F5 Pools Details Test

The Local Traffic Manager can be configured to perform a number of different operations for a load balancing pool  such as:

  • Associate health monitors with pools and pool members
  • Enable or disable SNAT connections
  • Rebind a connection to a different pool member if the originally-targeted pool member becomes unavailable
  • Specify a load balancing algorithm for a pool
  • Set the Quality of Service or Type of Service level within a packet
  • Assign pool members to priority groups within a pool

With the help of the load balancing pool, client requests can be evenly distributed across the servers of the pool. Sometimes, the load balancing pools may not be able to handle the client requests owing to performance issues or lack of resources which may inturn cause irregularities in load balancing. To avoid such a situation, you need to monitor the load balancing pools at periodic intervals. The F5 Pools Details test exactly does the same. Using this test, administrators  can determine the following:

  • How well each load balancing pool is handling the data/packet traffic?;
  • How many connections are handled by the pool and how many are currently active on the pool?;
  • How many connections have been used and how many maximum connections are established in the pool since the start of the traffic manager?

This way, administrators can constantly keep a vigil on the load balancing pool and proactively avoid performance and load balancing issues, if any.

Target of the test : A Big-IP/F5 Local Traffic Manager

Agent deploying the test : An external agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each pool configured on a traffic manager

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter 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
Measurements Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Data transmitted

Indicates the rate at which data is transmitted from this pool during the last measurement period.

MB/Sec

Compare the values of these measures across the pools to identify the pool that is experiencing the maximum traffic.

Data received

Indicates the rate at which data is received in this pool during the last measurement period.

MB/Sec

Packets transmitted

Indicates the rate at which packets were transmitted from this pool during the last measurement period.

Packets/Sec

Compare the values of these measures across the pools to identify the pool that is handling maximum amount of traffic.

Packets received

Indicates the rate at which packets were received in this pool during the last measurement period.

Packets/Sec

Active connections

Indicates the number of connections that are currently active in this pool.

Number

 

Total connections

Indicates the total number of connections established on this pool since the start of the traffic manager.

Number

 

Connection during the last measure period

Indicates the rate at which connections were established during the last measurement period.

Conns/Sec

 

Connection usage

Indicates the percentage of connections that were used by this pool.

Percent

 

Maximum connections established

Indicates the maximum number of connections that were established on this pool since the start of the traffic manager.

Number