Study Notes for F5 101v2-Application Delivery Fundamentals exam

As i said before i got an opportunity to test my knowledge (101v2 beta) and off course learn more about F5 ADC and other stuff. The information you need to learn is published in the official Blueprint Application Delivery Fundamentals. This new version will be available on Q1 2015.

F5 doesn´t have any guide (book,etc) like most of the vendors have, so you need to do it by your self. But i found a nice compilation did by Philip Jönsson (direct link) and another one by Rich Hill

A good tool is F5 University where you have free WBTs of LTM&APM (and more!!!), and hands-on on a virtual lab (code 10.x and 11.x). I think the most important are:

Getting Started with BIG-IP: Part 1 – Administration

Getting Started with BIG-IP: Part 2 – Application Delivery

Getting Started with BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM)

Getting Started with BIG-IP LTM: Part 1 – High Availability and Traffic Processing

Getting Started with BIG-IP LTM: Part 2 – iRules and Accelerating Traffic

Viprion Basics

HTTP Basics I

HTTP Basics II

A few facts:

  • The exam is based on 11.4.0 code
  • Exam cost 105 euros + VAT
  • The exam 101v2 will have 80 questions (70 scored and 10 unscored), and a minimum of 69% to pass it
  • Pre-requirement to go to the next level Exam 201 – TMOS Administration and be a F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator (F5-CA)
  • All questions are scored equally
  • Passing the exam will be valid for 2 years
  • Most people agree that the v2 practice exam is much harder than the v1 production exam (mostly because of the number of questions).

I took the followed information from http://veritablenetworks.blogspot.pt/(Rich Hill) and change a few things for the renewed exam (101v2).

You can download my personal notes here.

Section 1 – OSI

Most of this information is common knowledge in the networking industry, but you probably don´t a few things especially when you get to the application layer protocols (sorry if i undervalue you!). The Wikipedia articles play a big role here, and yes Wikipedia Rulez!

  • Objective 1.01 – Explain, compare and contrast the OSI layers

OSI Model Wiki
Another OSI Model Overview

  • Objective 1.02 – Explain protocols and technologies specific to the data-link layer

Explain the purpose of a switch’s forwarding database
ARP
ARP on F5
MAC Address
Broadcast Domain
VLANs
Link Aggregation Wiki
Big IP Link Aggregation

  • Objective 1.03 – Explain protocols and apply technologies specific to the network layer

Routing on F5
TCP/IP Overview
IP Addressing & Subnetting
Routing Protocols
IP Packet Fragmentation
IP TTL (Time to Live)

  • Objective 1.04 – Explain the features and functionality of protocols and technologies specific to the transport layer

MTU / MSS
TCP Functionality
UDP Functionality
TCP Connection Setup by Virtual Server Type
TCP Profile Settings (Tunables)
UDP Profile Settings (Tunables)
TCPDUMP on F5
Retransmissions
Functionality of ports in general
Process of a reset

  • Objective 1.05 – Explain the features and functionality of protocols and technologies specific to the application layer

Application Layer Traffic Managment on F5
HTTP Functionality
HTTP Status Codes
HTTP Headers
F5 HTTP White Paper
DNS Functionality
DNS Record Types
SIP Functionality
F5 SIP White Paper
FTP Functionality
SMTP Functionality
HTTP Cookies
My Name is URL

Section 2 – F5 Solutions and Technology

In this section, we get into the actual F5 Solutions. Most engineers taking this exam will be experienced with LTM and iRules, but little else. Hopefully, the familiarity gained from the F5 datasheets and white papers shown below will help you to understand the breadth of the F5 offerings. Prepare to take the first step into a larger world.

  • Objective 2.01 – Articulate the role of F5 products

Access Policy Manager (APM)
Application Security Manager (ASM)
Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
Global Traffic Manager (GTM)
Enterprise Manager
BIG-IQ and ADN Management
F5 White Papers
F5 Datasheets

  • Objective 2.02 – Explain the purpose, use and advantages of iRules

iRule Wiki (Requires Devcentral Login)

  • Objective 2.03 – Explain the purpose, use and advantages of iApps

iApp Wiki (Requires Devcentral Login)

  • Objective 2.05 – Explain the purpose of and use cases for full proxy and packet forwarding/packet based architectures

Full Proxy Architecture (Lori MacVittie rules!)
Packet-Based vs Full Proxy
SNAT
Virtual Server Types

  • Objective 2.06 – Explain the advantages and configurations of high availability (HA)

F5 HA Basics
Config Sync
Big IP HA Features
Mirroring
VLAN Failsafe

Section 3 – Load Balancing Essentials

This section is a short one compared to the previous two. If you’re going after an F5 certification, you’re probably already familiar with much of this material, so you probably won’t have to study as much for this section. It never hurts to brush up on the algorithms and persistence methods.

  • Objective 3.01 – Discuss the purpose of, use cases for, and key considerations related to load balancing

Load Balancing Wiki
Load Balancing 101
Load Balancing Algorithms (Devcentral)
More on Load Balancing Algorithms
Another Load Balancing Algorithm Article
Yet Another Load Balancing Algorithm Article
Persistence

  • Objective 3.02 – Differentiate between a client and a server

Client / Server on Wiki – Yes, I’m surprised this is even a question.

Section 4 – Security

  • Objective 4.01 – Compare and contrast positive and negative security models

Positive Security Model
Positive vs Negative Security

  • Objective 4.02 – Explain the purpose and cryptographic services

Cryptography
SSL Certificates (Devcentral)
Certificate Chains
Public-Key Cryptography
Symmetric vs Asymmetric Encryption
Client SSL Profiles
Server SSL Profiles
SSLDUMP Utility

  • Objective 4.03 – Describe the purpose and advantages of authentication

F5 Authentication 101
AAA
Single Sign On
Multi-factor Authentication

  • Objective 4.04 – Describe the purpose, advantages and use cases of IPsec and SSL VPN

SSL VPN
IPsec VPN
IPSEC vs SSL VPN

Section 5 – Application Delivery Platforms

  • Objective 5.01 – Describe the purpose, advantages, use cases, and challenges associated with hardware-based application delivery platforms and virtual machines

Virtualization
Virtualization Platforms

  • Objective 5.02 – Describe the purpose of the various types of advanced acceleration techniques.

Application Performance Optimization
TCP Optimization
Oneconnect
Caching
Compression
Pipelining
Acceleration 101

This is everything you need to know, but try learn deep something more!

References:

BIG-IP LTM 11.4.0 Documentation

Exam 101 – Application Delivery Fundamentals

Exam 201 – TMOS Administration

F5 Certification Program

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