L4-L7 App Services

For information on how to define a declaration, see https://clouddocs.f5.com/products/extensions/f5-appsvcs-extension/latest/userguide/.

Note

When you click the L4-L7 App Service tab, two subtabs are displayed (BIG-IP and Application). The Application tab is selected by default. It has a box that displays the current AS3 declaration on this BIG-IP device.

Dry-Run declaration (BIG-IP subtab)

  1. The text box should include a valid AS3 declaration.

    Note

    You can upload a .txt or .json file instead of pasting a declaration in the text box.

  2. Click Dry Run.

BIG-IP validates the JSON declaration and if it’s valid, a success message appears. If it’s not valid, the F5 ACI ServiceCenter displays an error message and you can fix errors and re-validate.

Submit an AS3 declaration (BIG-IP subtab)

  1. The text box should include a valid AS3 declaration.
  2. You can upload a .txt or .json file instead of pasting a declaration in the text box.
  3. Click Submit.

If successful, BIG-IP includes all the partitions, applications, pools, and nodes as specified in the AS3 declaration.

Note

View the current AS3 declaration

  1. in the top right of the L4-L7 Configuration tab, click the Details icon.
  2. A window with the current AS3 declaration is displayed.
  3. To copy the declaration to the text box under the BIG-IP subtab, click Copy-to-Text Box.

The window also has a Delete button, so you can delete the entire AS3 declaration from the BIG-IP device.

Create a partition using Advanced mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Advanced mode on Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click Create New Partition. The Application list is disabled.
  3. Application stub code is displayed in the text box.
  4. Two new fields, Partition Name and Application Name, are displayed. Enter valid input for both. The new partition can’t be created without providing an application name.
  5. Update the stub code with valid inputs.
  6. Optionally, Click on Manage Endpoint Mappings to add Dynamic Endpoint Mappings for endpoint discovery. You can select APIC Tenant, Application, Endpoint Group from the provided drop-downs to associate them with the Application’s pool. Whenever the APIC Endpoint Group will have an endpoint list updated, the AS3 application’s pool will also have the same set of endpoints in it on the BIG-IP.
  7. Click Submit.

A new partition is created on the BIG-IP device.

New partitions and applications are listed in the Partition and Application lists.

Note

Delete a partition using Advanced mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Advanced mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition you want to delete.
  3. Click the Delete next to the menu.
  4. When prompted, confirm that you want to delete the partition.

The partition from this BIG-IP device is no longer listed in the Partition list.

Note

Create an application using Advanced mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Advanced mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition you want to create the new app in.
  3. From the Application list, click Create New Application.

Note

Application stub code is displayed in the text box.

  1. In the Application Name field, enter a valid application name.
  2. Update the stub code which appears in the JSON box with appropriate values.
  3. Optionally, Click on Manage Endpoint Mappings to add Dynamic Endpoint Mappings for endpoint discovery. You can select APIC Tenant, Application, Endpoint Group from the provided drop-downs to associate them with the Application’s pool. Whenever the APIC Endpoint Group will have an endpoint list updated, the AS3 application’s pool will also have the same set of endpoints in it on the BIG-IP.
  4. Click Submit.

The new application is created on this BIG-IP device in the specified partition, and the app is listed in the Application list.

Note

Update an application using Advanced mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Advanced mode on the Application subtab.

  2. From the Partition list, click the partition to which the application belongs.

  3. From the Application list, click the application you want to update.

    Note

    Application contents is retrieved through AS3 APIs from the BIG-IP device and displayed in the text box.

  4. Update the application JSON.

  5. Optionally, Click on Manage Endpoint Mappings to update Dynamic Endpoint Mappings for endpoint discovery. You can select APIC Tenant, Application, Endpoint Group from the provided drop-downs to associate them with the Application’s pool. Whenever the APIC Endpoint Group will have an endpoint list updated, the AS3 application’s pool will also have the same set of endpoints in it on the BIG-IP.

  6. Click Submit.

The application is updated on the BIG-IP device.

Note

Delete an application using Advanced mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Advanced mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition you want to delete an app from.
  3. From the Application list, click the application you want to delete.
  4. Click the Delete Icon next to the Application list.
  5. When prompted, click Confirm.

