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Load balancer: F5 BIG-IP discovery

Load balancer: F5 BIG-IP discovery

Discovery of F5 BIG-IP load balancers is performed via SNMP.

Consider the following requirements for discovering F5 BIG-IP load balancers:
  • The F5 BIG-IP device is installed and running on the network.
  • The F5 BIG-IP probes require SNMP credentials to run commands.
Important: Discovery treats hardware load balancers as network devices and attempts to discover them primarily using SNMP. If a load balancer in your system running on a Linux host has SNMP and SSH ports open, Discovery might classify it based on the SSH port, which has classification priority over SNMP. To ensure that Discovery properly classifies your hardware load balancers, create a Discovery behavior for load balancers that includes SNMP but not SSH. Software load balancers are treated as applications.
Note: You can download VMware images of BIG-IP with a free 90-day key from https://www.f5.com/trial.

Components

MIBs
The SNMP - Classify probe detects F5 BIG-IP load balancers with the following SNMP MIBs:
  • F5-BIGIP-COMMON-MIB
  • F5-BIGIP-LOCAL-MIB
  • F5-BIGIP-SYSTEM-MIB
  • F5- BIGIP-GLOBAL-MIB
Probes
The following probes are triggered after classification:
Table 1. F5 BIG-IP probes
Probe Description
SNMP - F5 BIG-IP - Identity MultiProbe that queries for identifying information.
SNMP - F5 BIG-IP - Identity - Serial Retrieves the BIG-IP chassis serial number, which is globally unique for this vendor. This is included in the Identity probe.
SNMP - F5 BIG-IP - System Collects information on the F5 BIG-IP, including pools, services, and VLANs.
DNS names

For F5 Global Traffic Manager (GTM) load balancers, Discovery can resolve the DNS name of the F5 GTM hardware as well as the DNS names of all the servers associated with the load balancer that receive distributed traffic. To view this data, navigate to Configuration > Load Balancers > LB Hardware and open the F5 load balancer record. Then select the DNS Names for CIs related list. This data is used by Service Mapping to map F5 relationships.

Relationship mapping

The abstract class is stored in the Load Balancer [cmdb_ci_lb] table. The implementation class, which is extended from Load Balancer, is stored in the F5 BIG-IP [cmdb_ci_lb_bigip] table.

An F5 discovery creates relationships between the application and the load balance service if the application CI exists. However, if the application CI was not discovered, the SNMP - F5 BIG-IP - System sensor maps between the computer and the load balance service instead.

In this example, load balancer lba-001a has multiple services. The vip_repo_sea1-http service distributes the Apache Server on Port 80. Because there are three services (vip_ns_internal.sea1, vip_ldaps.sea1, vip_ldap.sea1) where the sensor could not locate the application, relationships to the Linux server ops01 are created instead.

Figure 1. F5 Network with a load balancer
F5 network with an F5 load balancer