Manual Chapter : BIG-IP Software Upgrades

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 7.1.0
Manual Chapter

BIG-IP Software Upgrades

How do I manage software for BIG-IP devices?

A key feature of BIG-IQ is the ability to manage software images for multiple remote devices from one location. You can deploy software without having to log in to each individual BIG-IP device.
There are three steps to managing software images for devices:
  1. Download the software image from F5 Networks.
  2. Upload the software image to BIG-IQ.
  3. Install the software image on a device in the BIG-IP Device inventory in one of the following two ways:
    • Managed Device Upgrade - use this process for installing a software image on managed BIG-IP devices running version 11.5.0 or later.
    • Legacy Device Upgrade - use this process for installing a software image on BIG-IP devices running versions 10.2.4 to 11.4.1.
Before you can manage a legacy device running versions 10.2.0 - 11.4.1, you must upgrade the device to version 11.5.0 or later.

Downloading a software image from F5 Networks

Downloading a software image from F5 Networks is the first step to making it available to install on a managed device.
  1. Log in to the F5 Downloads site,
    , and click the
    Find a Download
  2. Click the name of the product line.
  3. Click the version of the product you want to download.
  4. Read the End User License Agreement, and click the
    I Accept
    button if you agree with the terms.
  5. Click the name of the file you want to download.
  6. Click the name of the closest geographical location to you.
    The screen refreshes to display the progress of your download.
After you download the software image, you can upload it to BIG-IQ.

Upload BIG-IP software

Before you can upload a software image to BIG-IQ, you must download it from the
You upload a software image to make it available to deploy to managed BIG-IP devices.
To make sure the software image successfully uploads, don't log out of BIG-IQ or close the browser window until the software image name appears in the Software Image list.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
  2. On the left, click
    Software Images
  3. Click
    Upload Image
  4. Click
    Choose File
    button navigate to the downloaded image files, and click the
When BIG-IQ uploads the software, it verifies the image. This verification process can take several minutes. When BIG-IQ is finished uploading and verifying the image, the software image displays as 
and is available for installation on a device.

Upgrade managed BIG-IP devices

Before you can install a software image onto a device, you must download it from the F5 Downloads site,
, and upload it to the BIG-IQ system. To apply a hotfix, you must have the base software image (as well as the hotfix) uploaded to, and verified by, BIG-IQ.
You can deploy software images only to BIG-IP devices running version 11.5.0 or later. Refer to the
Upgrading a legacy device
section for specific instructions about upgrading devices running version 10.2.0 - 11.4.1.
BIG-IQ makes it easy for you to upgrade your devices. You can upgrade a single device, or upgrade several at once. You also have the option to:
  • Capture the state of certain objects before the upgrade so you can compare their state after the upgrade.
  • Create backups before the software installs, or create backups after the upgrade.
  • Copy the software images to devices, but wait to upgrade until later.
  • Pause before rebooting devices.
  • Install the software on devices in your DNS sync groups one-by-one so you can bring them all online at the same time.
While the software installs on the BIG-IP devices, you can continue doing other tasks on the BIG-IQ system.
Install a software image during a maintenance window when you are not directing traffic to the target BIG-IP device.
For BIG-IP vCMP devices, if the software images are installed only on the BIG-IP vCMP host, you must first transfer the images to the BIG-IP vCMP guest before you can upgrade. BIG-IQ automatically performs this process during installation but this transfer can take quite some time. If you don't want to wait for BIG-IQ to automatically perform this transfer, you can create a BIG-IQ script to more quickly transfer the software images from the BIG-IP vCMP host to the guest for the upgrade. For more information, see
K14812626: BIG-IP update and upgrade guide
  1. At the top of the screen, click
  2. On the left click
    Software Installations
  3. Click the
    Managed Device Install
    button towards the top of the screen.
  4. From the
    Software Image
    list, select the image you want to install.
  5. In the
    field, type a name to identify this installation.
  6. For the
    setting, you can enable one or more of the following by selecting the check box next to it:
    If you select an option to pause at any point during before, during, or after the installation process, you'll need to click
    to move on to the next step.
    • Perform pre and post installation assessment
      and select the managed objects you want to assess the state of, before and after upgrading, so you can investigate if any difference are found.
    • Perform backups
      and select the
      Backup Properties
      options for the backup.
    • Pause after the software image is copied has been copied to devices
      if you want to copy the image to this device, but wait until later to install it.
    • Pause for reboot confirmation
      to pause before rebooting the devices after the software is installed.
    • Install devices one by one
      for DNS sync group upgrades.
      Because the upgrades occur sequentially when you choose this option, when the installation finishes for the last device, all of the devices in the sync group are at the same software version, and the sync group can be brought back online.
  7. Click
    Add/Remove Devices
    to select devices to install this software on.
  8. If you are upgrading devices that belong to a DNS sync group, decide how you are going to choose devices for upgrade:
    • To use the sync group name, select
      , and then select
      DNS Sync Group
    • To use the host names for individual devices, select
  9. From the
    list, select the device(s) you want to upgrade, move it to the
    list, and click
    If you select a device that belongs to a DNS sync group, you must also select all of the other members of the group, to continue the upgrade.
  10. To set the location for where BIG-IQ installs this software image:
    1. Click
      Set Default Volume
    2. Select
      Volume Name
    3. In the
      Volume Name
      field, type the name of the volume on which you want to install this image.
    4. Click
  11. Click
    towards the middle of the screen to put the image on the BIG-IP device(s) immediately.
    Alternatively, you can click
    Save & Close
    to save this job to deploy the software later.
  12. If you selected the option to back up the BIG-IP device(s) before installing the software, when BIG-IQ pauses,
    Back Up Devices
  13. If you selected the option to run a pre-installation assessment, when BIG-IQ pauses:
    1. Click
      Run Pre-assessment
    2. Select the configurations that you want BIG-IQ to review before upgrading and click
    3. When the assessment is complete, click
      to start the installation.
  14. If you selected the option to back up the BIG-IP device(s) after installing the software, click
    Back Up Devices
  15. If you selected the option to pause before rebooting the BIG-IP device after the software is installed, click
    to reboot.
  16. To run a post-installation assessment, click
    Run Post-assessment
  17. To compare the pre-upgrade assessment and the post-upgrade assessment, click
    Compare Assessments
    towards the bottom of the screen, and click
    Mark Finished
    when it's done.

