Manual Chapter : Configuring Global Application Policies with Bandwidth Control

Applies To:

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  • 11.5.10, 11.5.9, 11.5.8, 11.5.7, 11.5.6, 11.5.5, 11.5.4, 11.5.3, 11.5.2, 11.5.1
Manual Chapter

Overview: Global Application Policies with Bandwidth Control

You can use bandwidth controllers with Policy Enforcement Manager to restrict bandwidth usage per subscriber, group of subscribers, per application, and so on. This implementation uses PEM for global application control to limit overall bandwidth for all P2P (or other application) traffic. For example:

Diagram of bandwidth usage per subscriber

In the figure, three subscribers have individual policies that allow P2P bandwidths of up to 4 Mbps each. The maximum bandwidth for all P2P traffic is limited to 10 Mbps (specified as the maximum rate in a static bandwidth controller). If all were sending P2P traffic, they would all get less bandwidth if you apply a global enforcement policy that enforces bandwidth control.

For this implementation, you create the bandwidth controller and the enforcement policy on the BIG-IP system. In the enforcement policy, a rule applies bandwidth control to P2P traffic. From the listener, you apply the policy globally to all traffic.

Task Summary

Creating VLANs

VLANs represent a collection of hosts that can share network resources, regardless of their physical location on the network. For Policy Enforcement Manager, you typically create VLANs for the subscriber traffic coming in to the BIG-IP system, for traffic going out to the network, and if using w-steering with service chains, you need two VLANs for each value added service to be fully transparent.
  1. On the Main tab, click Network > VLANs. The VLAN List screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New VLAN screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the VLAN.
  4. In the Tag field, type a numeric tag, from 1-4094, for the VLAN, or leave the field blank if you want the BIG-IP system to automatically assign a VLAN tag. The VLAN tag identifies the traffic from hosts in the associated VLAN.
  5. For the Interfaces setting, from the Available list, click an interface number or trunk name and add the selected interface or trunk to the Untagged list. Repeat this step as necessary.
  6. From the Configuration list, select Advanced.
  7. If you want the system to verify that the return route to an initial packet is the same VLAN from which the packet originated, select the Source Check check box.
  8. In the MTU field, retain the default number of bytes (1500).
  9. If you want to base redundant-system failover on VLAN-related events, select the Fail-safe box.
  10. From the CMP Hash list, select the appropriate value depending on the location of the VLAN in the system:
    • On the VLAN coming in to the BIG-IP system (often called internal), select Source Address.
    • On VLANs going out (often called external), leave the value set to Default.
    • For traffic returning to the BIG-IP from the Internet, select Destination Address.
    • If using w-steering for value-added services, on the VLAN coming back to the BIG-IP system, select Source Address.
  11. Click Finished. The screen refreshes, and displays the new VLAN from the list.
Create as many VLANs as needed for your configuration.

Creating a static bandwidth control policy

You can create a static bandwidth control policy to limit the bandwidth that traffic uses on the BIG-IP system.
  1. On the Main tab, click Acceleration > Bandwidth Controllers.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the bandwidth control policy.
  4. In the Maximum Rate field, type a number and select the unit of measure to indicate the total throughput allowed for the resource you are managing. The number must be in the range from 1 Mbps to 320 Gbps. This value is the amount of bandwidth available to all the connections going through this static policy.
  5. Click Finished.
For the bandwidth control policy to take effect, you must apply the policy to traffic, using a virtual server, packet filter, or route domain.

Creating an enforcement policy

If you want to classify and intelligently steer traffic, you need to create an enforcement policy. The policy describes what to do with specific traffic, and how to treat the traffic.
  1. On the Main tab, click Policy Enforcement > Policies. The Policies screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Policy screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the policy.
    Tip: When creating policies you plan to apply globally or to unknown subscribers, it is a good idea to include the word global or unknown in the policy name to distinguish these from other subscriber policies.
  4. From the Transactional list, select Enabled if you want the BIG-IP system to allow policy enforcement on each HTTP transaction.
  5. Click Finished.
    Important: The system performance is significantly affected, depending on complexity of the classification and the type of policy action.
    The new enforcement policy is added to the policy list.
Now you must add rules to the enforcement policy to define traffic filters and actions.

Creating a rule for bandwidth control

If you want to use rate control, you need to have already created a bandwidth controller.
You can create a rule that provides bandwidth control. For example, the bandwidth controller might limit the total amount of bandwidth that can be used by application traffic, such as P2P.
  1. On the Main tab, click Policy Enforcement > Policies. The Policies screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the enforcement policy you want to add rules to. The properties screen for the policy opens.
  3. In the Policy Rules area, click Add. The New Rule screen opens.
  4. In the Name field, type a name for the rule.
  5. In the Precedence field, type an integer that indicates the precedence for the rule in relation to the other rules. Number 1 has the highest precedence. Rules with higher precedence are evaluated before other rules with lower precedence.
    Tip: All rules in policy are run concurrently. Precedence takes effect when there are conflicting rules. The conflict occurs when the traffic matches two rules and the policy actions from these rules differ. For example, if you have a rule 1 with precedence 10 with Gate Status disabled for a search engine and you have rule 2 with precedence 11 with Gate Status enabled, then rule 1 is processed first because it has higher precedence. Rules conflict if they have identical or overlapping classification criteria (for the traffic that matches more than one rule).
  6. In the Classification setting, filter the application traffic to which you want to apply bandwidth control.
    1. For Match Criteria, select Match.
    2. For Category, select P2P (or other application traffic you want to limit on the network).
    3. Click Add.
  7. In the Forwarding area, ensure that Gate Status is set to Enabled.
  8. In the Rate Control setting, for Bandwidth Controller, select the name of the bandwidth controller that you created to limit P2P (or other application) traffic.
  9. Click Finished.
You have created a rule to restrict the total bandwidth usage for all P2P traffic to the Maximum Rate specified in the static bandwidth control policy.
The enforcement policy needs to be associated with the virtual servers required for PEM. You can do this by creating a listener (recommended), or you can edit the virtual servers to specify the enforcement policy as a global policy, and enable classification.

Creating a listener: example

You create a listener to complete the preliminary setup on the BIG-IP system; in this case, to apply bandwidth management as a global enforcement policy.
  1. On the Main tab, click Policy Enforcement > Listeners. The Listeners screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Listener screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the listener.
  4. For the Destination setting, select Host or Network, and type the IP address or network and netmask to use.
    Tip: You can use a catch-all virtual server ( to specify all traffic that is routed to the BIG-IP system.
    The system will create a virtual server using the address or network you specify.
  5. For the Service Port setting, type or select the service port for the virtual server.
  6. Subscriber provisioning using RADIUS is enabled by default. If your system is using RADIUS for snooping subscriber identity, you need to specify VLANs and tunnels. If you are not using RADIUS, you need to disable it.
    • For the VLANs and Tunnels setting, move the VLANs and tunnels that you want to monitor for RADIUS traffic from the Available list to the Selected list.
    • If you do not want to use RADIUS, from the Subscriber Identity Collection list, select Disabled.
  7. In the Policy Provisioning area, for Global Policy, move the enforcement policy you created for bandwidth control to High Precedence. The system applies the policy with bandwidth control to all traffic.
  8. Click Finished. The Policy Enforcement Manager creates a listener, and displays the listener list.
When you create a listener, the Policy Enforcement Manager also creates virtual servers for each type of traffic (TCP, UDP, or both), and a virtual server for HTTP traffic. The system sets up classification and assigns the appropriate policy enforcement profile to the virtual servers. If you are connecting to a RADIUS authentication server, a virtual server for RADIUS is also added.
Now you can send traffic through the network. All traffic classified as P2P traffic is limited to the Maximum Rate specified in the static bandwidth control policy. Once the maximum rate is reached, no additional P2P traffic is allowed on the network.