NOTE: This iWorkflow 101 episode assumes that you already have a licensed F5 BIG-IP Device (physical or virtual) and F5 ® iWorkflow™ platform. These steps are covered in iWorkflow 101 (episode #2): Install and Setup. To better understand the concepts used in this episode, please visit: iWorkflow 101 (episode #1): The Architecture Explained

In this third episode we shall deploy a basic, load-balanced HTTP server configuration. While this is only a basic configuration, performing the deployment manually could take hours via the GUI or command-line. However, with iWorkflow we have a platform that, once configured, will eliminate almost all of the effort of future application-delivery policy deployments.

As depicted in the following diagram, we will prepare the iWorkflow platform with so that an iWorkflow Tenant can deploy the "f5.http" services template. In the previous episode we added a BIG-IP Device to iWorkflow, created an iWorkflow Cloud connector, an iWorkflow Tenant, and User/Role access. No we bring them all together to demonstrate the architectural simplification and reduced exposure to operational risk by creating a Services Catalog for the Tenant. 

 

IWf 101 Ep2 f5 http Arch Overview

 

The Lab Environment

The following lab environment (.n8lab.local) will be used as the basis of this and future iWorkflow 101 episodes. It may vary a little when the use-cases require so, but such will be specified when applicable:

 

IWf 101 Ep3 Lab Environment

 

Networks:
Domain: n8lab.local
Management: 10.128.1.x/24
Internet (external): 10.128.10.x/24
Servers (internal): 10.128.20.x/24

iWorkflow™
Management – 10.128.1.130

BIG-IP™
Management – 10.128.1.128
External Self IP – 10.128.10.10
Internal Self IP – 10.128.20.10
Virtual IP – 10.128.10.20 
Web Server #1  – 10.128.20.1:8080
Web Server #2  – 10.128.20.2:8080  

 

This is a Two Part exercise

This iWorkflow 101 episodes two parts. Why? At the end of Episode #1 (The Architecture Explained), we introduced the two operational personas of iWorkflow: The Administrator and the Tenant. The Administrator implements the required objects (adds BIG-IP’s, Clouds/Connectors, Users/Roles, Templates, Catalogs, etc) to make the iWorkflow platform operational. Once complete, the iWorkflow Tenant deploys the application services templates onto BIG-IP application delivery controllers. This is referred to as a Provider / Tenant model.

The preparation of the iWorkflow platform must happen at least one. However, once prepared, an iWorkflow operator may use it repeatedly without administrator involvement.

 

Part #1 – Prepare the iWorkflow™ platform for the Tenant

First we must prepare the iWorkflow™ platform for iWorkflow™ Tenant use. While there are a number of roles available on iWorkflow™, they fall into two categories: iWorkflow Administrators and iWorkflow Tenants. Administrators manage the platform and its resources. Tenants use the platform to deploy the performance, high-availability, and security policies. To prepare iWorkflow for Tenants we must first perform an initial setup of the environment.

Login as an Administrator using the default administrative account credentials are: Username: admin Password: admin. Additional “Administrator” role accounts can be created should you require them.

 

IWf 101 Ep2 iWf Login

 

Navigate to the “Cloud” section from the drop-down list at the top:

IWf 101 Ep2 iWf Admin Section

 

Click the + on the “Catalog” heading. This will enable you to create a new application services template (F5 iApp). The following diagram illustrates the creation of a new Catalogue Entry. In the example below, you can see the “f5.http” iApp that we will use for todays episode. This, and other iApps, were inherited from the BIG-IP during the discovery process in iWorkflow 101 - Episode #2 - Install and Setup. Prior to the discovery of the first BIG-IP, the iWorkflow platform holds no iApps.

 

IWf 101 Ep3 GUI Admin New Catalogue

 

Important to now are the "Input Parameters" and the “Tenant Editable” check boxes, show below. How many options are available for editing is determined by the “Input Parameters” option you choose. Accept Defaults (show in the diagram above) provides no fields for editing. Common Options provides a short list of most commonly edited settings available in the iApps. All Options does precisely that. It displays a LOT of options.

IWf 101 Ep3 iWf Tenant Editable

 

The Tenant Editable check-boxes determine which fields will be visible to the Tenant. The administrator decides which options to pass through, or which options to set and NOT pass through, to the Tenant. The administrator can get a preview of what the Tenant will see by clicking the Tenant Preview button while editing the template. Save when finished. 

For more details on the process watch the video at the end of this article. 

 

Part #2 – Deploying application services via iWorkflow™

Login on as the iWorkflow Tenant we created in Episode #2 (we called them User1). Navigate to the “Cloud” section and click the + in the “Services” tab. Now you see the Tenant perspective of the iWorkflow platform and how an application services template is used to rapidly, repeatedly deploy application-delivery services policy:

IWf 101 Ep3 iWf Tenant Deployment

Note the addition of the “Port” field. This is not "Tenant Editable" by default. As you will see in the video below, we’ve marked this field as Tenant Editable as part of the demonstration, which is why you can see it above.

To see it all in action, watch the video below!

Here’s Part #1 and Part #2 in a video: