Manual Chapter : Manage Software Licenses for Devices

Applies To:

Show Versions Show Versions

BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 7.0.0
Manual Chapter

Manage Software Licenses for Devices

How do I manage software licenses for my devices?

A software license is specific to F5 product services (for example, BIG-IP LTM, BIG-IP APM, and so forth), and is organized in a
license pool
. From BIG-IQ Centralized Management, you can easily manage licenses in those pools for numerous devices. That means you don't have to log in to each individual BIG-IP VE device to activate, revoke, or reassign a license.
After you activate your subscription or ELA registration key for a pool license from BIG-IQ, you can assign the license to a managed, or unmanaged, BIG-IP VE device. If you assign a license from a license pool to a BIG-IP device and later decide you don't need that device licensed, you can revoke the license and assign it to another BIG-IP VE device. This process is similar to a library, where you loan (assign) a license to a BIG-IP device when it is required, and check the license back into the license pool on BIG-IQ (revoke it from the device) so it is available to assign to another BIG-IP VE. This flexible licensing model helps keep track of the licenses, and manage your operating costs.
There are 3 types of devices you can manage licenses for:
Managed BIG-IP devices
From BIG-IQ, you assign licenses to and revoke license from BIG-IP devices using each device’s SSL certificate for authentication over an SSL connection.
Unmanaged BIG-IP devices
From BIG-IQ, you assign licenses to and revoke licenses from BIG-IP devices using each BIG-IP device’s IP address, user name, and password for authentication over an SSL connection.
Unreachable devices
Unreachable devices (sometimes referred to as disconnected devices) are devices that BIG-IQ can generate licenses for without direct communication between BIG-IQ and BIG-IP. Because there is no direct communication between BIG-IQ and BIG-IP, clients must provide additional device information as input. The client is responsible for installing the license on BIG-IP. To do that, use an API call through a third-party computer or program that communicates with BIG-IQ to get a license from BIG-IQ and assign it to the BIG-IP device by a method of your choosing. The third party makes a similar API call to BIG-IQ for revoking a license. For more information about these API calls, see .
To manage licenses for BIG-IQ devices, you must be assigned to one of the following roles:
  • Admin
  • Device Manager
  • License Manager

Options for adding and activating a license pool

Adding and activating a license pool is the first step to start managing it for your BIG-IP devices. You can activate a registration key in these ways:
Automatic
Use this procedure if BIG-IQ is connected to the public internet.
Manual
Use this procedure if BIG-IQ is not connected to the public internet. If you are manually activating a volume or utility license, you must activate each offering individually.

Add and automatically activate subscription or ELA registration keys

To add and activate a license, you must have a base registration key. You get your key from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email. If you do not have a base registration key, contact the F5 Networks sales group (
f5.com
).
You can use this procedure to automatically contact the F5 license server for activation if F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management system is:
  • Connected to the public internet.
  • Able to access the
    activate.f5.com
    site.
  • Existing firewalls allow port 443 to pass through.
You add and activate subscription or ELA registration keys to make them available for assignment to BIG-IP devices in your network. If the BIG-IQ Centralized Management that you're activating a keys for is not connected to the public internet, you can activate it using this manual procedure, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server. Utility pool licenses contain offerings. Offerings are specific to the services based on F5 Networks' Good, Better, Best licensing structure.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Licenses
    .
  3. Click the
    Add License
    button.
  4. In the
    Base Registration Key
    field, type or paste the registration key, and into the
    Add-on Keys
    field, type or paste an associated add-on keys.
  5. For the
    Activation Method
    setting, select
    Automatic
    .
  6. Review the user legal agreement and if you agree, select the
    I have read and agree to the terms of this license
    check box.
If a registration key or offering fails to activate, the license displays with a yellow triangle next to it in the list. You'll need to reactivate the registration key and its offerings. For individual offerings, you can add an optional description for identification after activation.

