Scenario: Many a times in Global Single Instance (GSI) environments, a prevalent issue is the performance of EBS over WAN that spans across several countries over several time zones. Nonetheless, we are no exception either. With thousands of users actively using self-service modules such as Oracle Time and Labor, Oracle iExpense, Oracle Learning Management, Self-Service HR and more in pretty much every continent, the biggest out-cry we hear is the application performance.
Nevertheless, EBS is becoming more html based application and http is pretty chatty. Any page that we load in browser got 100s of objects. We were looking out ways to prevent serving same objects again and again in http. Especially EBS browser pages that got hundreds of objects. Also finding the capability to enhance end browser cache better with intelligent browser referencing.
After working with fine-tuning existing appliances and working with quite a few vendors, we are convinced with F5’s BIG-IP LTM with WebAccelerator. Basically, WebAccelerator module increases both end-user performance as well as offloads the servers from serving repetitive and duplicate content.
The BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) can also track Oracle EBS Application Server end-user sessions, enabling the application server to maintain client session data.
BIG-IP LTM system with WebAccelerator module is optimally configured to accelerate traffic to Oracle E-Business Suite devices. The BIG-IP LTM with WebAccelerator module both increased our end user performance as well as offloaded the servers from serving repetitive and duplicate content.
In our earlier test configuration, a remote client from Australia, Asia and Europe with WAN latency accesses Oracle E-Business Suite via the WebAccelerator. The user’s request is accelerated on repeat visits by the WebAccelerator instructing the browser to use the dynamic or static object that is stored in its local cache. Additionally, dynamic and static objects are cached at the WebAccelerator so that they can be served quickly without requiring the server to re-serve the same objects. Configuring the WebAccelerator module requires creating an HTTP class profile, creating an Application, and modifying the BIG-IP LTM virtual server to use the HTTP class.
High level steps to achieve performance gain with Web Accelerator.
1. The first procedure is to create an HTTP class profile. When incoming HTTP traffic matches the criteria you specify in the WebAccelerator class, the system diverts the traffic through this class.
2. The next step is to modify the virtual server on the BIG-IP LTM system to use the HTTP Class profile you just created.
3. Create a WebAccelerator Application. The Application provides key information to the WebAccelerator so that it can handle requests to your application appropriately.
At the end, we were able to gain the speed of first time visits to Oracle E-Business Suite by 40% across an entire transaction over the WAN. For repeat visits, we got an increase of more than 50%, only slightly higher than the same transaction directly on the LAN.
Traffic Flow in our environment
1. The client machine makes a connection to the BIG-IP LTM virtual server IP address for the Oracle E-Business Suite 12 Application Server to access a resource.
2. The BIG-IP establishes a connection to an Application Server, translating the destination port, based on the Predictive Load Balancing algorithm and will persist the connection to the same Application Server while optimizing the connection. Depending on the configuration, the BIG-IP may also provide compression and caching using Web Accelerator and terminate the SSL connection.
Disclaimer: This article is purely based on our own experiences and the methodologies that we engaged towards the application delivery issues over WAN and certainly not to trumpet vendor preference one over another.