Manual Chapter : Prerequisites for BIG-IP Virtual Edition on ESXi

Applies To:

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  • 12.0.0


  • 12.0.0


  • 12.0.0

BIG-IP Analytics

  • 12.0.0


  • 12.0.0


  • 12.0.0


  • 12.0.0


  • 12.0.0
Manual Chapter

Host CPU requirements

The host hardware CPU must meet the following requirements.

  • The CPU must have 64-bit architecture.
  • The CPU must have virtualization support (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) enabled.
  • The CPU must 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.
  • In VMware ESXi 5.5 and later, do not set the number of virtual sockets to more than 2.
  • If your CPU supports the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction (AES-NI), SSL encryption processing on BIG-IP® VE will be faster. Contact your CPU vendor for details about which CPUs provide AES-NI support.

Host memory requirements

The number of licensed TMM cores determines how much memory the host system requires.

Number of cores Memory required
1 2 Gb
2 4 Gb
4 8 Gb
8 16 Gb

Configuring SR-IOV on the hypervisor

To increase performance, you can enable Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV). You need an SR-IOV-compatible network interface card (NIC) installed and the SR-IOV BIOS must be enabled.
You must also load the ixgbe driver and blacklist the ixgbevf driver.
  1. In vSphere, access the command-line tool, esxcli.
  2. Check to see what the ixgbe driver settings are currently.
    esxcli system module parameters list -m ixgbe
  3. Set the ixgbe driver settings.
    In this example, 16,16 is for a 2 port card with 16 virtual functions.
    esxcli system module parameters set -m ixgbe -p "max_vfs=16,16"
  4. Reboot the hypervisor so that the changes to take effect.
    When you next visit the user interface, the SR-IOV NIC will appear in the Settings area of the guest as a PCI device.
  5. Using vSphere, add a PCI device, and then add two virtual functions.

    05:10.0 | Intel Corporation 82599 Ethernet Controller Virtual Function

    05:10.1 | Intel Corporation 82599 Ethernet Controller Virtual Function

  6. Use either the console command line or user interface to configure the VLANs that will serve as pass-through devices for the virtual function. For each interface and VLAN combination, specify a name and a value.
    • Name - pciPassthru0.defaultVlan
    • Value - 3001
To complete SR-IOV configuration, after you deploy BIG-IP® VE, you must add three PCI device NICs and map them to your networks.

Virtual machine memory requirements

The guest should have a minimum of 4 GB of RAM for the initial 2 virtual CPUs. For each additional CPU, you should add an additional 2 GB of RAM.

If you license additional modules, you should add additional memory.
Provisioned memory Supported modules Details
4 GB or fewer Two modules maximum. AAM can be provisioned as standalone only.
4-8 GB Three modules maximum.

BIG-IP DNS does not count toward the module limit.

Exception: Application Acceleration Manager™ (AAM™) cannot be provisioned with any other module; AAM is standalone only.

8 GB Three modules maximum. BIG-IP® DNS does not count toward the module-combination limit.
12 GB or more All modules. N/A
Important: To achieve licensing performance limits, all allocated memory must be reserved.

Virtual machine storage requirements

The BIG-IP® modules you want to use determine how much storage the guest needs.

Provisioned storage Supported modules Details
8 GB Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM®) module only; no space for LTM upgrades. You can increase storage if you need to upgrade LTM or provision additional modules.
38 GB LTM module only; space for installing LTM upgrades. You can increase storage if you decide to provision additional modules. You can also install another instance of LTM on a separate partition.
139 GB All modules and space for installing upgrades. The Application Acceleration Manager™ (AAM®) module requires 20GB of additional storage dedicated to AAM. For information about configuring the Datastore volume, see Disk Management for Datastore on the

For production environments, virtual disks should be deployed Thick (allocated up front). Thin deployments are acceptable for lab environments.

Note: To change the disk size after deploying the BIG-IP system, see Increase the disk space allotted to the BIG-IP® virtual machine.

Virtual machine network interfaces

When you deploy BIG-IP VE, a specific number of virtual network interfaces (vNICs) are available.

Four vNICs are automatically defined for you.
  • For management access, one VMXNET3 vNIC or Flexible vNIC.
  • For dataplane access, three VMXNET3 vNICs.

Each virtual machine can have a maximum of 10 virtual NICs.