Manual Chapter : Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition in Linux Xen Project

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 7.1.0
Manual Chapter

Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition in
Linux Xen Project

How do I deploy a BIG-IQ VE in
Linux Xen Project

  • Verify that the host machine requirements are satisfied.
  • Deploy a BIG-IQ system as a virtual machine.
  • Deploy the BIG-IP systems you intend to manage.
  • After you have deployed the virtual machines, log in to the BIG-IQ VE system and run the Setup utility. Using the Setup utility, you perform basic network configuration tasks, such as assigning VLANs to interfaces.
  • Configure secure communication between the BIG-IQ system and the BIG-IP device.

Host machine requirements and recommendations

To successfully deploy and run the
VE system, the host system must satisfy minimum requirements.
The host system must include these elements:
  • CentOS, Debian, Fedora, RHEL, or Ubuntu with the Xen Project package. The
    BIG-IQ Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix
    , published on the AskF5 web site,
    identifies the Linux versions that are supported.
  • Connection to a common NTP source (this is especially important for each host in a redundant system configuration).
The hypervisor CPU must meet the following requirements:
  • Use a 64-bit architecture.
  • Have support for virtualization (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) enabled.
  • Support a one-to-one thread-to-defined virtual CPU ratio, or (on single-threading architectures) support at least one core per defined virtual CPU.
  • Intel processors must be from the Core (or newer) workstation or server family of CPUs.

Deploy a BIG-IQ VE virtual machine in Linux Xen Project

The first step in deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) open source Xen Project environment is creating and executing a configuration file that sets up most of what you need to get up and running.
Do not modify the configuration of the Xen Project guest environment with settings less powerful than the ones recommended in this document. This includes the settings for the CPU, RAM, and network adapters. Doing so might produce unexpected results.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (
  2. On the Downloads Overview page, select
    Find a Download
  3. Under Product Line, select
    Centralized Management
  4. Under Name, select the release you want to install.
  5. If the End User Software License is displayed, read it and then click
    I Accept
  6. Determine which BIG-IQ Virtual Edition file package to download.
    • If you are installing a BIG-IQ, download the file name that ends in
    • If you are installing a Data Collection Device, download the file name that ends in
    The BIG-IQ file package creates a 120Gb disk footprint at installation.
    The Data Collection Device file package creates a 500Gb disk footprint at installation.
  7. Extract the file from the Zip archive and save it where your
    files reside on the Xen Project server.
    In some packages there may be two
    files. The larger of the two is the one that is required. The smaller, if it exists, will have “DATASTORE.LTM” or “DATASTORE.ALL” in its name. It has been deprecated and should not be used.
  8. Generate a MAC address for the network interface card associated with the management interface.
    Be sure that the MAC address you create starts with the prefix
    To create this address, you can use a tool such as MAC Address Generator (
  9. Use an editor to create a BIG-IQ VM definition file that specifies the required parameters for your VM.
    # vi /etc/xen/<config_file_name>
    The sample configuration file provided here serves only as an example of the kinds of parameters you need to specify for your virtual machine. The actual file that you create will likely contain different parameters and settings.
    For production use, CPU, RAM, and disk space requirements for deploying a BIG-IQ are determined by a number of factors. For details about the ideal settings for your use, refer to
    When do I need extra resources?
    name = <config_file_name> maxmem = 16384 memory = 16384 vcpus = 4 builder = "hvm" boot = "c" pae = 1 acpi = 1 apic = 1 hpet = 1 localtime = 0 on_poweroff = "destroy" on_reboot = "restart" on_crash = "restart" sdl = 0 vnc = 1 vncunused = 1 keymap = "en-us" disk = [ 'tap:qcow2:/<vdisk_path>/BIG-IQ-
    .qcow2,hda,w',] vif = [ "mac=00:16:<mgmt_interface_mac>,bridge=mgmtbr,script=vif-bridge", "mac=00:16:3e:<external_interface_mac>,bridge=ext_bridge,script=vif-bridge", "mac=00:16:3e:<internal_interface_mac>,bridge=int_bridge,script=vif-bridge",] parallel = "none" serial = "pty" #pci = [ '05:10.0', '05:10.1' ]
    The last line of the example configuration file contains an optional entry that specifies the IDs for PCI external and internal network interface cards (NIC). This optional entry is required for SR-IOV support. Naturally, if you use this entry, you omit the external and internal bridges specified in the
    Once you have perfected and saved your configuration file, you are ready to create the BIG-IQ VM.
  10. Run the configuration file using an open source tool such as
    xm create /etc/xen/<config_file_name>
    The console should indicate a successful startup by displaying something similar to this:
    Started domain <config_file_name>(id=444)
  11. Allow some time for the boot-up process; then, you should be able to connect to the BIG-IQ console.
    # xm console <config_file_name>

Power on the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine for the first time

You power on the virtual machine so that you can make the BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) accessible from the console.
  1. Please consult the Xen Project documentation for the specific steps required for powering on the virtual machine.
After the system completes the initialization process, two built-in user accounts are enabled that provide you with the access you need to complete initial configuration and setup:
  • The root account provides initial user access to command shells. You can use a local console connection, or you can use SSH. This account also provides access to the F5 Configuration utility. The initial root account password is
  • The admin account provides initial user access through the web interface. The initial admin account password is
You should change passwords for both accounts before bringing a system into production.

Set up the management network on the BIG-IQ virtual machine

  1. At the password prompt, type
  2. Type
    and press Enter.
    The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
  3. Click
  4. Determine how to assign the management port:
    • If you want DHCP to automatically assign an address for the management port, select
    • To manually assign an IP address and netmask for the management port, select
      and follow the instructions to set the IPv4 address, network mask, and management route (gateway address).
You can use the shell command
tmsh list sys management-ip
to confirm that the management IP address has been properly assigned.
You can now log in to the BIG-IQ VE user interface, and license and provision the VE.