Device Manager GUI Guide vA4(1.1), Cisco ACE 4700 Series Application Control Engine Appliance
Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization
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Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization

Table Of Contents

Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization

Optimization Overview

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List

Configuring Optimization Parameter Maps

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Enabling HTTP Optimization Using Virtual Servers

Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization


Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization


With application acceleration and optimization features, you can configure application delivery and application acceleration options that increase productivity and efficiency. The application acceleration features optimize network performance and improve access to critical business information. This capability accelerates the performance of Web applications, including customer relationship management, portals, and online collaboration by up to 10 times.


Note When you use the ACE CLI to configure named objects (such as a real server, virtual server, parameter map, class map, health probe, and so on), consider that the Device Manager (DM) supports object names with an alphanumeric string of 1 to 64 characters, which can include the following special characters: underscore (_), hyphen (-), dot (.), and asterisk (*). Spaces are not allowed.

If you use the ACE CLI to configure a named object with special characters that the DM does not support, you may not be able to configure the ACE using DM.


This section includes:

Optimization Overview

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List

Configuring Optimization Parameter Maps

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Enabling HTTP Optimization Using Virtual Servers

Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization


Note Application acceleration performance on the ACE is 50 to 100 Mbps throughput. With typical page sizes and browser usage patterns, this equates to roughly 1,000 concurrent connections. Subsequent connections bypass the application acceleration engine. This limitation applies only to traffic that is explicitly configured to receive application acceleration processing (for example, FlashForward, Delta Optimization). Traffic that is not configured to receive application acceleration processing is not subject to these limitations. Also, because the ACE HTTP compression is implemented separately in hardware, it is not subject to these limitations. For example, if you have a mix of application-accelerated and non-application-accelerated traffic, the former is limited; the latter is not. If you have 50 Mbps of application-accelerated traffic, the ACE can still deliver up to 1.9 Gbps throughput for the non-application-accelerated traffic.


Optimization Overview

The application acceleration functions of the ACE appliance apply several optimization technologies to accelerate application performance. This functionality enables enterprises to optimize network performance and improve access to critical business information.

The ACE appliance provides the following application acceleration and optimization functionality:

Delta optimization eliminates redundant traffic on the network by computing and transmitting only the changes that occur in a Web page between successive downloads of the same page or similar pages.

FlashForward object acceleration technology eliminates network delays associated with embedded cacheable Web objects such as images, style sheets, and JavaScript files by placing the responsibility for validating object freshness on the ACE appliance, rather than on the client, making the client more efficient.

Just-in-time object acceleration enables acceleration of non-cacheable embedded objects, resulting in improved application response time by eliminating the need for clients to download these objects on each request.

Adaptive dynamic caching accelerates enterprise application performance and improves server system scalability by enabling the ACE appliance itself to fulfill requests for dynamic content, which offloads application servers and databases.

Refer to Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization or the Cisco 4700 Series Application Control Engine Appliance Application Acceleration and Optimization Configuration Guide for more information about application acceleration and optimization.

Related Topics

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

To define the different optimization and application acceleration functions that you want the ACE to perform, you must configure at least one each of the following:

HTTP optimization action list—This action list specifies the actions that the ACE is to perform for application acceleration and optimization. You can configure action lists when configuring a virtual server, or as a separate procedure. See:

Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization

Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List.

Layer 7 server load-balancing class map—This class map identifies the Layer 7 server load-balancing match criteria to apply to incoming traffic, such as URL, HTTP cookie, HTTP header, or source IP address. See Configuring Virtual Context Class Maps, page 10-8

Layer 7 HTTP optimization policy map—This policy map applies the HTTP optimization action list and optionally an optimization parameter map to Layer 7 HTTP traffic. See Configuring Virtual Context Policy Maps, page 10-33.

Layer 3 and Layer 4 class map—By using match criteria, this class map identifies the network traffic that can pass through the ACE appliance. The match criteria includes the VIP address for the network traffic. The ACE appliance uses these Layer 3 and Layer 4 traffic classes to perform server load balancing. See Configuring Virtual Context Class Maps, page 10-8.

Layer 3 and Layer 4 policy map—This policy map associates server load-balancing actions and HTTP optimization action lists with the VIP. See Setting Policy Map Rules and Actions for Layer 3/Layer 4 Management Traffic, page 10-42 and Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization.

Layer 7 server load-balancing policy map—This policy map specifies the server load-balancing actions that the ACE appliance is to perform. See Configuring Virtual Context Policy Maps, page 10-33.

You can also configure:

Optimization parameter maps—Optimization parameter maps allow you to configure specific options for action list items. You can configure optimization parameter maps when configuring a virtual server or as a separate procedure.

When you configure a parameter map with an action list for a class map, the ACE appliance validates the action list and parameter map configurations before deploying them.

See:

Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization, page 3-54

Configuring Optimization Parameter Maps, page 6-11

Global application acceleration and optimization options—The acceleration and optimization options allow you to apply specific acceleration and optimization features for logging and debugging on a global level on the ACE appliance. See Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization.

