Manual Chapter : Returned Material Data Security Statement

Applies To:

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Manual Chapter

About returned material data security

Follow these data security guidelines when returning equipment to F5® for reprocessing or repair. The guidelines include reprocessing procedures and optional customer-end procedures.

About memory technologies used in F5 equipment

F5® equipment contains volatile, battery-backed volatile, and non-volatile memory. Volatile memory loses all traces of data on power down. Battery-backed volatile memory retains data as long as battery charge is maintained. Non-volatile memory retains data indefinitely.

Volatile memory

Volatile memory loses all traces of data on power down; therefore, customer data that is stored in volatile memory is secure when power is removed from the platform. No further action is required by customers for equipment that includes volatile memory.

Battery-backed volatile memory

This F5® platform contains a coin battery for maintaining BIOS settings and the system clock. All data maintained by the coin battery is used only for system specific tasks. No customer data is maintained by the battery-backed volatile memory. No further action is required by customers for equipment that includes volatile memory.

Non-volatile memory

F5® platforms include various non-volatile memory components. These non-volatile memory components can be categorized as either user inaccessible or user accessible.

Inaccessible non-volatile memory components are programmed during manufacture or software installation. The data stored in user inaccessible non-volatile memory is used for setting voltage levels, determining the sequence of operational events, and the managing appliance operational condition. Data held within user inaccessible, non-volatile memory represents no data security risk to customers. User inaccessible, non-volatile memory cannot be modified by appliance users, and therefore, contains no customer data.

Inaccessible non-volatile memory

This table lists the inaccessible non-volatile memory in this system.

Description Data Customer data
Programmable firmware stores Firmware No
Switch Card SEEPROM Platform ID, serial number, part number, and so on. No

Accessible non-volatile memory

This table lists the accessible non-volatile memory in this system. Not all platform variants include all of these non-volatile memory items.

Description Data Customer data Data security method
Hard disk drive (HDD) F5® product software, customer configuration, and log files Yes Standard reprocessing or customer removal
Always-On Management (AOM) Flash chip (soldered-down flash chip) AOM boot code and customer custom configuration Yes Standard reprocessing or customer action

About removing data from F5 components

For components that contain sensitive customer data and cannot be removed from your F5® system, you can take optional steps to remove the data from these components before you return the system to F5 for processing.

Remove sensitive data from storage drives

The hard disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD) components included in F5® platforms might include sensitive customer data. If you purchase the HDD removal SKU, you can remove the HDD/SSD and coin battery, and these components will be replaced during F5 reprocessing. Otherwise, HDD and SSD components are processed by F5 through standard processing. You can perform a disk erase operation on your system to remove sensitive customer data.
Perform a disk erase operation using the F5 Disk Erase utility to remove all data on hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs) using a single-pass, zero write disk erase operation. For more information about storage drive maintenance, see F5® Platforms: Essentials.

Remove IP address data from Always-On Management

If you have configured an IP address for the Always-On Management (AOM) subsystem, you can remove the customized IP address from the system before returning it to F5® Networks.
  1. Connect to the system using the serial console.
  2. Open the AOM Command Menu.
    Esc (
  3. Manually assign a new management IP address, netmask, and gateway by typing n when prompted about using DHCP. At the prompts, type for IP address (required), and values for netmask (required), and gateway (optional).
    A confirmation message displays the configured management IP address, netmask, and gateway.
  4. Optional: Type i to verify the assigned addresses.