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F5 load balancer sample configuration in Remedy AR System

Use the F5 load balancer to ensure seamless failover when the mid tiers are operating in a multi-tenant environment. This topic provides information about how to prepare and configure the F5 load balancer.

Important

This topic provides only a sample configuration of the F5 load balancer. BMC Quality Assurance department used this configuration for operating mid tiers in a multi-tenant environment. Your F5 configuration can vary depending on your requirements. You can use the F5 load balancer in multiple ways and various types and combinations of health monitors are available. If you have any specific requirement, contact F5 support.

Learn more about F5 load balancer on the F5 Resources website.

To configure F5 load balancer, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a pool
  2. Create a node
  3. Add nodes to a pool
  4. Create a virtual server

Creating a pool

You need to create a pool to which nodes can be added.

To create a pool

  1. On the F5 home page, click Local Traffic > Pools > Pool list.
  2. On the Pool List page, click Create.
  3. Enter the following information on the New Pool page.
    1. In the Configuration list, select Basic.
    2. In the Name field, enter a name for the pool. For example, add a pool named pool_rod_arsys.
    3. Optionally, in the Description field, enter a brief description for your pool.
    4. For Health Monitors, select the appropriate health monitor in the Available list, and then move it to the Active list. You need health monitors to ping the defined URLs at a defined interval and check whether the node is alive.
    5. In the Resources area, select the appropriate load balancing method from the Load Balancing Method list. For example, Round Robin.
  4. Click Finished.
    The new pool with the specified name is created.

Creating a node

A node represents a Tomcat instance in the cluster. For example, if you have a cluster of four tomcat instances, you need to create four nodes in F5.

To create a node

  1. On the F5 home page, click Local Traffic > Nodes > Node List.
  2. Click Create.
  3. On the New Node page, enter the following information:
    1. In the Name field, enter a name for the node. For example, add a node named Node1_RoD.
    2. In the Address field, enter the IP address of the node.
    3. Optionally, in the Description field, enter a brief description for the node.
    4. In the Configuration area, keep the default configurations.
  4. Click Finished.
    The new node is created.

Adding nodes

When a cluster is created, you need to add the nodes to a single pool.

To add nodes to a pool

  1. On the F5 home page, click Local Traffic > Pools > Pool list.
  2. Click the Members tab.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Click Node List.
  5. In the Address list, click to select the node that you want to add to the pool.
  6. Enter the service port number.
  7. Keep the default configurations.
  8. Click Finished.
    A node is added to a pool. Repeat these steps for as many nodes you want to add to the pool.

Best Practice

We recommend that you use a hard-coded port if you are using any load balancer.

Creating a Virtual Server

You must create a virtual server so that the F5 load balancer can re-route the requests to a working server, in case of a failure. After creating a virtual server, the F5 load balancer can redirect such URL requests to the right mid tier.

To create a virtual server

  1. On the F5 home page, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers > Virtual Server List.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Click the Properties tab.
  4. In the General Properties area, enter the following information:
    1. In the Name field, enter a name for the virtual server. For example, add a virtual server named vs_rod_arsys.
    2. In the Destination field, enter the appropriate IP address that is allocated for your virtual server.
    3. Enter the service port number.
  5. Click the Resources tab.
  6. In the Default Pool list, select the pool that you have created. For more information about creating a pool, see To create a pool
  7. Click Finished.

Best Practice

By default, the F5 socket timeout is five minutes. We recommend that you keep the value of the F5 timeout greater than the value of the Keep Alive timeout of Mid Tier.

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Comments

  1. Shane Barber

    Hello. Would it be possible to add some images or info about the main F5 requirement: keep-alive? I do not have access to the F5 LTM appliances so must explain to the data center what they need. They are not seeing the keep-alive options and I think it must be created. There is mention of this requirement on this page: https://docs.bmc.com/docs/ars91/en/configuring-firewalls-with-ar-system-servers-823432478.html

    Oct 31, 2019 12:56
    1. Onkar Telkikar

      Hello Shane,

      Apologies for the delayed response.

      We've added information about the Keep Alive option to this topic. Since F5 load balancer is a third-party application, it wouldn't be possible for us to add screenshots from this application.  

      Thanks,
      Onkar 

      Aug 15, 2020 03:11
  2. Shane Barber

    Also, it appears the Remedy documentation uses the term "Keep-alive timeout: 60 seconds"

    Does that correspond with the value "idle timeout" on the F5? I assume it does. Default on the F5 seems to be 300.

    The Remedy documentation specifies raising the keep alive interval to 5000, which is up from the F5 default of 1800.

    It makes sense to me that if BMC is recommending to raise the keep alive interval to 5000, this is done to lessen the impact of traffic (especially since we'll be using SSL) by keeping the client connected to the same server. And I supposed they are asking us to reduce from 5 minutes to 1 minutes for idle timeout because we don't want the F5 and server resources to be eaten up by hanging on to those idle sessions.

    Oct 31, 2019 04:04
    1. Onkar Telkikar

      Hello Shane,

      Apologies for the delay in responding to your question.

      By default, the F5 socket timeout is five minutes. We recommend that you keep the value of the F5 timeout greater than the value of the Keep Alive timeout of AR Server.

      Thanks,
      Onkar

      Aug 15, 2020 03:13