F5 Status Test

This test provides key indicators of the workload being handled by the load balancer.

Target of the test : A BIG-IP Load Balancer

Agent deploying the test : An external agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each load balancer

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed

Host

The IP address of the host for which this test is to be configured.

SNMPPort

The port at which the monitored target exposes its SNMP MIB; the default is 161.

SNMPVersion

By default, the eG agent supports SNMP version 1. Accordingly, the default selection in the SNMPversion list is v1. However, if a different SNMP framework is in use in your environment, say SNMP v2 or v3, then select the corresponding option from this list.

SNMPCommunity

The SNMP community name that the test uses to communicate with the firewall. This parameter is specific to SNMP v1 and v2 only. Therefore, if the SNMPVersion chosen is v3, then this parameter will not appear.

Username

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3) is an extensible SNMP Framework which supplements the SNMPv2 Framework, by additionally supporting message security, access control, and remote SNMP configuration capabilities. To extract performance statistics from the MIB using the highly secure SNMP v3 protocol, the eG agent has to be configured with the required access privileges – in other words, the eG agent should connect to the MIB using the credentials of a user with access permissions to be MIB. Therefore, specify the name of such a user against this parameter. 

Context

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPVERSION. An SNMP context is a collection of management information accessible by an SNMP entity. An item of management information may exist in more than one context and an SNMP entity potentially has access to many contexts. A context is identified by the SNMPEngineID value of the entity hosting the management information (also called a contextEngineID) and a context name that identifies the specific context (also called a contextName). If the Username provided is associated with a context name, then the eG agent will be able to poll the MIB and collect metrics only if it is configured with the context name as well. In such cases therefore, specify the context name of the Username in the Context text box.  By default, this parameter is set to none.

AuthPass

Specify the password that corresponds to the above-mentioned Username. This parameter once again appears only if the SNMPversion selected is v3.

Confirm Password

Confirm the AuthPass by retyping it here.

AuthType

This parameter too appears only if v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. From the Authtype list box, choose the authentication algorithm using which SNMP v3 converts the specified username and password into a 32-bit format to ensure security of SNMP transactions. You can choose between the following options:

  • MD5 – Message Digest Algorithm
  • SHA – Secure Hash Algorithm

EncryptFlag

This flag appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. By default, the eG agent does not encrypt SNMP requests. Accordingly, the this flag is set to No by default. To ensure that SNMP requests sent by the eG agent are encrypted, select the Yes option. 

EncryptType

If this EncryptFlag is set to Yes, then you will have to mention the encryption type by selecting an option from the EncryptType list. SNMP v3 supports the following encryption types:

  • DES – Data Encryption Standard
  • AES – Advanced Encryption Standard

EncryptPassword

Specify the encryption password here.

Confirm Password

Confirm the encryption password by retyping it here.

Timeout

Specify the duration (in seconds) within which the SNMP query executed by this test should time out in this text box. The default is 10 seconds.

Data Over TCP

By default, in an IT environment, all data transmission occurs over UDP. Some environments however, may be specifically configured to offload a fraction of the data traffic – for instance, certain types of data traffic or traffic pertaining to specific components – to other protocols like TCP, so as to prevent UDP overloads. In such environments, you can instruct the eG agent to conduct the SNMP data traffic related to the monitored target over TCP (and not UDP). For this, set this flag to Yes. By default, this flag is set to No.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Incoming traffic

Indicates the rate at which data is received by the load balancer during the last measurement period.

Mbps

An abnormally high rate of incoming traffic may require additional analysis.

Outgoing traffic

Indicates the rate at which responses are being sent from the load balancer during the last measurement period.

Mbps

An abnormally high rate of outgoing traffic may require additional analysis.

Incoming packet rate

Indicates the number of packets received per second by the load balancer during the last measurement period.

Packets/Sec

 

Outgoing packet rate

Indicates the number of packets sent out per second by the load balancer during the last measurement period.

Packets/Sec

 

Current connections

Indicates the number of connections currently established by the load balancer with the servers in the pool.

Number

A very useful metric to trend regarding a load balancer is the total number of concurrent connections. This counts the number of sessions the BIG-IP load balancer is handling. This metric is the number of open TCP sessions that users have currently established. UDP is not included in this of course, as UDP is a connectionless protocol.

Connection rate

Indicates the rate at which connections have been handled by the load balancer during the last measurement period

Conns/Sec

The connection rate is the most important metric to keep track of for any load balancer as it is typically the most resource-intensive, especially for web sites with small files and a high rate of connections.

 

Connection timeouts

Indicates the number of connections that timed out during the last measurement value.

Number

A very high value of this measure indicates frequent connection timeouts. In such a case, you might want to consider resetting the timeout period for connections.

Memory pool total

Represents the total memory pool available on the system.

MB

 

Memory pool used

Indicates the total memory pool in use by the system.

MB

If this metric is close to the Memory pool total, this implies that there is a memory bottleneck on the BIG-IP load balancer.

Memory pool utilization

Indicates the percentage of memory in the memory pool that has been utilized.

Percent

Ideally, this value should be low. A value close to 100 denotes a memory bottleneck on the load balancer.

Memory errors

Indicates the total number of memory access errors that occurred during the last measurement period.

Number

Ideally, this value should be 0.