Manual Chapter : IP Application Switch Platformn Guide: Glossary

Applies To:

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BIG-IP versions 1.x - 4.x

  • 4.6.4, 4.6.3, 4.6.2, 4.6.1, 4.6.0, 4.5 PTF-08, 4.5 PTF-07, 4.5 PTF-06, 4.5 PTF-05, 4.5 PTF-04, 4.5 PTF-03, 4.5 PTF-02, 4.5 PTF-01, 4.5.9, 4.5.0
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The bigpipe utility provides command line access to the BIG-IP software.


BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. The BIOS is software that is built-in to the computer and determines what the computer can do without accessing programs from a disk.

Configuration utility

The Configuration utility is the browser-based application that you use to configure the software.


DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is a protocol used to assign dynamic IP addresses to network devices. When using DHCP, a network device can have a different IP address each time it connects to the network.


DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses. For example, the domain name might translate to


A dossier is an encrypted list of key platform characteristics used to identify the platform, and to enforce or restrict activation on the platform.


A host is a network server that manages one or more virtual servers that the BIG-IP software uses for load balancing.

license certificate

A license certificate is a digital file created by the F5 license server. The license server uses your product registration key and dossier to process the file, which is stored on the BIG-IP system. See also registration key and dossier.

network boot

A network boot is a method of starting up a computer-loading the operating system and other basic software-from a network, rather than from a source within the computer itself, such as the hard drive or CD-ROM.


NIC stands for Network Interface Card. It is an expansion board used to connect a computer to a network.


A port is represented by a number that is associated with a specific service supported by a host. Refer to the Services and Port Index for a list of port numbers and corresponding services.


PXE stands for Pre-Boot Execution Environment, a network boot method. It allows you to boot a computer from a server on a network before you boot the operating system on the local hard drive. See also network boot.

registration key

The registration key is a 25-character string that you need in order to license your F5 products. You may have received it from F5 by email, or you may find it on the back of the CD case.

Setup utility

The Setup utility guides you through the initial system configuration process. The Setup utility is available from the command line, or as a web-based wizard from the product splash screen.


SSH is a protocol for secure remote login and other secure network services over a non-secure network.


SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a protocol that uses a public key to encrypt data transmitted through the Internet over an SSL connection. URLs using an SSL connection start with HTTPS: instead of HTTP:.


The portion of a network that shares a common address component. For instance, on TCP/IP networks, a subnetwork is all devices whose IP addresses have the same prefix segment.


Telnet is a terminal emulation program for TCP/IP networks. Telnet runs on your computer and connects it to a server on the network. It then allows you to enter and execute commands as though you were directly connected to the server console.

terminal emulator

A terminal emulator is a program that mimics a terminal.

virtual server

Virtual servers are a specific combination of virtual address and virtual port, associated with a content site that is managed by BIG-IP software or other type of host server.