How to Configure the F5 Load Balancer for CA Service Catalog Server

Configure F5 Load balancer for CA Service Catalog.
F5 Load balancers help to enhance the reliability, availability, and scalability of CA Service Catalog servers and improves the overall performance. To configure an F5 load balancer in your environment, complete the following steps:
Prerequisites for configuring the F5 Load Balancer
Before you configure an F5 load balancer for CA Service Catalog, complete and keep handy the following information:
  • Identify the CA Service Catalog hosts where you need the load balancing capability.
  • Credentials to log in to the F5 interface.
Configure the following F5 elements so that these elements can function with the CA Service Catalog Application Servers:
  1. Create a Custom Health Monitor
  2. Create an F5 Pool for the CA Service Catalog Server.
  3. Create an F5 Virtual Server or Node for CA Service Catalog Server
  4. Verify the F5 Load Balancer Configuration.
Create a Custom Health Monitor
Create a custom monitor when the values that you have defined for a pre-configured monitor does not meet your requirements, or when a pre-configured monitor is not available for the type of monitor that you are creating. You can also provide a unique name to your monitor, specify the monitor type, and, if a monitor of that type already exists, import settings and values from the existing monitor. You can change the values of any imported settings.
To create a custom health monitor, complete the following steps:
  1.   Navigate to
    Local Traffic,Monitors
    , and Click
    Create
    . Complete the following field information:
    1. Name
      : Enter the name of the health monitor.
      For example:
      Catalog_health
    2. Type
      : Select HTTP from the drop-down list.
      You must base each custom monitor on a monitor type. To specify a monitor type, simply choose the one that corresponds to the service you want to check.
    3. Send String
      : POST /usm/wpf HTTP/1.1\r\nAccept: text/html, */*\r\nContent-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded\r\nContent-Length: 151\r\nDNT: 1\r\nConnection: Keep-Alive\r\nCache-Control: no-cache\r\n?Node=iclaunchpad.launch&previousUrl=wpf%3FNode%3Diclaunchpad.pad&username=spadmin &pass=spadmin&domain=&submit=Log+In&device=desktop\r\n/\r\n
      Make sure to enter valid user name and pass in the above
      send string
      post command.
      When you create a new HTTP monitor type, you must include \r\n at the end of a non-empty Send String. If you do not include \r\n at the end of the Send String, the HTTP monitor fails.
    4.   Receive String
      : 200 OK
      The above string is displayed when the CA Service Catalog server is healthy.
  2. Click
    Finished
    .
    You have successfully created a custom health monitor.
    When a user accesses the F5 load balancer URL, CA Service Catalog health check is performed, and the user is routed to a server that is functional.
Create an F5 Pool for the CA Service Catalog Server
Create an F5 pool for the CA Service Catalog server where you want to enable the F5 load balancing capability.
Perform the following steps:
  1. Select
    Main
    ,
    Local Traffic
    , and click
    Pools
    .
    The Pool List is empty if you are setting up pools for the first time. The Pool List displays the details for each pool.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
  3. Complete the Configuration section on the New Pool page:
    1. Select
      Basic
      from the drop-down list.
    2. Enter a name and description for the new pool.
  4. Complete the Configuration section on the New Pool page:
    1. Select
      Basic
      from the drop-down list.
    2. Enter a name and description for the new pool.
    3. Select an already pre-configured health monitor from the available health monitors list. Select HTTP and move it to the active list.
    4. If a pre-configured health monitor is not available, create a custom health monitor. For more information, see Create a Custom Health Monitor.
  5. Select
    Round Robin
    from the Load Balancing Method drop-down list.
    Default option is Round Robin.
  6.   Select
    Disabled
    from the Priority Group Activation drop-down list:
    1. Add each n
      ode or server to the new F5 pool as follows: Select
      Node List
      if you are adding a node that is already defined.
    2. If the nodes are not defined, select the
      New Node
      option to create a node.
    3. Select the CA Service Catalog Server IP address (host name) from the
      Address
      drop-down list that identifies the CA Service Catalog node to add to this F5 pool.
      If the applicant server is no longer valid or no longer in use, select the pool member and click
      Disable
      .
  7. Click
    Add
    .
    The details that you added for this node appear in the New Members list.
  8. Click
    Finished
    .
    The new pool is added to the F5 Pool List
Create an F5 Virtual Server or Node for CA Service Catalog Server
You can create an F5 Virtual Server for CA Service Catalog application servers to enable the F5 load balancing capability. Complete the following steps to create an F5 Virtual Server:
Perform the following steps:
  1. Log in to F5. Select
    Main
    ,
    Local Traffic
    ,
    Virtual Servers
    , and
    Virtual Server List
    .
  2. Click
    Create
    .
  3.   Complete the following General Properties on the New Virtual Server page:
    1. Name
      : Specifies the name of the virtual server, for example, cacatalog.
    2. Destination Type
      : Specifies Host for a single IP address. This IP address should be available in the network and must not be assigned to any other device. For more information, see the F5 Load Balancer documentation.
    3. Destination Address
      : Specifies the IP address of the virtual server.
    4. Service Port
      : Specifies the associated port for the virtual server.
      For example: 80 for HTTP.
    5. State
      : Select Enabled.
      Specifies whether the virtual server is available for load balancing.
  4. Complete the Configuration section. Accept all defaults, except for the HTTP Profile:
    1. HTTP Profile
      : Select http.
      Specifies the HTTP profile for managing HTTP traffic.
    Complete the Resources Section:
    1. iRules
      : Specifies the iRules to enable for this virtual server.
    2. Default Pool
      : Specify the CA Service Catalog pool which was created in step 1 as the default pool. The virtual server routes traffic to this pool.
    3. Default Persistence Profile
      : Specifies the persistence profile for this virtual server. Select cookie.
    4. Fallback Persistence Profile
      : Specifies the persistence profile that this virtual server uses when the default persistence profile cannot be used.
      For example:
      source_addr
  5. Click
    Finished
    .
    For more information about the F5 Load Balancer persistence profile, see F5 documentation.
  6. Navigate to
    Local Traffic
    ,
    Profile
    ,
    Persistence
    to modify the properties of a persistence profile. Select the persistence profile that you want to modify.
    For example, click
    source_addr
    and change the Timeout option to
    600
    seconds. Click Update.
    For CA Service Catalog, it is recommended that you set the Timeout option to a value of 600.
  7. Click
    Finished
Verify the F5 Load Balancer Configuration
To verify the F5 load balancer configuration in your environment, complete the following steps:
  1. Open any web browser, and enter the F5 Virtual Server destination IP address that you created in Create an F5 Virtual Server or Node for CA Service Catalog Server earlier in this article while creating the F5 virtual server.
    You must be able to view the CA Service Catalog login page.
  2. Enter the CA Service Catalog login credentials user with any role (Ex: Service Delivery Administrator role, spadmin/spadmin) and click
    Login
    .
    Login must be successful.
  3. Repeat step 1 and 2 on all other CA Service Catalog servers and verify that you are routed to these servers by checking the CA Service Catalog logs in the CA Service Catalog install directory.