Add and manually activate subscription or ELA registration keys

You must have a base registration key before you can license the BIG-IQ system. If you do not have a base registration key, contact the F5 Networks sales group (
f5.com
). After you set up your BIG-IQ VE or set up your BIG-IQ 7000 Series, you can install the BIG-IQ software license.
You add and activate subscription or ELA registration keys to make them available for assignment to BIG-IP devices in your network. If the BIG-IQ Centralized Management that you're activating a keys for is not connected to the public internet, you can activate it using this manual procedure, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server.
Utility pool licenses contain offerings. Offerings are specific to the services based on F5 Networks' Good, Better, Best licensing structure. If you are manually contacting the F5 Networks license server to activate those registration keys, you must activate each associated offering individually.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Licenses
    .
  3. Click the
    Add License
    button.
  4. In the
    License Name
    field, type a name to identify this license.
  5. In the
    Base Registration Key
    field, type or paste the registration key, and into the
    Add-on Keys
    field, type or paste any associated add-on keys.
  6. For the
    Activation Method
    setting, select
    Manual
    .
  7. Click the
    Generate Dossier
    button.
    The screen refreshes to display the dossier.
  8. Select and copy the dossier.
  9. Click the
    Access F5 manual activation web portal
    link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  10. Click the
    Activate License
    link.
  11. Paste the dossier into the
    Enter Your Dossier
    box and click the
    Next
    button.
  12. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, click the
    Accept
    button at the bottom of the screen.
  13. Select the license and copy and paste it into the
    License Text
    box.
  14. Click the
    Activate
    button at the bottom of the screen.
  15. Click the name of a pending offering.
  16. Paste the dossier into the
    Enter Your Dossier
    box and click the
    Next
    button.
  17. Click the
    Activate
    button at the bottom of the screen.
  18. Repeat steps 15-17 for each pending offering.
If a registration key or offering fails to activate, the license displays with a yellow triangle next to it in the list. You'll need to reactivate the registration key and its offerings. For individual offerings, you can add an optional description for identification after activation.

Assign a license to a BIG-IP device

After you have activated your subscription or ELA registration key, you can assign the subscription or ELA to a BIG-IP VE device. If you're assigning it to an umanaged device, you must have the device's admin user name and password.
Unmanaged devices
are devices that are located in your network, but are not in the BIG-IQ system's BIG-IP Device Inventory list.
You assign a license to a BIG-IP VE device to authorize the device to run F5 services that support your applications.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Assignments
    .
  3. Click the name of the offering you want to assign to a BIG-IP VE.
  4. For managed devices, from the
    Devices
    list, select the device you want to license and move it to the
    Member Devices
    list.
  5. For unmanaged devices (devices in your network, but you are not managing from BIG-IQ), type the device's address, user name, and password in the
    Unmanaged Devices
    section.
  6. Click the
    Assign
    button at the bottom of the screen.

Revoke a license from a BIG-IP VE device

Before you can revoke a license for a device in your network, you must have the device's IP address.
When fewer devices are required for your applications, you can revoke licenses to reassign them to other BIG-IP VE devices, as needed. This procedure allows you to revoke a single license.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Assignments
    .
  3. Select the check box next to the device you want to remove a license from.
  4. If this is an unmanaged device, type the BIG-IP system's administrator's
    Username
    and
    Password
    .
    Unmanaged devices are devices that are located in your network, but are not in the BIG-IQ system's BIG-IP Inventory list. These fields do not display if this is a managed device.
  5. Click the
    Revoke
    button at the bottom of the screen.
This license is now available for reassignment.

Change a pool license for a BIG-IP VE device

You must have activated and assigned a license to a BIG-IP VE device before you can change the license.
F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management makes it easy to change a specific license offering on a BIG-IP VE as traffic increases, as requirements for different services come up, or if you need to change the unit of measure for billing purposes. Use this procedure to change a single pool license offering.
  1. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Assignments
    .
  2. Select the check box next to the name of the device you want to change a license for and click the
    Change License
    button.
  3. If this is an unmanaged device, type the BIG-IP system's administrator's
    Username
    and
    Password
    .
    Unmanaged devices
    are devices that are located in your network, but are not in the BIG-IQ system's BIG-IP Inventory list. These fields do not display if this is a managed device.
  4. In the New Assignment area, from the
    License Type
    list, select the type of license pool you want to select another license from.
  5. From the
    License
    list, select the license you want to assign to this device.
  6. Click the
    Assign
    button at the bottom of the screen.

License usage billing reports

A utility billing report provides F5 Networks the information it needs to accurately bill for your license usage. You can manually create and submit a utility billing license usage report to F5, at the frequency specified in your license agreement. You can also create a schedule for generating utility license reports on a regular basis.
When you create a report or a report schedule, keep in mind:
  • If you activated your utility pool on 1-Jan-2019 and generate a report on 1-Feb-2019, the report includes all usage between 1-Jan-2019 and 31-Jan-2019.
  • If you generate another report on 1-Apr-2019, the report includes all usage between 1-Feb-2019 and 31-Mar-2019.

