Manual Chapter : Managing Client-Side HTTP Traffic Using a CA-Signed RSA Certificate

Applies To:

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BIG-IP DNS

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP AFM

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP Analytics

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP PEM

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP ASM

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP AAM

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP Link Controller

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP APM

  • 14.0.0

BIG-IP LTM

  • 14.0.0
Manual Chapter

Managing Client-Side HTTP Traffic Using a CA-Signed RSA Certificate

Overview: Managing client-side HTTP traffic using a CA-signed RSA certificate

When you want to manage HTTP traffic over SSL, you can configure the BIG-IP® system to perform the SSL handshake that target web servers normally perform.

A common way to configure the BIG-IP system is to enable client-side SSL, which makes it possible for the system to decrypt client requests before sending them on to a server, and encrypt server responses before sending them back to the client. In this case, you need to install only one SSL key/certificate pair on the BIG-IP system.

This implementation uses a certificate signed by an RSA certificate authority (CA) to authenticate HTTP traffic.

Task summary

To implement client-side and server-side authentication using HTTP and SSL with a CA-signed certificate, you perform a few basic configuration tasks.

Task list

Requesting an RSA certificate from a certificate authority

You can generate a request for an RSA digital certificate and then copy or submit it to a trusted certificate authority for signature.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Certificate Management > Traffic Certificate Management .
    The Traffic Certificate Management screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the SSL certificate.
  4. From the Issuer list, select Certificate Authority.
  5. In the Common Name field, type a name.
    This is typically the name of a web site, such as www.siterequest.com.
  6. In the Division field, type your department name.
  7. In the Organization field, type your company name.
  8. In the Locality field, type your city name.
  9. In the or State or Province field, type your state or province name.
  10. From the Country list, select the name of your country.
  11. In the E-mail Address field, type your email address.
  12. In the Lifetime field, type a number of days, or retain the default, 365.
  13. In the Subject Alternative Name field, type a name.
    This name is embedded in the certificate for X509 extension purposes.
    By assigning this name, you can protect multiple host names with a single SSL certificate.
  14. In the Challenge Password field, type a password.
  15. In the Confirm Password field, re-type the password you typed in the Challenge Password field.
  16. From the Key Type list, select RSA.
  17. From the Size list, select a key size, in bits.
  18. Click Finished.
    The Certificate Signing Request screen displays.
  19. Do one of the following to download the request into a file on your system.
    • In the Request Text field, copy the certificate.
    • For Request File, click the button.
  20. Follow the instructions on the relevant certificate authority web site for either pasting the copied request or attaching the generated request file.
  21. Click Finished.
    The Certificate Signing Request screen displays.
The generated RSA certificate request is submitted to a trusted certificate authority for signature.

Creating a custom HTTP profile

An HTTP profile defines the way that you want the BIG-IPsystem to manage HTTP traffic.
Note: Other HTTP profile types (HTTP Compression and Web Acceleration) enable you to configure compression and cache settings, as required. Use of these profile types is optional.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > Services > HTTP .
    The HTTP profile list screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New HTTP Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the profile.
  4. From the Parent Profile list, select http.
  5. Select the Custom check box.
  6. Modify the settings, as required.
  7. Click Finished.
The custom HTTP profile now appears in the HTTP profile list screen.

Create a Client SSL profile

You create a Client SSL profile when you want the BIG-IP system to authenticate and decrypt/encrypt client-side application traffic.

  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > SSL > Client .
    The Client SSL profile list screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Client SSL Profile screen opens.
  3. Configure all profile settings as needed.
  4. Click Finished.
After creating the Client SSL profile and assigning the profile to a virtual server, the BIG-IP system can apply SSL security to the type of application traffic for which the virtual server is configured to listen.

Creating a pool to process HTTP traffic

You can create a pool of web servers to process HTTP requests.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Pools .
    The Pool List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the pool.
  4. For the Health Monitors setting, from the Available list, select the http monitor and move the monitor to the Active list.
  5. From the Load Balancing Method list, select how the system distributes traffic to members of this pool.
    The default is Round Robin.
  6. For the Priority Group Activation setting, specify how to handle priority groups:
    • Select Disabled to disable priority groups. This is the default option.
    • Select Less than, and in the Available Members field type the minimum number of members that must remain available in each priority group in order for traffic to remain confined to that group.
  7. Using the New Members setting, add each resource that you want to include in the pool:
    1. Type an IP address in the Address field.
    2. Type 80 in the Service Port field, or select HTTP from the list.
    3. (Optional) Type a priority number in the Priority field.
    4. Click Add.
  8. Click Finished.
The new pool appears in the Pools list.

Creating a virtual server for client-side HTTP traffic

You can specify a virtual server to be either a host virtual server or a network virtual server to manage HTTP traffic over SSL.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button.
    The New Virtual Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the virtual server.
  4. In the Destination Address field, type the IP address in CIDR format.
    The supported format is address/prefix, where the prefix length is in bits. For example, an IPv4 address/prefix is 10.0.0.1 or 10.0.0.0/24, and an IPv6 address/prefix is ffe1::0020/64 or 2001:ed8:77b5:2:10:10:100:42/64. When you use an IPv4 address without specifying a prefix, the BIG-IP system automatically uses a /32 prefix.
    Note: The IP address you type must be available and not in the loopback network.
  5. In the Service Port field, type 443, or select HTTPS from the list.
  6. From the HTTP Profile list, select the HTTP profile that you previously created.
  7. For the SSL Profile (Client) setting, from the Available list, select the name of the Client SSL profile you previously created and move the name to the Selected list.
  8. In the Resources area, from the Default Pool list, select the name of the pool that you created previously.
  9. Click Finished.
After performing this task, the virtual server appears in the Virtual Server List screen.

Implementation results

After you complete the tasks in this implementation, the BIG-IP® system can authenticate and decrypt HTTP traffic coming from a client system, using an RSA digital certificate. The BIG-IP system can also re-encrypt server responses before sending them back to the client.