Product Documentation

Configuring the Metrics Exchange Protocol (MEP)

May 29, 2018

The data centers in a GSLB setup exchange metrics with each other through the metrics exchange protocol (MEP), which is a proprietary protocol for Citrix NetScaler appliance. The exchange of the metric information begins when you create a GSLB site. These metrics comprise load, network, and persistence information.

MEP is required for health checking of data centers to ensure their availability. A connection for exchanging network metric (round-trip time) can be initiated by either of the data centers involved in the exchange, but a connection for exchanging site metrics is always initiated by the data center with the lower IP address. By default, the data center uses a subnet IP address (SNIP) to establish a connection to the IP address of a different data center. However, you can configure a specific SNIP or virtual IP (VIP) address, or the NetScaler IP (NSIP) address, as the source IP address for metrics exchange. The communication process between GSLB sites uses TCP port 3011 or 3009, so this port must be open on firewalls that are between the NetScaler appliances.
Note: You cannot configure a GSLB site IP address as the source IP address for site metrics exchange.

If the source and target sites (the site that initiates a MEP connection and the site that receives the connection request, respectively) have both private and public IP addresses configured, the sites exchange MEP information by using the public IP addresses.

You can also bind monitors to check the health of remote services as described in "Monitoring GSLB Services." When monitors are bound, metric exchange does not control the state of the remote service. If a monitor is bound to a remote service and metric exchange is enabled, the monitor controls the health status. Binding the monitors to the remote service enables the NetScaler appilance to interact with a non-NetScaler load balancing device. The NetScaler can monitor non-NetScaler devices but cannot perform load balancing on them unless monitors are bound to all GSLB services and only static load balancing methods (such as the round robin, static proximity, or hash-based methods) are used.

With NetScaler release 11.1.51.x or later, to avoid unnecessary disruption of services, you can set a time delay for marking GSLB services as DOWN when a MEP connection goes DOWN.

Enabling Site Metrics Exchange

Updated: 2014-11-24

Site metrics exchanged between the GSLB sites include the status of each load balancing, or  content switching virtual server, the current number of connections, the current packet rate, and current bandwidth usage information.

The NetScaler appliance needs this information to perform load balancing between the sites. The site metric exchange interval is 1 second. A remote GSLB service must be bound to a local GSLB virtual server to enable the exchange of site metrics with the remote service.

To enable or disable site metrics exchange by using the command line interface

At a command prompt, type the following commands to enable or disable site metric exchange and verify the configuration:

  • set gslb site <siteName> -metricExchange (ENABLED|DISABLED)
  • show gslb site <siteName>

Example

 
set gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast -metricExchange ENABLED 
set gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast -metricExchange DISABLED 
show gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast 

To enable or disable site metric exchange by using the NetScaler GUI

  1. Navigate to Traffic Management > GSLB > Sites, and select the site.
  2. In the Configure GSLB Site dialog box, select the Metric Exchange option.

Enabling Network Metric Exchange

Updated: 2014-11-24

If your GSLB sites use the round-trip time (RTT) load balancing method, you can enable or disable the exchange of RTT information about the client's local DNS service. This information is exchanged every 5 seconds.

For details about changing the GSLB method to a method based on RTT, see "Changing the GSLB Method."

To enable or disable network metric information exchange by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type the following commands to enable or disable network metric information exchange and verify the configuration:

  • set gslb site <siteName> -nwmetricExchange (ENABLED|DISABLED)
  • show gslb site <<siteName>

Example

 
set gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast -nwmetricExchange ENABLED 
set gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast -nwmetricExchange DISABLED 
show gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast 

To enable or disable network metric information exchange by using the NetScaler GUI

  1. Navigate to Traffic Management > GSLB > Sites.
  2. In the Configure GSLB Site dialog box, select the Network Metric Exchange option.

Configuring a time delay for the GSLB services to be marked as DOWN when a MEP connection goes DOWN

Note: This feature was introduced in NetScaler release 11.1 build 51.x.

If the status of a MEP connection to a remote site changes to DOWN, the status of every GSLB service on that remote site is marked as DOWN, although the site might not actually be DOWN.

You can now set a delay to allow some time for reestablishment of the MEP connection before the site is marked as DOWN. If the MEP connection is back UP before the delay expires, the services are not affected.

For example, if you set the delay 10, the GSLB services are marked as DOWN until the MEP connection has been DOWN for 10 seconds. If the MEP connection is back UP within 10 seconds, the GSLB services remain in the UP state.

Note: This delay is applicable only to services not bound to a monitor. The delay does not affect the trigger monitors. 

To set a time delay by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type the following command:

set gslb parameter - GSLBSvcStateDelayTime <sec>

Example

set gslb parameter - GSLBSvcStateDelayTime 10

To set a time delay by using the NetScaler GUI

  1. Navigate to Configuration Traffic Management > GSLB > Change GSLB Settings.
  2. In the GSLB Service State Delay Time (secs) box, type the time delay in seconds.

Enabling Persistence Information Exchange

Updated: 2014-11-24

You can configure NetScaler appliance to provide persistent connections, so that a client transmission to any virtual server in a group can be directed to a server that has received previous transmissions from the same client.    

You can enable or disable the exchange of persistence information at each site. This information is exchanged once every 5 seconds between NetScaler appliances participating in GSLB.

For details about configuring persistence, see "Configuring Persistent Connections."

To enable or disable persistence information exchange by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type the following commands to enable or disable persistence-information exchange and verify the configuration:

  • set gslb site <siteName> -sessionExchange (ENABLED|DISABLED)
  • show gslb site <siteName>

Example

 
set gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast -sessionExchange  ENABLED 
set gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast -sessionExchange  DISABLED 
show gslb site Site-GSLB-East-Coast 

To enable or disable persistence information exchange by using the NetScaler GUI

  1. Navigate to Traffic Management > GSLB > Sites, and double-click the site.
  2. In the Configure GSLB Site dialog box, select or clear the Persistence Session Entry Exchange check box.