAL-SITE Controller upgrade is complete.

To install the upgrade from version 2.2 Beta to version 2.2 release

  1. On the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, log in as root.
  2. Change to the /gSITE/tmp/ directory:
    cd /gSITE/tmp/
  3. Connect to the F5 Networks FTP site (ftp.f5.com) and log in with a user name and password provided by F5 Technical Support.
  4. Change to binary transfer mode with this command:
    bin
  5. From the /globalsite/gsite2.2 directory on the FTP site, download the globalsite_22kit.tar file to the /gSITE/tmp directory on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.
  6. End the FTP session by typing quit.
  7. While still as user root, type cd /var/tmp.
  8. Run the following commands in the /var/tmp directory:

    tar xf /gSITE/tmp/globalsite_22kit.tar upgrade_install

    ln -s /gSITE/tmp/globalsite_22kit.tar . 
  9. To install the upgrade, type:
    ./upgrade_install

    The upgrade_install script stops the all GLOBAL-SITE processes, and performs the upgrade.
  10. When prompted, reboot the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.  You must reboot for your system to function.  The reboot should take approximately one minute.

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New features and enhancements

iControl support
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now supports the content delivery components of the iControl SDK.  For more information on iControl and the iControl SDK, version 2.0, see that product's documentation.

BIG-IP Controller version 4.0 Support
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller can now communicate with the BIG-IP Controller version 4.0 and later.  See the GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide, Chapter 4, Increasing Control over Publishing for more information.

SNMP event notification
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now provides the UC Davis MIB, as well as the GLOBAL-SITE MIB, which displays GLOBAL-SITE Controller specific information.  You can expand the notification system with user-defined actions such as sending an email message or running a script.  In addition, users can define and raise their own alerts using this new alert notification system.  See the GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide, Chapter 6, ITCMconsole command line utility and Chapter 7, SNMP, MIBs, traps, and alerts for more information.

Command line support
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now supports a new command line interface called ITCMconsole, which allows you to configure the controller and gives you greater control over your system.  For more information see the GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide, Chapter 6, ITCMconsole command line utility.

Dual NIC support
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now supports two network interface cards that can be configured from the First-Time Boot utility, or from the ITCMconsole.  For more information see the GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide, Chapter 6, ITCMconsole command line utility.

Linux agent
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now supports the Linux agent (Red Hat 6.1 and later), in addition to the Microsoft Windows 32 agent and the Solaris 2.6 agent.  You can download this agent from the first page you see when you start the GLOBAL-SITE Controller, under the Additional Software Downloads heading.  For more information see the GLOBAL-SITE Controller Administrator Guide, Chapter 4, Increasing Control over Publishing.

Licensing control
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller starts only if authorized to do so by a software license key.  You can obtain a license key from a Technical Support representative.

Gigabit Ethernet card option
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller now supports a Gigabit Ethernet network interface card, which provides higher throughput.  This card is available from F5 Networks as a separate option on the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.

New ethernet driver
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller upgrade from version 2.0 or 2.1 to version 2.2 changes the ethernet driver to the driver released by Intel.  You must reset the ethernet driver configurations that are not automatic.

Windows Media Technology Push
WMT Push is now available for non-archived publications.

Republish all content
You can now republish all content to your subscribers or to specific subscribers (for instance to all cache subscribers) regardless of what is on the subscriber machine.  This is done on the Deliver screen, from the Publish Option box.  Please see the online help for either the Deliver or the Deliver Edition screens for more information.

Hardware Configuration Guide
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller ships with a hardware guide in the box.  The guide contains important installation procedures and environmental warnings.

Documentation CD
You can find all the documentation for the GLOBAL-SITE Controller on the auto-run documentation CD that ships with your product.  This documentation is also found on the GLOBAL-SITE home page.

Browser support
The GLOBAL-SITE Controller supports Internet Explorer, version 6.0 and Netscape Navigator, version 4.7X.


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Required Configuration Changes

To display the list of user names
If you are unsure of what web user accounts exist on the controller, log in as root and type ITCMconsole show webusers icontrol from the command prompt.  The controller displays the list of available web user accounts.

To change web user account passwords

  1. Log into the GLOBAL-SITE Controller as the root account.
  2. At the command prompt, type:
    ITCMconsole webuser add icontrol
    The Username prompt appears.
  3. Type the name of the user whose password you want to change and press the Enter key.
    The Password prompt appears.
  4. Type the new password and press the Enter key.  The password must be between 6 and 15 characters long.
    The Confirm Password prompt appears.
  5. Re-type the password and press Enter.
    You get a confirmation message that the controller set the new password.
  6. Repeat this process for any web accounts.

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Fixes

The following issues are resolved in the current release.

Deleting a virtual subscriber (CR13744)
You can now delete a virtual subscriber before or after you have published to it.

Email notification (CR15518)
Update failures now correctly trigger email notification.

Verify phase
During the verify phase:

  • When the Base Edition and Target Edition are the same edition number, the Target Edition correctly shows the edition number.  (CR13430)
  • A broken edition now only occurs if there are missing or changed files.  Extra files do not cause a broken edition.  (CR13437)
  • The ##GS## directory and the ##GSH## directory are cleaned up during the Verify phase.  These directories are reserved directories for internal operations of the GLOBAL-SITE Controller. (CR14614)

Renaming a directory (CR12285)
Case sensitivity issues regarding directory names on Windows NT® machines have been resolved, except when the subscriber uses WebDAV through IIS.  If you use WebDAV through IIS, the case of the file names on subscribers matches the case on the section server, but the case of directory names on subscribers remains the same.