The application is deleted from the BIG-IP device and won’t be listed in the Application list.

When you delete the last application, the corresponding partition is automatically deleted.

Note

Create a partition using FAST template (Basic mode-Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click Create New Partition. The Application list is disabled.
  3. From the Application drop-down, click Create New Application.
  4. Choose a template from the template drop-down. Fox example service-discovery/http. A form will be displayed. Fill the form with appropriate values.
  5. Click Submit.

A new partition is created on the BIG-IP device.

New partitions and applications are listed in the Partition and Application drop-downs respectively, on this tab.

Note

  • On clicking Submit, the partition is created asynchronously in the background. Once the partition is created successfully, the app UI loads the latest data. For more details, refer to https://clouddocs.f5.com/f5-aci-servicecenter/latest/l4-l7.html#as3-async-task-processing
  • For service-discovery/http template, You can select APIC Tenant, Application, Endpoint Group from the provided drop-downs to associate them with the BIG-IP Application’s pool. Whenever the APIC Endpoint Group will have a new endpoint attached or detached from it, the FAST application’s pool will also have the same set of endpoints in it on the BIG-IP.
  • If FAST generated pool monitor is enabled user must fill below fields in the form selected template
    • Hostname title field for bigip-fast-templates/dns template
    • Application domain name title field in bigip-fast-templates/microsoft_sharepoint template
    • Password title field for bigip-fast-templates/ldap template
    • Domain Name title field for bigip-fast-templates/smtp template

Delete a partition using FAST Template (Basic mode-Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition you want to delete.
  3. Click the Delete icon next to the partition name.
  4. When prompted, confirm that you want to delete the partition.

Note

  • On clicking Delete, the partition is deleted synchronously, application UI loader will appear until operation is completed.

Create an application using FAST Template (Basic mode-Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition you want to create a new app in.
  3. From the Application list, click Create New Application.
  4. Choose a template from the template drop-down. Fox example bigip-fast-templates/http. A form will be displayed. Fill the form with appropriate values.
  5. Click Submit.

The new application is created on this BIG-IP device in the specified partition, and the app is listed in the Application list on this tab.

Note

  • On clicking Submit, the application is created asynchronously in the background. Once the operation is successful, the app UI loads the latest data. For more details, refer to https://clouddocs.f5.com/f5-aci-servicecenter/latest/l4-l7.html#as3-async-task-processing
  • For service-discovery/http template, You can select APIC Tenant, Application, Endpoint Group from the provided drop-downs to associate them with the BIG-IP Application’s pool. Whenever the APIC Endpoint Group will have a new endpoint attached or detached from it, the FAST application’s pool will also have the same set of endpoints in it on the BIG-IP.

Update an application using FAST Template (Basic Mode-Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition to which the application belongs.
  3. From the Application list, click the application you want to update.
  4. Template name and corresponding pre-filled form will appear on the UI. Update the form values.
  5. Click Submit.

The application is updated on the BIG-IP device.

Note

Delete an application using FAST Template (Basic mode-Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click the partition you want to delete an app from.
  3. From the Application list, click the application you want to delete.
  4. Click the Delete Icon next to the Application list.
  5. When prompted, click Confirm.

Note

Upload a new FAST Template set using Basic mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on Application subtab.
  2. From the Template list, click Upload New Template. An input file browser will appear on the UI.
  3. Select a valid FAST template file from the system.
  4. Click Upload.
  5. F5 ACI ServiceCenter will upload this FAST template set on BIG-IP

Upload a new FAST Template set (Dynamic Endpoint Discovery) using Basic mode

F5 ACI ServiceCente provides the dynamic service discovery custom fast template service_discovery/http for endpoint attach and detach functionality using FAST templates.

  1. Select the Basic mode on the Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click on Create New Partition.
  3. From the Template list, click on service-discovery/http. confirmation window will appear on the UI.
  4. Click on Upload

Delete custom FAST Template Set using Basic mode (Application subtab)

  1. Select the Basic mode on Application subtab.
  2. From the Partition list, click Create New Partition.
  3. From the Template list, click the template which is to be deleted.
  4. Click the Delete icon next to the template name.
  5. The template will be deleted from the BIG-IP FAST Database.

