Manual Chapter : Getting Started with BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 5.3.0, 5.2.0
Manual Chapter

What is BIG-IQ Virtual Edition?

BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE) is a version of the BIG-IQ system that runs as a guest in specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IQ VE emulates a hardware-based BIG-IQ system running a VE-compatible version of BIG-IQ software.

About BIG-IQ VE compatibility with AWS hypervisor products

Each time there is a new release of BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE) software, it includes support for additional hypervisor management products. The Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix on the AskF5™ website,, details which hypervisors are supported for each release.

BIG-IQ VE is compatible with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 hypervisors. This guide documents the AWS interface as it exists just prior to the version 11.6.0 BIG-IP software release.

Important: Hypervisors other than those identified in this guide are not supported with this BIG-IQ version; any installation attempts on unsupported platforms might not be successful.

About the hypervisor guest definition requirements

The AWS virtual machine guest environment for the BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE), at minimum, must include:

  • a 64 bit EC2 instance with at least 4 virtual cores (up to 16 are supported in this release)
  • at least 16 GB RAM (64GB has been tested, F5® Networks recommends at least 2GB per virtual core)
  • 2 x virtual network adapter cards (NICs) (up to 9 are supported)
    Important: F5® Networks recommends three or more network adapters for most topologies, but the minimum requirement is two (one for management and one for traffic).
    Important: To support multiple NICs on Amazon Web Services you must create a virtual private cloud (VPC).
  • 1 x virtual private cloud (VPC).
Important: Not supplying at least the minimum virtual configuration limits will produce unexpected results.
Important: Although you can successfully deploy BIG-IQ software with as few as 2 CPUs and 4 GB RAM, this configuration should only be used for evaluation purposes. For production use, F5 Networks recommends either 4 CPUs and 16 GB RAM, or (for higher performance) 8 CPUs and 32 GB RAM.
Note: Currently, these requirements map to what Amazon designates as M3 XLarge (SSD) and M4 XLarge (EBS) instance types. Refer to for their most current definition.