F5 Virtual Server (VIP) Creation

Now that we have the basic ADC setup, we need to actually allow traffic to connect via the BIG-IP to the web application. We’ll do this by creating an F5 Virtual Server. There are a few things we need to build, and F5 has some great training at https://university.f5.com/ that explains the details, but for now, we can just build the relevant pieces and go from there.

First, we’ll need to create a monitor that checks for the applications health. Click “Local Traffic” to expand the menu, and click “Monitors”. Click “Create” to create our monitor. We’re going to start out with a basic monitor to make sure the services are working, put in a name(No spaces in any BIG-IP configurations — a good name is “monitor_application_port” but use anything you wish), and choose “TCP” and click finished.

monitor

Now that we have a monitor, we will add the real web servers or nodes to the configuration. Go to Local Traffic –> Pools and as it expands, click the “+” sign next to pool lists. We’ll be in the create pool page and can add the web servers. Choose a name, and click the “<<“ next to the monitor we just created. Next, put in the address and ports (80) of our web servers and click “add” after each one. Click finished once both servers are added.

Creating a pool
Creating a pool

With the pool created, we can create the VIP or virtual server. This ties all the other pieces together. Go to “Local Traffic” –> “Virtual Servers” and click the “+” next to “Virtual Server List” and you’ll be able to create a new object. Choose a name for your virtual server. Skip to “Destination Address” — this is just the VIP, or where you will connect with your web browser. The “Service Port” is usually either 80 for HTTP or 443 for HTTPS.

F5 Virtual Server Creation
The screen for an F5 Virtual Server

We can skip down to the “Resources” section and select the pool we created as the “Default Pool”. Another option you might want to consider is “SNAT” which I will explain (crossed-out) explain in this blog post.

vip2

Once you click “Finish” you’ll be at the Virtual Server List page with your freshly created highly available website.

Test it out by editing your hosts file or just going to the new VIP!

vip3

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