Note

  • Deleting the default FAST template set (bigip_fast_templates/) is not allowed from F5 ACI ServiceCenter.
  • Delete template operation will delete the entire template set from the BIG-IP.

View AS3/FAST Applications (Application Inventory sub-tab)

  1. Click the Application Inventory tab on the L4-L7 App Services tab.

  2. This will display a list of all the AS3 applications present on the BIG-IP device. The list will have the following columns:

    Partition

    • Displays the BIG-IP partition of the application

    Application

    • Displays the application name. Each application name in this table has a hyperlink to the Application sub-tab to respective mode (either Basic/Advanced) used during creation of the application.

    Template

    • Displays the name of the template used. If the application was created using Advanced mode, this column will display ‘No Information’.

    Pool

    • BIG-IP pool names which are present in this application. Each pool should be displayed on a separate row. The pool has hyperlink to BIG-IP UI to the same pool.

    Action

    • View details icon - Shows the raw JSON of the AS3 application
    • Sync Endpoints to BIG-IP icon - Retrieves all the Endpoints from associated Tenant|Application|EPG and creates them to the associated pool of the application
    • View Pool Endpoints icon - Lists the endpoints present in the service discovery endpoint of the BIG-IP https:///<BIG-IP>/mgmt/shared/service-discovery/task/~Partition~Application~Pool
    • View Application JSON icon - Shows the raw JSON of the AS3 application

Refresh L4-L7 Configuration tab

  • In the top right of L4-L7 Configuration tab, click Refresh.

The content on the tab is refreshed.

AS3 Async Task Processing

For any configuration on the L4-L7 app services tab, all AS3 operations support asynchronous mode by default and return a success response with code 202, even if the configuration hasn’t completed yet on the BIG-IP device. Along with the 202 response, AS3 also returns a BIG-IP task id URL which can be used to track the pending task.

  1. F5 ACI ServiceCenter tracks all pending asynchronous tasks and users can monitor them on the L4-L7 App Services tab using the Pending Tasks icon.
  2. Click the Pending Tasks icon to view the list of last 20 pending AS3 tasks.
  3. Once the AS3 task completes, the status gets updated against that task entry in the Pending Tasks table with the appropriate status code and message. The UI also loads the updated data in the L4-L7 App Services view.

Pending Tasks maintains the list of tasks only for the current user session. On closing the F5 ACI ServiceCenter app, the Pending tasks table gets cleared.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Why is my L4-L7 Configuration tab disabled?

For the L4-L7 configuration tab to work correctly, f5-appsvcs RPM version 3.19.1 or later is required. Installation steps are available here: https://clouddocs.f5.com/products/extensions/f5-appsvcs-extension/latest/userguide/installation.html#installation


Q. Why is there a warning about “f5-appsvcs package” installation when I log in to my BIG-IP device?

See above.


Q. Why do I see error code 503 with the message “Error: Configuration operation in progress on device <BIG-IP IP>, Please try again in 2 minutes” on the ‘Pending tasks’ table of the app?

If a BIG-IP is already processing an AS3 asynchronous task, it displays this message for any successive async operations. Once the asynchronous operation is completed, it is possible to perform the next operation like create/update/delete partition or application. Wait for a few minutes and try the configuration again.

It is also possible that you may see an error message such as ‘HTTPError’ object has no attribute ‘message’. Wait for a few minutes and try the configuration again.


Q. For all L4-L7 App Services operations, why do I see the message “BIG-IP is processing the request. Please click the ‘Pending Tasks’ icon to check the status of the pending request.”?

All the L4-L7 App Services are processed in an asynchronous manner in the background. This message is displayed for every operation done on this tab. The Pending Tasks icon shows the status of last few such pending requests and their status. Also, once any such pending task is completed on the BIG-IP, the UI reloads the data to display the latest AS3 information about partitions and applications.

For more details, see: https://clouddocs.f5.com/f5-aci-servicecenter/latest/l4-l7.html#as3-async-task-processing


Q. Why do I see warning signs against APIC Endpoints in View EPs table?

It is possible that the BIG-IP’s AS3 plugin is unable to sync the dynamic endpoints and create them as BIG-IP pool members due to various unsupported configurations, such as:

  1. A duplicate node with the same IP as the endpoint is already present in another partition.
  2. More than 60 endpoints have been added to this BIG-IP pool. AS3 currently supports only a maximum of 60 endpoints in an AS3 application pool.
  3. The node IP is a substring of another node IP.