Providing permissions to run license usage reports

For users to view and create license usage reports, they must have the permissions granted by an administrator. To grant permissions to a user, you complete the four tasks included in this procedure:
  • Create a role type and provide that role type permissions to the licensing service. Steps 1-5
  • Create a custom resource group, associate it with the licensing service, and add the utility billing report object. Steps 6-10
  • Create a custom role and associate it with the resource group you added. Steps 11-16
  • Add a user and associate it with the role with permissions to the utility billing reports. Steps 17-20
  1. At the top of the screen click
    System
    , at the left select
    ROLE MANAGEMENT
    Role Types
    , and then click the
    Add
    button.
  2. Type a
    Name
    and an optional
    Description
    for this role type.
  3. Towards the middle of the screen, from the
    Select Service
    list, select
    Device
    , select the check box next to
    Utility Billing Reporting
    , and click the
    Add Selected
    button.
  4. In the Selected Object Types area, select the
    Add
    check box to add a specific type of permission for this role type.
    You might have to decrease the size of the bottom half of the screen (using the horizontal bar right above the
    Object Type
    list) to see the permission settings.
  5. Click the
    Save & Close
    button.
  6. On the left, under
    ROLE MANAGEMENT
    click , and then click the
    Add
    button.
  7. Type a
    Name
    and an optional
    Description
    for this resource group.
  8. Towards the middle of the screen, from the
    Select Service
    list, select
    Device
    .
  9. From the
    Select Object Type
    list, select
    Utility Billing Reporting
    , and then click the
    Add Selected
    button.
  10. Click
    Save & Close
    .
  11. On the left, click
    Roles
    .
  12. At the left of the Roles page, select
    CUSTOM ROLES
    Service Roles
    , and then click the
    Add
    button.
  13. Type a
    Name
    and an optional
    Description
    for this role.
  14. From the
    Role Type
    list, select the custom role type that you created.
  15. From the
    Resource Groups
    Available
    list, select the custom resources group you created, and move it to the
    Selected
    list.
  16. Click
    Save & Close
    .
  17. On the far left, select
    USER MANAGEMENT
    Users
    , and then click the
    Add
    button.
  18. Type a
    User Name
    ,
    Full Name
    , and
    Password
    for this user.
  19. From the
    Roles
    Available
    list, select the custom role you created, and move it to the
    Selected
    list.
  20. Click
    Save & Close
    .
This user now has permissions to create, view, and submit utility license usage reports.

Create a license usage report and submit it to F5 Networks for billing

You create a license usage report to submit to F5 Networks for billing purposes.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Reports
    .
  3. Click the
    Generate
    button.
  4. For Type, select
    Utility Billing Report
    .
  5. From the
    Available
    list, click the license you want to run a report for, and click the arrow to move it to the
    Selected
    list.
  6. Select a
    Submission Method
    .
  7. If you want to obscure the device's host name and IP address in the report, select
    Yes
    for
    Obfuscate Data
    .
  8. Click
    Submit
    at the bottom of the screen.
When BIG-IQ successfully generates the report and submits it to F5 Networks, it also downloads and it displays in the reports list. If the report fails to create properly, the system displays an error message. If this happens, you can automatically re-submit the report from the license reports screen. Alternatively, you can email a copy to
vesubscriptions@f5.com
.

Create a license usage report schedule

Before you can create a license usage billing report schedule, you must be in a role with permissions to view and modify utility billing reports.
If F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management cannot access
api.f5.com
or pass traffic through port 443, you must manually submit the report to F5 Networks instead of submitting automatically. Manually submit your report to
vesubscriptions@f5.com
.
You create a schedule so that BIG-IQ can automatically license generate usage reports at the same time every month for all your utility licenses.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Reports
    .
  3. Click the
    Schedule
    button at the top of the screen.
  4. For
    Schedule Status
    , select the
    Enable
    check box.
  5. Select
    Automatically submit report to F5
    for the
    Submission Method
    .
    If BIG-IQ cannot access
    api.f5.com
    or pass traffic through port 443, you must manually submit the report to F5 Networks offline, instead of submitting it from BIG-IQ. For information about how to manually submit the report offline, contact F5 Support.
  6. Specify the
    Day of the Month
    (from
    1
    to
    28
    ), the
    Start time
    hour
    (from
    0
    to
    23
    ) and
    minute
    (from
    0
    to
    59
    ) that you want BIG-IQ to create the utility reports.
  7. If you want to obscure the device's host name and IP address in the report, select
    Yes
    for
    Obfuscate Data
    .
  8. If you want BIG-IQ to send an email when the report is created, select the
    Enable
    check box for
    Email Notification
    , and type one (or more) email address(es) in the box, separated by commas.
  9. Click the
    Save & Close
    button.
BIG-IQ will create license usage reports on the day of the month and the time you specified. If you enabled email notification, BIG-IQ also sends a notification to the email address(es) specified to let them know the reports are available. When BIG-IQ successfully generates the report and submits it to F5 Networks, it also displays it in the reports list.

Resend a license usage report to F5 Networks

When BIG-IQ Centralized Management creates a license usage report, it retains a copy of that report in the license report list. If you need to re-send a report to F5 (for example, in the event an automatic submission failed), you can do so from that screen.
Alternatively, you can email the report to
vesubscriptions@f5.com
.
  1. On the left, click
    LICENSE MANAGEMENT
    Reports
    .
  2. Select the check box next to the utility billing report that you want to send, and click the
    Send To F5
    button.
BIG-IQ resends the report to F5.