Application Acceleration and Optimization Guide vA3(2.7), Cisco ACE 4700 Series Application Control Engine Appliance
Configuring an Optimization HTTP Action List
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Configuring an Optimization HTTP Action List

Table Of Contents

Configuring an Optimization HTTP Action List

Optimization HTTP Action List Configuration Quick Start

Creating an Optimization HTTP Action List

Defining a Description for an Action List

Enabling AppScope Performance Monitoring

Enabling Cache Optimization

Enabling Delta Optimization

Enabling Dynamic Just-in-Time Object Acceleration

Enabling FlashForward

Where to Go Next


Configuring an Optimization HTTP Action List


This chapter describes how to configure an optimization HTTP action list for the Cisco 4700 Series Application Control Engine (ACE) appliance. An action list groups a series of individual application acceleration and optimization functions that apply to a specific type of operation.

This section contains the following major sections:

Optimization HTTP Action List Configuration Quick Start

Creating an Optimization HTTP Action List

Defining a Description for an Action List

Enabling AppScope Performance Monitoring

Enabling Cache Optimization

Enabling Delta Optimization

Enabling Dynamic Just-in-Time Object Acceleration

Enabling FlashForward

Where to Go Next

Optimization HTTP Action List Configuration Quick Start

Table 2-1 provides a quick overview of the steps required to configure an optimization HTTP action list. Each step includes the CLI command or a reference to the procedure required to complete the task. For a complete description of each feature and all the options associated with the CLI commands, see the sections following Table 2-1.

Table 2-1 Optimization HTTP Action List Configuration Quick Start 

Task and Command Example

1. If you are operating in multiple contexts, observe the CLI prompt to verify that you are operating in the desired context. If necessary, change to the correct context.

host1/Admin# changeto C1
host1/C1#

The rest of the examples in this table use the Admin context unless otherwise specified. For details on creating contexts, see the Cisco 4700 Series Application Control Engine Appliance Administration Guide.

2. Enter global configuration mode.

host1/Admin# config
host1/Admin(config)#

3. Create an optimization HTTP action list.

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)#

4. Configure application acceleration and optimization functions in the action list as required. For example, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# cache dynamic
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# cache forward
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# exit
host1/Admin(config)#

5. Create a Layer 7 HTTP optimization policy map to associate an existing action list and parameter map and to configure the specified application acceleration and optimization actions. Refer to Chapter 4, Configuring a Traffic Policy for HTTP Optimization for details.

host/Admin(config)# policy-map type optimization http first-match 
L7OPTIMIZATION_POLICY
host/Admin(config-pmap-optmz)# class L7SLBCLASS
host1/Admin(config-pmap-optmz-c)#
host1/Admin(config-pmap-optmz-c)# action ACT_LIST1 parameter 
OPTIMIZE_PARAM_MAP
host1/Admin(config-pmap-optmz-c)# exit

6. (Optional) Save your configuration changes to Flash memory.

host1/Admin# copy running-config startup-config

Creating an Optimization HTTP Action List

To create an optimization action map for performing application acceleration, use the action-list type optimization http command in global configuration mode.

The syntax of this command is as follows:

action-list type optimization http list_name

For the list_name argument, enter a unique name as an unquoted text string with no psaces and a maximum of 64 alphanumeric characters.

For example, to create an optimization HTTP action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)#

To remove the action list from the configuration, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# no action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1

Use one or more of the commands in the sections in this chapter to enable the different application acceleration and optimization functions in the ACE. After you complete the optimization HTTP action list, you create an optimization HTTP parameter map to define the details about how to accomplish the specific actions. For details, see Chapter 3, Configuring an Optimization HTTP Parameter Map.

Defining a Description for an Action List

You can provide a brief summary for an action list by using the description command in in action list modify configuration mode. The syntax of this command is as follows:

description text

For the text argument, enter an unquoted text string with a maximum of 240 alphanumeric characters including spaces.

For example, to specify a description, enter the following command:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type modify http HTTP_MODIFY_ACTLIST
host1/Admin(config-actlist-mod)# description HTTP action list with 
delete request

To remove the description, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-mod)# no description

Enabling AppScope Performance Monitoring

The optional Cisco AVS 3180A Management Station runs the Management Console that includes database, management, and reporting features, including AppScope reporting, for the ACE optimization functionality. For details on using the optional Cisco AVS 3180A Management Station and on AppScope, see Appendix A, Using the Optional Cisco AVS 3180A Management Station for Reporting.

To enable AppScope performance monitoring for use with the ACE, use the appscope command in action list optimization mode.

The syntax for the command is as follows:

appscope

For example, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# appscope

To disable the AppScope function from the action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# no appscope

You control the AppScope parameters that measure application performance and that sort requests for AppScope reporting purposes. Configure the following commands in parameter map optimization mode:

appscope optimize-rate-percent

request-grouping-string

Refer to Chapter 3, Configuring an Optimization HTTP Parameter Map for details.

Enabling Cache Optimization

To enable cache optimization for the corresponding URLs, use the cache command in action list optimization mode. For details on the cache function, see Chapter 1, Application Acceleration and Optimization Overview.

The syntax for the command is as follows:

cache {dynamic | forward}

dynamic—Enables adaptive dynamic caching for the corresponding URLs, even if the expiration settings in the response indicate that the content is dynamic. The expiration of cache objects is controlled by the cache expiration settings based on the time or the server load (performance assurance).


