Manual Chapter : Use BIG-IQ as a License Manager for BIG-IP Subscription and Enterprise License Agreement Programs

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 8.3.0, 8.2.0, 8.1.0, 8.0.0
Manual Chapter

Use BIG-IQ as a License Manager for BIG-IP Subscription and Enterprise License Agreement Programs

Overview: Using BIG-IQ as a license manager

You can deploy BIG-IQ solely to manage licenses for BIG-IP devices. When you use BIG-IQ in this way you can assign, revoke, or change BIG-IP license subscriptions option as well as create BIG-IP license usage reports to submit to F5 for billing purposes.

What platforms does BIG-IQ license manager run on?

BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) is a version of the BIG-IQ system that runs as a virtual machine in specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IQ VE emulates a hardware-based BIG-IQ system running a VE-compatible version of BIG-IQ software.
To manage your BIG-IP devices using BIG-IQ Centralized Management, you deploy a BIG-IQ system and then configure it to meet your business needs.
To deploy a BIG-IQ system, you need to:
  • Prepare your network environment and architecture (refer to
    Planning a BIG-IQ Centralized Management Deployment
    Planning a BIG-IQ Centralized Management Deployment
    for details).
  • Install and configure the BIG-IQ VE platform you plan to use to run the BIG-IQ system. The platform can either be a physical device or a virtual device. To use a physical device, you need a BIG-IQ 7000 series device. To use a virtual device, the solution you choose depends on the environment you choose. Use the platform-specific guide appropriate to complete the BIG-IQ VE installation. All of these guides are posted on
    If you choose this platform:
    Refer to this guide for installation details:
    BIG-IQ 7000 Series
    Platform Guide: BIG-IQ 7000 Series
    Amazon Web Services
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and Amazon Web Services: Setup
    Citrix XenServer:
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and Citrix XenServer: Setup
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and Linux KVM: Setup
    Microsoft Azure
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and Microsoft Azure: Setup
    Microsoft Hyper-V
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and Microsoft Hyper-V: Setup
    VMware ESXi
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and VMware ESXi: Setup
    Xen Project
    F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management 6.x and Linux Xen Project: Setup
    Hypervisor guest definition requirements vary depending on the platform you choose. These requirements are detailed in the setup guide for each platform.
  • Deploy and configure the number of BIG-IQ systems dictated by whether your architecture requires HA or multiple data centers.
  • License and configure the BIG-IQ system.

How do I start using BIG-IQ as a license manager?

After you download the software image from the F5 Downloads site and start BIG-IQ in your virtual environment, you can license the system using the base registration key provided by F5. The
base registration key
is a character string the F5 license server uses to provide BIG-IQ a license to access the licensing features for your subscription or ELA program.

Setup BIG-IQ as a licensing manager

Follow these steps to set up BIG-IQ as a licensing manager for unmanaged BIG-IP devices.
  1. Use a browser to log in to BIG-IQ by typing
    , where
    is the address you specified for device management.
    The first time you log in to the BIG-IQ, you use
    for the
    ; but then you must change the admin password.
  2. Change the default admin password.
    1. For
      Current Password
      , type
    2. Type a new password in the
      New Password
      Re-type New Password
    3. Click
      . BIG-IQ changes the admin password and then displays the initial log in page.
    4. Login to the BIG-IQ user interface using your new password.
    When you change the admin password as part of an initial login, BIG-IQ also resets the root password to match it. During initial setup, you can change them both again.
  3. Select
    Skip License
    and click the
  4. Type a
    that satisfies the requirements specified on screen, and then type the same phrase for
    Confirm Passphrase
    , and then click the
    BIG-IQ uses the passphrase to generate a master key, which BIG-IQ uses to communicate with other BIG-IQ systems in your configuration.
    • It's important to keep track of the passphrase for the master key, because you cannot recover it if you lose it. You can change the master key at any time only if this BIG-IQ is not part of a BIG-IQ high availability or DCD configuration from the
      General Properties
    • You must have the passphrase used to generate the master key before you can change the master key.
    • Finally, when you backup and restore a BIG-IQ, the master key is backed up with the rest of the data, and you cannot restore that data onto a BIG-IQ that has a different master key, so without that key you will be unable to have this BIG-IQ and it's data in an HA or DCD configuration.
    If you are setting up a Microsoft Azure VE, and you type an entry in any of the fields, you will not be able to continue successfully. The only way to proceed is to leave all of the fields empty and click the
    button at the bottom of the screen. This allows the system to use the first-time access credentials you specified previously.
  5. For System Personality, select
    BIG-IQ License Manager
    and click the
  6. After you review the details, click
    and then click
    to confirm.
You can now start managing licenses for BIG-IP devices.