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Known issues

The following items are known issues in the current release.

Cache subscribers (CR17846 and CR17847)
To successfully populate or expire URLs on a cache subscriber, you must enable the corresponding section for at least one of the non-cache subscribers.  Delivering Windows Media files using the mms:// scheme does not have this restriction.

Delivery path change, when you publish more than one section to the same path (CR11575)
When you set multiple sections to the same subscriber path, the controller delivers all the sections to the same directory (based on the path).  If you later decide that you do not want to publish all the sections that you assigned the same path, you cannot simply uncheck the check box for the section, nor can you just change the path in the Delivery Path box.  Doing so produces unpredictable results.  To get around this:

  1. Leave the check box for the section checked.
  2. Delete the entire path for the section(s) to which you do not want to deliver.
  3. Click the Update button.
    When the screen refreshes, the check box is cleared and the path is deleted.
  4. Proceed as usual with the delivery of the section(s).

The First-Time Boot utility provides an incorrect default management port number
The First-Time Boot utility certification screen incorrectly uses 8443 as the default port number.  Accepting this default forces you to specify 8443 when connecting your browser to the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.  You should type 443, which is the default port number for the HTTPS protocol used in managing the GLOBAL-SITE Controller.  If you set 8443 as your management port number, you can change it to the proper default by typing:
ITCMconsole webserver port 443

FTP-Push sections left in the Changing state on upgrade (CR17344)
If you update the GLOBAL-SITE Controller while an FTP session is active, then the state of the FTP-Push section after upgrade is Drop Zone Changing.  You can disregard this message; it causes no harm and the state corrects itself.

Publishing after removing content (CR17651)
Publishing unchanged content after removing all content from a subscriber fails, and the controller displays an error message.  Archived publications can be recovered by manually delivering the appropriate edition.  Non-archived publications can recover by modifying the time-stamp on any file in any of the publication's sections.

Scheduled FTP-Push sections cannot be removed from a publication (CR15538)
Once an FTP-Push section has been added to a publication and selected in the Initiating Sections box in the Publication Options screen, the section cannot be immediately removed from the publication.  This also makes it impossible to delete the publication.  See the Work-arounds for known issues section for a solution to this issue.

The SNMP daemon (snmpd) may not start automatically after you complete the First-Time Boot utility (CR17834)
If the SNMP daemon does not start after you complete the First-Time Boot utility, you need to run the following commands from the command line.  You only need to run these commands once to correct this problem.  The SNMP daemon should run correctly after you run these commands.

/etc/init.d/snmpd stop
/etc/init.d/snmpd start

Upgrade does not preserve non-standard configurations
The upgrade from version 2.0 or 2.1 to version 2.2 erases the current system partitions and overwrites them with new system software.  Specifically, the upgrade does not preserve the existing environment variables and arguments for the in.gsited daemon.  These are typically only used to solve system problems and are usually not required for correct system behavior.  If you suspect these partitions were changed by the upgrade, you can run the following commands after the upgrade and check for any output:

grep -i global /etc/profile.old
grep -i global /etc/inetd.conf.old | grep [1-4]

No output indicates that these were not changed by the upgrade.

You can apply changes, if needed, from /etc/profile.old to /etc/profile, and from /etc/inetd.conf.old to /etc/xinetd.d/f5-globalsite.

Upgrading the GLOBAL-SITE Controller for use with BIG-IP version 4.0 or later (CR17392)
When you upgrade to the GLOBAL-SITE Controller 2.2, if you run the BIG-IP version 4.0 or later, you see that your virtual server addresses no longer appear on the Virtual Server Addresses list.  This happens because the GLOBAL-SITE Controller version 2.2 communicates with the BIG-IP version 4.0 via the iControl architecture, and therefore it needs more information to establish the connection.  To restore your virtual subscribers you need to add the iControl user name and password pair for each BIG-IP.  See the Work-arounds for known issues section for the procedure.

WebDAV (CR15545)
The Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version of WebDAV and the GLOBAL-SITE Controller version of WebDAV are not fully compatible.  For example, IIS prevents the publishing files with an .asp extension using WebDav.  To publish files with an .asp extension, use either FTP or the GLOBAL-SITE agent.


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Work-arounds for known issues

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

Cannot remove scheduled FTP-Push section from publication (CR15538)
To remove the section from the publication, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Publication Options screen, clear the publication from the Initiating Sections check box.  (Depending on which browser you use, you may need to use the Ctrl key in conjunction with the check box to clear the publication.  Do not make any other changes on the Publication Options screen while performing this task.
  2. Click the Apply Changes button.
    A dialog box opens asking you Undo FTP-Push scheduling?.
  3. Click OK or Cancel on the dialog box.

    The OK button removes the section from the FTP-Push schedule.  You can the remove the section from the publication.
    The Cancel button leaves the section in the FTP-Push schedule for that publication.

Upgrading GLOBAL-SITE virtual subscribers for use with BIG-IP version 4.0 or later

If you upgraded the GLOBAL-SITE Controller to version 2.2 and the BIG-IP you use is version 4.0 or later, you need to upgrade the GLOBAL-SITE Controller's virtual subscribers.

To upgrade the GLOBAL-SITE virtual subscribers

  1. From the BIG-IPs tab in the navigation pane, click List BIG-IPs.
  2. Click the BIG-IP you want to use.
  3. In the BIG-IP User ID and BIG-IP Password boxes, type the user name and password for the iControl Portal on the BIG-IP.
  4. Click Update.

To verify the changes, click the link for the BIG-IP and check that the BIG-IP Virtual Servers section displays the list of nodes.