Note The ACE restricts you from enabling adaptive dynamic caching if you have previously specified either the delta command (see the "Enabling Delta Optimization" section) or the dynamic etag command (see the "Enabling Dynamic Just-in-Time Object Acceleration" section).


forward—Enables the cache forward Wfeature for the corresponding URLs. The forward keyword allows the ACE to serve the object from its cache (static or dynamic) even when the object has expired if the maximum cache TTL time period has not yet expired (set by using the cache ttl command in parameter map optimization mode). At the same time, the ACE sends an asynchronous request to the origin server to refresh its cache of the object.


Note In order to identify whether to use static or dynamic caching, the cache forward command requires that you specify either the cache dynamic command (dynamic caching) or the flashforward-object command (static caching) to be specified before you specify this command.


For example, to enable the cache forward feature for the corresponding URLs, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# cache dynamic
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# cache forward

To disable the cache function from the action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# no cache forward

You define the ACE cache object key, cache freshness, and cache request/response policy settings by configuring the following commands in parameter map optimization mode:

cache key-modifier

cache parameter

cache ttl

cache-policy request

cache-policy response

Refer to Chapter 3, Configuring an Optimization HTTP Parameter Map for details.

Enabling Delta Optimization

To enable delta optimization to condense corresponding URLs, use the delta command in action list optimization mode. For details on delta optimization, see Chapter 1, Application Acceleration and Optimization Overview.

The syntax for the command is as follows:

delta


Note The ACE restricts you from enabling delta optimization if you have previously specified either the cache dynamic command (see the "Enabling Cache Optimization" section) or the dynamic etag command (see the "Enabling Dynamic Just-in-Time Object Acceleration" section).


For example, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# delta

To disable delta optimization from the action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# no delta

You define the delta optimization mode and parameters by configuring the following commands in parameter map optimization mode:

delta all-user

delta cacheable-content

delta exclude

delta first-visit

delta page-size

delta per-user

Refer to Chapter 3, Configuring an Optimization HTTP Parameter Map for details.

Enabling Dynamic Just-in-Time Object Acceleration

Just-in-time object acceleration enables acceleration of noncacheable embedded objects, which results in improved application response time. This feature eliminates the need for users to download these objects on each request. To enable just-in-time object acceleration for the corresponding URLs, use the dynamic etag command in action list optimization mode. For details on just-in-time object acceleration, see Chapter 1, Application Acceleration and Optimization Overview.


Note The ACE restricts you from enabling just-in-time object acceleration if you have previously specified either the cache dynamic command (see the "Enabling Cache Optimization" section) or the delta command (see the "Enabling Delta Optimization" section).


The syntax for the command is as follows:

dynamic etag

For example, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# dynamic etag

To disable just-in-time object acceleration from the action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# no dynamic etag

When you operate the ACE with application acceleration, and you define a policy map that includes dynamic ETag (entity tag) and HTTP compression, you may encounter behavioral issues when using a Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser (typically, Internet Explorer 6.0) that prevents the dynamic ETag function from properly leveraging the web browser cache. With HTTP compression and dynamic ETag configured, upon an Internet Explorer web browser refresh of the same page without any content changes, the browser will continue to retrieve the new (unchanged) content along with a new ETag header and the HTTP "200 OK" request succeeded response. Typically, when you use dynamic ETags and the web content has not changed, the browser receives a 304 Not Modified response and no data. This response prevents users from downloading objects on each request.

This operating consideration with the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser does not result in broken pages or functionality but rather in a failed attempt at application acceleration, which results in the unnecessary download of objects that should be cached.

This behavior does not occur with the Firefox 2.0 web browser, so we recommend that you use the Firefox 2.0 web browser instead of the Internet Explorer 6.0 web browser if you plan to configure dynamic ETag (entity tag) with HTTP compression.


Enabling FlashForward

FlashForward object acceleration extends the ACE's bandwidth usage reduction and download acceleration benefits to objects that are embedded within HTML pages. This function combines local object storage with dynamic renaming of embedded objects to enforce object freshness within the parent HTML page. For details on FlashForward, see Chapter 1, Application Acceleration and Optimization Overview.


Note The flashforward and flashforward-object commands cannot be configured in the same optimization action list; these two commands are mutually exclusive.


To enable FlashForward for the corresponding URLs and to transform embedded objects, use the flashforward command in action list optimization mode. The syntax for the command is as follows:

flashforward

For example, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# flashforward

To disable FlashForward from the action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# no flashforward

To enable FlashForward static caching for the corresponding URLs, use the flashforward-object command in action list optimization mode.

The syntax for this command is as follows:

flashforward-object

For example, enter:

host1/Admin(config)# action-list type optimization http ACT_LIST1
host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# flashforward-object

To disable FlashForward static caching from the action list, enter:

host1/Admin(config-actlist-optm)# no flashforward-object

You define the FlashForward refresh policy and threshold control for rebasing by using the following commands in parameter map optimization mode:

flashforward refresh-policy

rebase flashforward-percent

Refer to Chapter 3, Configuring an Optimization HTTP Parameter Map for details.

Where to Go Next

Proceed to Chapter 3, Configuring an Optimization HTTP Parameter Map, to configure an optimization HTTP parameter map on the ACE. This parameter map can be used to adjust or control the application acceleration and optimization functions specified in an action list.