Upgrade the BIG-IP framework

To properly communicate, BIG-IQ Centralized Management and managed BIG-IP devices must be running compatible versions of the framework. If the frameworks are incompatible, BIG-IQ displays a yellow triangle next to the device in the BIG-IP Device inventory.
When you upgrade a BIG-IP device running version 11.5.x to another 11.5.x version, or to an 11.6.x version (for example, from version 11.5.3 to 11.5.4, or from version 11.5.3 to version 11.6.1), you must upgrade the REST framework so BIG-IQ can manage the device.
When you upgrade BIG-IQ to the latest version, you must also upgrade the REST framework for all BIG-IP devices (currently in the BIG-IP Device inventory) running a version prior to 12.0.0.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
  2. Select the check box next to a device, click the
    button, and select
    Upgrade Framework
    A popup screen opens.
  3. Into the fields, type the required credentials, and click the
    REST Framework upgrade in progress
    message displays.
After the framework is updated, you can successfully manage this device.
Repeat these steps for each device.

Upgrade a legacy device (version 10.2.0 - 11.4.1)

Before you can upgrade a device, you must first download the software image from the F5 Downloads site,
to the BIG-IQ system. You need the root user name and password for the device to upgrade it.
A BIG-IP device running versions 10.2.0 - 11.4.1 is considered a
legacy device
. You must upgrade a legacy device to version 11.5.0 or later before you can add it to the BIG-IP Device Inventory and start managing it from BIG-IQ.
If you were managing a device running versions 10.2.0 - 11.4.1 from a previous version of BIG-IQ, and upgraded to version 5.0, the device displays as impaired with a yellow triangle next to it in the BIG-IP Devices Inventory. To manage the legacy device, you must upgrade it to version 11.5.0 or later.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
  2. On the left, click
    Legacy Upgrades
  3. Click the
    Legacy Device Install
    button near the top of the screen.
  4. From the
    Software Image List
    , select the image you want to install on this legacy device.
  5. In the
    Device IP Address
    field, type the IP address for the legacy device that you want to upgrade.
  6. In the
    Admin User Name
    Admin Password
    fields, type the administrator's user name and password for this device.
  7. In the
    Root User Name
    Root Password
    fields, type the user name and password for the root user for this device.
  8. Click the
    button at the bottom of the screen to start the upgrade.
When the upgrade to version 11.5.0 or later is complete, you can discover the device from BIG-IQ.

Re-discover BIG-IP devices and re-import services

If you upgrade or make a change directly on a managed BIG-IP device (which is not recommended), you must re-discover and re-import services for that device so BIG-IQ Centralized Management has the most current configuration for that device.
You cannot re-import SSLO configurations from discovered BIG-IP devices.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
  2. Click
  3. Select the check box next to the device you want to rediscover and reimport services for.
  4. Click the
    button and select
    Re-discover and Re-import
    When importing a BIG-IP device's services, you must resolve any conflicts found between the BIG-IP device's working configuration and the objects in the BIG-IQ working configuration using one of the following methods:
    • Stop importing the services with the conflicts. Resolve each conflict individually on the BIG-IP device's
      screen. Continue importing services after you address the conflicts.
    • For the LTM service configuration only: If you encounter LTM configuration conflicts, you can place the device in a silo, continue to discover other BIG-IP devices and later, go back to address the LTM service's conflict(s) for that BIG-IP device. After you address the conflicts, you can re-add the BIG-IP device and discover and import the LTM service (as well as any other licensed services).
      The option to place a BIG-IP device with a conflict in a silo to address the conflict later is available only for the LTM service. For all other services, you cannot use a silo to address conflicts. For information about managing conflicts from a silo, refer to the
      BIG-IQ: Using Silos to Resolve LTM Object Conflicts implementation
    • Use a BIG-IQ conflict resolution policy to automatically treat all configuration object conflicts the same way if a difference is found.
  5. Select a conflict resolution policy option for each type of object.
  6. If you want to save a snapshot of the BIG-IP device's configuration before importing their services, select the
    Create a snapshot of the current configuration before importing
    check box.
  7. Click the
Once the services are rediscovered and reimported, you can manage these BIG-IP devices.