Work with the F5 DNS Load Balancer Service and BIG-IP LTM Integration

Note

The BIG-IP LTM integration for DNS Load Balancer is available now as a “Preview Service” under the F5 Cloud Services Subscription Terms. You can register for the preview at f5.com/preview.

As such, the LTM Integration is provided on a Preview Service-basis for a limited time for your internal demonstration, testing, or evaluation purposes only and not for use in a production environment. This also requires that you do not submit any sensitive information (such as a person’s name or identification number or location data) to the Preview Service. For more details, please refer to the F5 Cloud Services Subscription Terms.

F5 DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service provides a global server load balancing (GSLB) solution offered in the cloud as a service. DNS Load Balancer with its new BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) integration allows BIG-IP users to gain GSLB capabilities while maintaining their existing BIG-IP configuration. With this integration, users will be able to

  • Gain visibility of the entire Load Balancing topology from the cloud to the application instance behind a BIG-IP LTM,
  • Continuously sync virtual servers and health check statuses from LTM with the DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service for consideration in global load balancing,
  • Utilize LTM virtual server instances as endpoints for GSLB configurations, and
  • Leverage the wide range of local-network-specific health checks provided by LTM for consideration in global load balancing.

DNS Load Balancer can help improve an application’s availability by directing users to the data center that is closest to them or steering them away from a failed data center.

As a preview feature, the BIG-IP LTM integration may not be functionally complete, and we are not providing Premium support for DNS Load Balancer users using the integration in production. We’re excited to release this new integration with the community to gather feedback and will officially add it to our support for DNS Load Balancer after the feature is Generally Available.

How to enable BIG-IP LTM Telemetry Streaming with DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service

You can configure Telemetry Streaming on a BIG-IP device to send analytics data to F5 Cloud Services, enabling the ability to route traffic to BIG-IP endpoints based on the availability of a configured LTM Virtual Server. The service uses the Virtual Server’s availability status and includes the local BIG-IP pool’s number of current connections, packet rate, and pool members’ status. These values enable the integration to specify if the LTM virtual server should be included to service a DNS query.

Setup to configure Telemetry Streaming for DNS Load Balancer

  1. Request an API Token for your Cloud Services account by registering for the Early Access Program.

  2. POST a declaration to your BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming endpoint at https://<BIG-IP>/mgmt/shared/telemetry/declare, similar to the following example:

    {
       "class": "Telemetry",
       "Poller": {
          "class": "Telemetry_System",
          "systemPoller": {
             "interval": 60,
             "actions": [
                {
                   "includeData": {},
                   "locations": {
                      "system": {
                         "version$": true,
                         "hostname": true,
                         "machineId": true,
                         "systemTimestamp": true
                      },
                      "virtualServers": true,
                      "pools": {
                         ".*": {
                            "activeMemberCnt": true,
                            "serverside.bits.*": true,
                            "serverside.curConns": true,
                            "availabilityState": true,
                            "enabledState": true,
                            "name": true,
                            "members": true
                         }
                      }
                   }
                }
             ]
          }
       },
       "DNS_LB_Consumer": {
          "class": "Telemetry_Consumer",
          "type": "Generic_HTTP",
          "host": "api.cloudservices.f5.com",
          "protocol": "https",
          "port": 443,
          "path": "/svc-ingestion/v1/telemetry-streaming",
          "method": "POST",
          "enable": true,
          "headers": [
                {
                   "name": "content-type",
                   "value": "application/json"
                },
                {
                   "name": "x-f5-cs-ingestion-token",
                   "value": "{{TOKEN}}"
                }
          ]
       },
       "schemaVersion": "1.0.0"
    }
    
  3. Replace the value of {{TOKEN}} with the token you’ve received in Step 1.

Your BIG-IP is now configured to send analytics data to F5 Cloud Services for the DNS Load Balancer service.

Import discovered BIG-IP Virtual Servers

To use LTM Virtual Servers discovered via the integration with DNS Load Balancer, you must import the virtual servers into your service configuration in one of the following ways:

Import BIG-IP Virtual Servers in the Cloud Services Portal

The following steps will import discovered LTM Virtual Servers into a DNS Load Balancer service configuration.

  1. Click the DNS Load Balancer tab in the Cloud Services navigation menu.

  2. On the DNS Load Balancer tab, click the Import button.

    _images/CS-GSLB-Import-LTM.png
  3. The IMPORT COMPONENTS TO THIS SERVICE side panel will appear. Select one or more Virtual Servers to import. Then click Next.

  4. Provide a public IP address for each Virtual Server that uses a RFC1918 Private IP Address in the Provide public IP address field. This field can be left blank for those Virtual Servers with a public address.

  5. Click the Import tab. An IP endpoint is created for each Virtual Server that you import. The Manage IP endpoints tab will allow you to review those Virtual Server.

  6. Click the Pools tab. This will allow you to create pools of endpoints that contain a BIG-IP Virtual Server so that the load balancer can direct traffic to the appropriate endpoint. The load balancer will choose different endpoints within the pool for each DNS request based on the load balancing method chosen for the pool. If one of the endpoints in a pool is unavailable based on the BIG-IP telemetry data, then that endpoint will be taken offline, and the load balancer will only use the other endpoints.

    For each pool you want to create, click Create in the Pools tab, enter the values for the pool properties, and then click Next. You will then be able to add your Virtual Servers as pool members.

    _images/CS-GSLB.Service-Create.Pool.png

    Note

    The BIG-IP LTM Integration enables dynamic load balancing methods specific to LTM virtual servers, which determines how the service chooses an IP endpoint within the pool. For more information on the available load balancing methods, see the FAQ document for the DNS Load Balancer cloud service - F5 DNS Load Balancer FAQ.

  7. Now that we have all the pieces needed for the LBR (IP endpoints and Pools), the next step is to create the LBR for this service. To do so, click the Service overview tab and then click Create.

    _images/CS-GSLB.Service-Create.LBR.Properties.png
  8. The service configuration is now created, and the last step is to save and enable the service. To do this, click Service Overview tab to see an overview of all your load balancer services. Click the Save button, and then click Activate button. You will see the service health update, and the status for the service will go from Inactive to Activating… to Active.

Limitations

  • The current preview only supports standalone BIG-IP devices
  • Current recommendation for the Telemetry Streaming System Poller interval is 60 seconds