How to Bring a Downtime Page from within a CISCO load balancer

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Nov 17th, 2008
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We have three servers load balanced on a CISCO CSS11500 series.

The question is, can we bring up a downtime page from the Loadbalancer, when all three servers are down for maintanence purpose?

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The short answer is that you can if you have a GSS set up (which you don't mention), otherwise, if you only have the CSSes, then the answer is no. With that being said, you can create new services on the CSS that go to the downtime page, then suspend them. Add them to the owner/content rules but leave them suspended. Once you get ready to do your work, you can log into the CSS, activate your downtime services and suspend your prod services. When you come out of maintenance, you reverse the process. There is not a way to do this on the CSS without these manual steps. You will also need to have a server to host the maintenance page, as the CSS does not deliver content directly.

Syed Iftekhar Ahmed Mon, 11/17/2008 - 11:48
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Not from the LB itself but a good idea is to have a single server dedicated for downtime pages.

Create a service with a "sorry page". Add it to the content-rule as primary sorry service.

When ever all the services in the content rule are unavailble the traffic will be send to this server with sorry page. This Server will only be used "if all services are down".

Config example

you will need to use the "sorry server" feature in CSS to acheive that

Sample Config

!********* SERVICE *****************

service serverA

ip address x.x.x.1


service serverB

ip address x.x.x.2


service Server-with-downtime-page

ip address x.x.x.x


!********** OWNER ****************

owner SYED

content EXAMPLE

vip address

port 80

protocol tcp

add service serverA

add service serverB

primarySorryServer Server-with-downtime-page




Syed Iftekhar Ahmed

Yes, I forgot about that, we have to use the GSS because we have multiple data centers and multiple CSS/GSS. If you only have 1 CSS (or CSS cluster), you are perfectly fine to use the PrimarySorryServer config. The reason you dont want to use this with multiple data centers is that you dont want some of your traffic taking the sorry page and others getting the real page.

norbert.ranjith Mon, 11/17/2008 - 12:20
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Thank you very much Mike and Iftekar.

I am a newbie for Routers and it will be helpful if you can give the detailed configuration steps.

Thanks again.

norbert.ranjith Wed, 11/19/2008 - 06:31
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Hi thanks for the reply,

Here is one more modified requirement.

Can we host a same server two times as a different service in the loadbalancer? So tht we can host the sorry page on the next service just for maintanence purpose.



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