Manual Chapter : Azure Scaling Groups Overview
Applies To:Show Versions
BIG-IQ Centralized Management
Azure Scaling Groups Overview
Overview: Auto-scaling BIG-IP VE devices in Azure cloud
F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management makes it straightforward for you to securely manage traffic to your applications in an Azure cloud using a service scaling group (SSG). You specify in the SSG the parameters that prompt the Azure cloud to dynamically and automatically deploy or delete fully configured BIG-IP VE devices as needed.
When you deploy the SSG in your Azure environment, BIG-IQ creates the minimum number of BIG-IP devices needed to handle the application traffic you've specified. It also creates a load balancer in the Azure cloud that distributes your application traffic to those devices.
From a centralized, single-pane of glass view, you can monitor the health and statistics of your applications, as well as devices that are load balancing traffic and hosting applications. You can also set up alert thresholds to immediately notify you of certain events.
When BIG-IQ deploys a BIG-IP device to an SSG, the device is provisioned with a single network interface. Only devices with a single network interface are supported in an SSG.
There are two primary deployment options for managing the BIG-IP VE devices in your SSG.
Option 1 - BIG-IQ Centralized Management in a private cloud or on-premises
Manage BIG-IP devices in an Azure cloud using a BIG-IQ system housed in your private cloud or on-premises environment. With this option, you need a VPN tunnel to communicate between BIG-IQ and the BIG-IP VE devices in the SSG.
Option 2 - BIG-IQ Centralized Management in the Azure cloud
Manage BIG-IP devices in an Azure cloud with a BIG-IQ system that is also in the Azure cloud.
After you set up the SSG, you can provide self-service application deployment rights to your application managers. With role-based access control, you simplify the application managers' experience by restricting their read/write access to only the resources they need to do their jobs, with the ability to customize the applications they need to deploy (within your specified parameters). That means they don't have to ask you each time a new resource is needed. Application managers can also set up their own alerts for health notifications so they can keep an eye on things and let you know if there are issues you need to take care of.
How do I start auto-scaling BIG-IP VE devices in Azure?
Before you begin setting up an Azure service scaling group (SSG), you need to make a couple of decisions.
- The primary decision is whether to house all of the resources needed for this SSG in the Azure environment, or to house everything except the devices in a private cloud.
- The other significant decision is whether to use an Azure marketplace license or purchase BYOL utility license (also referred to as PAYG) in advance.
Regardless of where your resources reside, before you can set up an SSG, you must install and configure a BIG-IQ device and a data collection device. When you house everything in Azure, you install them there. If your resources are in a private cloud or on-premise, then you install them as virtual editions there. When you use a private cloud or on-premise solution, you also need to configure a virtual private network to facilitate communication between your cloud and the service scaling group.
For specifications and requirements for the VPN needed to facilitate communication between Azure and your private cloud, refer to
Configuration requirements for an Azure VPNon
If you use an Azure marketplace license for the devices in your SSG, you set that up during your Azure environment configuration. If you use a BYOL license, you purchase it ahead of time, and then activate the pool of BYOL licenses on the BIG-IQ so it can act as a license server.
Instructions for setting up the BIG-IQ systems and data collection devices that you need before you start configuring the SSG to manage applications are in the
Planning and Implementing an F5 BIG IQ deploymentguide on
BIG-IQ cannot deploy BIG-IP VE devices to an Azure cloud environment if Azure Application Insights is not supported for the region the cloud environment is located in. Verify Azure Application Insights is supported in the regions you plan to deploy devices in an SSG located in an Azure cloud environment.
To start auto-scaling BIG-IP VE devices for applications in Azure, you need to complete the tasks summarized in this process flow chart.
- Set up the prerequisites in the Azure cloud that houses the resources for this SSG.
- Create a BIG-IP device template that Azure uses to create BIG-IP VE devices when application traffic increases and you need to scale out.
- Add provider and environmental details to BIG-IQ by creating an Azure cloud provider and cloud environment.
- Create a service scaling group where you specify thresholds and alert settings for auto-scaling and health monitoring.
- Create a service template to standardize an application for self-service deployment.
- Give users role-based access to the service template and the service scaling group resources.
- Use one of the templates you have permissions for to create an application and deploy it to the devices in a service scaling group.
BIG-IP VE device licensing overview
New BIG-IP devices created for your service scaling group (SSG) are licensed using one of two licensing options.
- If you use an F5AzureMarketplace license, when you configure yourAzurecloud environment on the BIG-IQ, you select the product offering that provides the kind of service and performance levels your application services require. When new instances are created, you get billed for the resources you consume. When those instances are no longer needed, you stop paying for them. This saves you money, because you aren't billed for any BIG-IP VE instances not being used.
- Bring your own license(BYOL)
- With this option, you pay all of your licensing fees up front. As long as your traffic is fairly steady and you have a pretty good idea of how much traffic to expect, this can save you money because the rates are less expensive when you pay in advance for the resources you need. When you choose this option, you purchase and activate the license before you configure theAzurecloud environment on the BIG-IQ.