Related Topics

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Optimization Overview

Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List

An HTTP optimization action list groups a series of individual application acceleration and optimization operations that you want the ACE to perform.

Use this procedure to configure an HTTP optimization action list.


Tip You can also configure HTTP optimization action lists when configuring a virtual server. For more information, see Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization, page 3-54.


Procedure


Step 1 Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Action Lists > Optimization Action Lists. The Optimization Action List table appears.

Step 2 Click Add to add a new optimization action list, or select an existing action list, then click Edit to modify it.

Step 3 Configure the optimization action list using the information in Table 11-1.

Table 11-1 Optimization Action List Configuration Options

Field
Description

Action List Name

Enter a unique name for the action list. Valid entries are unquoted text strings with a maximum of 64 alphanumeric characters.

Enable Delta

Delta optimization dynamically updates client browser caches directly with content differences, or deltas, resulting in faster page downloads.

Check this check box to enable delta optimization for the specified URLs.

Clear this check box to disable delta optimization for the specified URLs.

Note The ACE restricts you from enabling delta optimization if you have previously specified either Cache Dynamic or Dynamic Entity Tag.

Enable AppScope

AppScope runs on the Management Console of the optional Cisco AVS 3180A Management Station and measures end-to-end application performance.

Check this check box to enable AppScope performance monitoring for use with the ACE appliance.

Clear this check box to disable AppScope performance monitoring for use with the ACE appliance.

Flash Forward

The FlashForward feature reduces bandwidth usage and accelerates embedded object downloading by combining local object storage with dynamic renaming of embedded objects, thereby enforcing object freshness within the parent HTML page.

Specify how the ACE appliance is to implement FlashForward:

N/A—Indicates that this feature is not enabled.

Flash Forward—Indicates that FlashForward is to be enabled for the specified URLs and that embedded objects are to be transformed.

Flash Forward Object—Indicates that FlashForward static caching is to be enabled for the objects that the corresponding URLs refer to, such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), JPEG, and GIF files.

Cache Dynamic

Check this check box to enable Adaptive Dynamic Caching for the specified 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 time or server load.

Clear this check box to disable this feature.

Note The ACE restricts you from enabling Cache Dynamic if you have previously specified either Enable Delta or Dynamic Entity Tag.

Cache Forward

Check this check box to enables the cache forward feature for the corresponding URLs. Cache forward 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 specifying the Cache Time-to-Live Duration (%): field in an Optimization parameter map). At the same time, the ACE sends an asynchronous request to the origin server to refresh its cache of the object.

Clear this check box to disable this feature.

Dynamic Entity Tag

This feature enables the acceleration of noncacheable embedded objects, which results in improved application response time. When enabled, this feature eliminates the need for users to download noncacheable objects on each request.

Check this check box to indicate that the ACE appliance is to implement just-in-time object acceleration for noncacheable embedded objects.

Clear this check box to disable this feature.

Note The ACE restricts you from enabling Dynamic Entity Tag if you have previously specified either Enable Delta or Cache Dynamic.


Step 4 Click:

Deploy Now to deploy this configuration on the ACE appliance.

Cancel to exit this procedure without saving your entries.

Next to save your entries.


Related Topics

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring Optimization Parameter Maps

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization

Setting Policy Map Rules and Actions for Layer 7 HTTP Optimization, page 10-76

Configuring Optimization Parameter Maps

Use this procedure to configure an Optimization parameter map for use with a Layer 3/Layer 4 policy map.


Tip You can also configure optimization parameter maps when configuring a virtual server. For more information, see Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization, page 3-54.


Procedure


Step 1 Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Load Balancing > Parameter Maps > Optimization Parameter Maps. The Parameter Maps table appears.

Step 2 Click Add to add a new parameter map, or select an existing parameter map, then click Edit to modify it. The Optimization Parameter Map configuration screen appears.

Step 3 In the Parameter Name field, enter a unique name for this parameter map. Valid entries are unquoted text strings with no spaces and a maximum of 32 alphanumeric characters.

Step 4 Click Optimization. Optimization attributes appear.

Step 5 Configure optimization using the information in Table 6-6.

Step 6 Click:

Deploy Now to save your entries. The ACE appliance validates the parameter map configuration and deploys it.

Cancel to exit this procedure without saving your entries and to return to the Parameter Map table.

Next to accept your entries and to add another parameter map.


Related Topics

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Table 11-2 provides a high-level overview of the steps required to configure HTTP optimization on an ACE appliance.


Note Table 11-2 includes only the significant steps in each task. For detailed information on configuring these items, select the links provided, click Help in the ACE Appliance Device Manager GUI, or refer to Configuring Traffic Policies, page 10-1.


Assumption

A virtual IP address has been configured for the context in which you configure HTTP optimization.

Table 11-2 Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization 

 
Task
Procedure

Step 1 

Create a Layer 7 class map for server load balancing.

1. Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Class Maps.

2. Click Add to add a new class map.

3. In the Class Map Type field, select Layer 7 Server Load Balancing.

4. In the Match Type field, select the method the ACE appliance is to use to evaluate multiple match statements when multiple match conditions exist in the class map.

5. Click Deploy Now.

6. Configure match conditions for this class map.

For more information, see:

Configuring Virtual Context Class Maps, page 10-8

Setting Match Conditions for Layer 7 Server Load-Balancing Class Maps, page 10-15

Step 2 

Create an HTTP optimization action list to specify the optimization actions that are to be performed.

1. Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Action Lists.

2. Click Add to add a new action list.

3. Configure the action list using the information in Table 11-1.

4. Click Deploy Now.

For more information, see Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List.

Step 3 

Create a Layer 7 HTTP optimization policy map and associate it with the server load-balancing class map in Step 1 and the action list configured in Step 2.

1. Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Policy Maps.

2. Click Add to add a new policy map.

3. In the Type field, select Layer 7 HTTP Optimization.

4. Click Deploy Now.

5. In the Rules table, add the server load-balancing class map created in Step 1.

6. In the Action table, add the action list created in Step 2.

For more information, see:

Configuring Virtual Context Class Maps, page 10-8

Setting Policy Map Rules and Actions for Layer 7 HTTP Optimization, page 10-76

Step 4 

Create a Layer 3/Layer 4 class map for server load balancing.

1. Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Class Maps.

2. Click Add to add a new class map.

3. In the Class Map Type field, select Layer 3/4 Network Traffic.

4. In the Match Type field, select the method the ACE appliance is to use to evaluate multiple match statements when multiple match conditions exist in the class map.

5. Click Deploy Now.

6. Configure Virtual Address match conditions for this class map.

For more information, see:

Configuring Virtual Context Class Maps, page 10-8

Setting Match Conditions for Class Maps, page 10-10

Step 5 

Create a Layer 7 policy map for server load balancing and associate it with the Layer 7 server load-balancing class map from Step 1.

1. Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Policy Maps.

2. Click Add to add a new policy map.

3. In the Type field, select Layer 7 Server Load Balancing.

4. Click Deploy Now.

5. Associate the Layer 7 server load-balancing class map configured in Step 1 with this policy map by adding it to the Rule table.

For more information, see:

Configuring Virtual Context Policy Maps, page 10-33

Setting Policy Map Rules and Actions for Layer 7 Server Load-Balancing Traffic, page 10-43

Step 6 

Create a Layer 3/Layer 4 network traffic policy map and associate it with the:

Layer 3/Layer 4 server load-balancing class map configured in Step 4

Layer 7 server load-balancing policy map configured in Step 5

HTTP optimization policy map configured in Step 3

1. Select Config > Virtual Contexts > context > Expert > Policy Maps.

2. Click Add to add a new policy map.

3. In the Type field, select Layer 3/4 Network Traffic.

4. Click Deploy Now.

5. In the Rule table, add the Layer 3/Layer 4 server load-balancing class map configured in Step 4.

6. In the Action table, add the:

Layer 7 server load-balancing policy map created in Step 5

HTTP optimization policy map created in Step 3

For more information, see:

Configuring Virtual Context Policy Maps, page 10-33

Setting Match Conditions for Layer 3/Layer 4 Management Traffic Class Maps, page 10-13



Related Topics

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring an HTTP Optimization Action List

Optimization Overview

Enabling HTTP Optimization Using Virtual Servers

Use this procedure to configure HTTP optimization using virtual servers.

Procedure


Step 1 Create a virtual server by following the instructions in Configuring Virtual Contexts, page 2-1.

Step 2 Configure HTTP optimization by following the instructions in Configuring Application Acceleration and Optimization, page 3-54.


Related Topics

Configuring Traffic Policies for HTTP Optimization

Configuring Optimization Parameter Maps

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow

Configuring Global Application Acceleration and Optimization


Note This functionality is available for only Admin contexts.


ACE Appliance Device Manager allows you to configure global application acceleration and optimization options for logging and debugging as performed by the ACE appliance.

Procedure


Step 1 Select Config > Virtual Contexts > admin_context > System > Application Acceleration And Optimization. The Application Acceleration And Optimization configuration screen appears.

Step 2 In the Debug Level field, enter the maximum level of system log messages to be sent to the syslog server, using the values in Table 2-4. The severity level that you specify indicates that you want syslog messages at that level and the more severe levels. For example, if you enter 3 for Error, syslog displays Error, Critical, Alert, and Emergency messages.

Step 3 Check the Appscope Log check box to indicate that the ACE appliance is to upload optimization statistical log information to the optional AVS 3180A Management station. Clear the check box to indicate that the ACE appliance is not to upload this information.

Step 4 Click Deploy Now to deploy this configuration on the ACE appliance.


Related Topics

Optimization Overview

Optimization Traffic Policies and Typical Configuration Flow