Check if you have done any unsupported configurations. For details, refer to https://clouddocs.f5.com/f5-aci-servicecenter/latest/release-notes.html#dynamic-endpoint-attach-detach


Q. I deleted an application services declaration from the F5 ACI ServiceCenter application. Why do I still see partitions in the declaration?

If your AS3 declaration contains “optimisticLockKey” mentioned explicitly, the AS3 configuration may not be deleted completely, even after multiple attempts from the application UI. However, the configuration gets removed from the BIG-IP device.

Workaround: Upload one more AS3 sample declaration to the app and then perform a Delete all operation. (Use View AS3 Declaration and click Delete.)


Q. For L4-L7 App Service tab, why does the partition get deleted when I delete the last application belonging to that partition?

If there is a single application in a particular partition, and if that application is deleted through the application, the partition that has no other applications under it will be deleted from the BIG-IP device. This is standard F5 BIG-IP behavior. You will be warned about this in the delete confirmation prompt.


Q. When I create an AS3 application using the L4-L7 Application Services → Application → Basic tab, I don’t see this application listed under L4-L7 Application Services → Application → Advanced tab. How shall I view the raw JSON of this AS3 application?

The Basic and Advanced sub-tabs of ‘L4-L7 Application Services → Application’ tab list only the applications created from the respective tabs. If you wish to view details (raw JSON) of any AS3 application, please go to L4-L7 Application Services → Application Inventory tab which lists all the applications. Traverse to row with the application of interest and click on the “View Application JSON” icon in the “Action” column to view the raw JSON.


Q. When I create an FAST application using the L4-L7 Application Services → Application → Basic tab, can I update this application via Application Services → BIG-IP tab?

The application created through the L4-L7 Application Services → Application → Basic tab should be updated through the same tab. If for some reason it needs to be updated via the BIG-IP tab; For example, if the virtual server address is to be updated from X to Y, then the same value needs to get updated from X to Y in the Constants → appsvcsFormData section of the application JSON from the BIG-IP tab. If the constants section is not updated, it will show inconsistent values when traversed back to Basic tab.


Q. While deleting Partition OR Application using L4-L7 Application Services, why do I get the error “All objects must be removed from a partition <Partition-Name> before the partition may be removed”?

This issue is observed when there are additional objects created under a BIG-IP Partition. In order to see if which objects are present in this partition: 1. Login to BIG-IP using ssh and as root user 2. cd to “/partitions/<Partition-Name>/” and check the contents of the file “bigip.conf” 3. This file should shows the details of the objects that you need to remove to be able to successfully delete the partition from BIG-IP


Q. Why do I see ‘Install f5-appscvs-templates package’ warning on L4-L7 tab even though I have added FAST template plugin on BIG-IP?

If FAST Template plugin api is unable to respond due to a REST operation failure on the BIG-IP, you may see the ‘Install f5-appscvs-templates package’ warning on L4-L7 UI as FASC doesnt get response from FAST. Check if restnoded and restjavad is working on the BIG-IP.


Q. Why is Dynamic Endpoint Discovery not supported for default FAST template set bigip-fast-templates/?

Dynamic Endpoint Discovery functionality is provided by F5ACIServiceCenter and hence is only supported by service_discovery/http template. (This template can be accessed from the FASC → L4-L7 App Services → Application → Basic sub-tab’s template drop-down).


Q. Why are ‘bigip-fast-templates/microsoft adfs’ and ‘bigip-fast-templates/microsoft exchange’ FAST templates not working in F5 ACI ServiceCenter?

bigip-fast-templates/microsoft adfs and bigip-fast-templates/microsoft exchange are FAST Beta Version Templates. They might not work in F5 ACI serviceCenter. Report any issues, or an RFE, on the FAST GitHub repository.


Q.Pool members are not displayed if :guilabel:`shared node` option for application created using service discovery fast template is disabled afterwords

To view pool members after share node option is disabled for an existing partition user need to sync endpoint manually to BIG-IP by Application inventory → Partition → Sync EP icon