vRealize Operations HA Using an F5 Load Balancer

Last week I was configuring vRealize Operations (vROps) HA using an F5 Load Balancer. The deployment of a vROps HA cluster is pretty straight forward, the only “big” challenge I encountered was the creation of the F5 health monitor for the vROps HA cluster nodes. The reason for this is that when you use the default TCP or HTTPS monitor checks you don’t know for sure if the vROps cluster node is up and running but only that it responded on HTTPS. And that’s not what we wanted!

After some digging around in the normal vROps REST API I couldn’t find any way to check the status of the vROps HA nodes, but then I found the CaSA (Cluster and Slice Administration) REST API and there is a way to check if a slice (cluster node) is online or not.

Disclaimer : Beware the CaSA API is currently a private API and may change in future releases

Cluster node / slice Online :

vROPS-HA-F5-01

Cluster node / Slice Offline :

vROPS-HA-F5-02

So now we know this we can use this for our F5 health monitor!
 

Prerequisites :

  • Deployed and configured vROPS 6.x cluster.
  • Proper SSL Certificates for vROps HA (How To : link)
  • Deployed and configured F5 v11.x Big IP.
     

    Configuration F5 Load Balancer

    First we start by creating the proper monitor.

    Select Home -> Local Traffic -> Monitors -> Create.
    Give the Monitor a name.
    Select HTTPS as type.
    Fill in the Send string : GET /casa/sysadmin/slice/online_state\r\n
    Fill in the Receive string : \”slice_online_state\”:\”ONLINE\”
    Fill in the username for vROps : admin
    Fill in the password for the vROps user admin
    And click Finished.

    vROPS-HA-F5-03

    Next we can add the vROps nodes.

    Select Home -> Local Traffic -> Nodes -> Create.
    Give the Node a name.
    Select address and fill in the IP address of the vROps node.
    And leave the rest default.

    vROPS-HA-F5-06

    Repeat the step above for the second vROps node.

    Next we can add the vROps pool.

    Select Home -> Local Traffic -> Pools -> Create.
    Give the Pool a name.
    Select your vROps monitor you’ve created in the first step.
    Select “Least Connections” from the dropdown list.
    Select “Node List” and select the first vROps node.
    Fill in service port “443”.
    And click add.
    Then select the second vROps node and click add.
    And click Finished.

    vROPS-HA-F5-04

    And finally we can create the Virtual Server.

    Select Home -> Local Traffic -> Virtual Servers -> Create.
    Give the Virtual Server a name.
    Fill in “0.0.0.0/0” as Source Address.
    Fill in your Destination Address (Virtual IP) for the vROps interface.
    Fill in “443” as Service Port.
    Fill in “Auto Map” as Source Address Translation.
    Select your vROps pool from the Default Pool dropdown list.
    And select “source_addr” from the Default Persistence Profile dropdown list

    vROPS-HA-F5-05

    After completing the last step you can review your configuration by selecting Home -> Local Traffic -> Network Map. And check if all the status icons are green!

    vROPS-HA-F5

    From now on you know for sure that your vROps HA node is really Online before it is marked as “Available” within the Load Balancing pool.

  • Marco van Baggum

    Marco van Baggum

    Marco works as a Staff Consulting Architect at VMware. Want to learn more about Marco? Check out Marco's About page.

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