IBM WebSphere and BIG IP F5 LTM iApp
Problem this snippet solves:
This iApp creates a configuration to assist users who are implementing BIG-IP at the web tier in front of WebSphere application servers. The intention of this iApp is to assist users implementing the solution as outlined in the Deployment guide located on F5.com at http://www.f5.com/pdf/deployment-guides/ibm-websphere-8-dg.pdf.
Through this iApp, users should experience a faster, less error-prone deployment.
As stated in the deployment guide: "The BIG-IP system can optimize IBM WebSphere at many layers: in front of the IBM HTTP Servers, between HTTP Servers and WebSphere Application Servers, or to eliminate the HTTP layer altogether." This iApp focuses on the case where the BIG-IP replaces the Web Tier all together and acts as the proxy directly to IBM WebSphere Servers. To implement this solution users create an iRule and Pools and then attach it to a Virtual Server.
This iApp assists users in creating the required virtual server, the required profiles (optimization, SSL, persistence, one connect, NTLM and compression).
These are the things you should do before deploying this iApp:
- Read the deployment guide at: http://www.f5.com/pdf/deployment-guides/ibm-websphere-8-dg.pdf,
- All Pools (nodes and members) and health monitors must be created outside of this iApp. This iApp gives you the ability to create a "last-resort" sorry pool in-case all of your WebSphere servers are unavailable. However, the actual mapping of Application URIs and Pools is done OUTSIDE of this iApp (see below for more details),
- Create and import the WebSphere Proxy iRule: On page 10 of the deployment guide you will find the WebSphere-switch-iRule, adjust and import this iRule into BIG-IP outside of this iAPP template,
- Check the System :: Resource Provisioning screen to ensure that LTM (the local traffic manager module) is provisioned,
- License and provision additional BIG-IP modules, as applicable, for example, WebAccelerator can be used to provide additional optimizations,
- Set up VLANs to the servers containing the applications your clients will access,
- Import SSL certificates to authenticate the server and encrypt data.
How to use this snippet:
Step-by-step instructions to deploy this iApp
To help you get going, these are the general steps required to deploy this iApp:
- Download and import the iApp to your BIG-IP version 11.0, 11.1 or 11.2,
Prepare the WebSphere Switch iRule found in the deployment guide, on page 10, at http://www.f5.com/pdf/deployment-guides/ibm-websphere-8-dg.pdf. Preparation consists of these sub steps, as detailed extensively in the deployment guide:
- Gather the application contexts (URIs) associated with each of your WebSphere applications,
- Gather the port numbers or IP addresses associated with the applications,
- Setup pools for your applications on BIG-IP bases on the port number and IP addresses (outside of the iApp),
- Modify the iRule to allow BIG-IP to make pool selections based on the application context (outside of the iApp),
- Run the iApp, provide the Virtual IP Address that users will connect to, select your iRule, create your Sorry Server and optionally choose to perform SSL offload.
I estimate that through the use of this iApp, users will reduce the time required to setup this solution, users will experience a less error prone deployment, and users will have the correct profiles and iRule in place the first time.
Contributed by: Nojan Moshiri