Manual Chapter : Getting Started with BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

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Manual Chapter

Getting Started with BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

What is BIG-IQ Virtual Edition?

BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) is a version of F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management that runs as a virtual machine on specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IQ VE emulates a hardware-based BIG-IQ system running a VE-compatible version of BIG-IQ software.

BIG-IQ VE compatibility with VMware ESXi

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

Hypervisor guest definition requirements

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

  • 4 virtual CPUs
  • 16 GB RAM
    Important: When you provision the amount of RAM allocated to the virtual machine, it must match the amount of reserve RAM.
  • 1 VMXNET3 virtual network adapter
  • 1 virtual network adapter
  • At least 128GB disk
Important: If you do not supply at least the minimum virtual configuration limits, it produces unexpected results.
Important: The resources required for a BIG-IQ virtual machine depend to some degree on what you intend to do with it. Refer to Determine the resources required for deployment on for details.

There are also some maximum configuration limits to consider for deploying a BIG-IQ VE virtual machine, such as:

  • CPU reservation can be up to 100 percent of the defined virtual machine hardware. For example, if the hypervisor has a 3 GHz core speed, the reservation of a virtual machine with 2 CPUs can be only 6 GHz or less.
  • To achieve optimum performance limits, all allocated RAM must be reserved, and virtual disks should be deployed Thick (allocated up front).

Determine the resources required for deployment

CPU, RAM, and disk space requirements are determined by the following factors.

  • Are you deploying a BIG-IQ system or a data collection device (DCD)?
  • If you are deploying a DCD, how much storage do you need? Refer to the for guidance.
  • How much performance do you need?
Note: When you deploy the BIG-IQ software, you can choose 95 GB or 500 GB of disk space. If you choose 500 GB, only 95 GB of the 500 GB is allocated initially. You must allocate extra disk space beyond 95 GB before you can use it.

Usually, the extra storage space is for DCDs. However, there are also situations in which BIG-IQ systems can use the extra space. For example, you might want to store a large number of UCS backups. Or, your business needs might require you to store multiple versions of the BIG-IQ software so you can upgrade back and forth between BIG-IQ versions.

Table 1. BIG-IQ resource deployment requirements
Deployment type CPUs RAM Disk Space
BIG-IQ system 4 or 8

See When do I need extra resources?

16, 32, or 64 GB

See When do I need extra resources?

Generally, 95 GB; or if extra space is needed, 500 GB.
Data collection device 4 16 GB

Initially, 500 GB.

Higher performance and scale 8 32 or 64 GB VE disk space can be extended further as needed.
Note: For a broader consideration of the factors that impact disk space requirements for a DCD refer to the BIG-IQ Centralized Management DCD Sizing Guide on
Note: For work flows that describe how to manage your disk space, refer to the BIG-IQ Centralized Management: Data Collection Device Disk Space Management guide on
Important: CPU and RAM pairings other than those listed above have not been tested.
When do I need extra resources?

When the BIG-IQ system you deploy manages a number of devices that exceeds specified thresholds, F5 recommends that you use 8 CPUs and either 32 or 64 GB of RAM. These thresholds vary depending on which modules are licensed on the devices that the BIG-IQ manages and where the devices are deployed.

The following table lists thresholds for each BIG-IP module that impacts the amount of RAM that a BIG-IQ requires. For example, if the BIG-IQ manages more than 32 devices provisioned with the Access module, you should use 32 GB instead of 16.

A BIG-IQ managing devices... Needs 32 GB to manage more than:
provisioned with Access 32 devices
provisioned with ADC 80 devices
provisioned with ASM 40 devices
provisioned with DNS 100 devices
provisioned with FPS 50 devices
deployed in a VMware service scaling group 100 devices
deployed in an AWS or Azure service scaling group 50 devices
Note: This is a rough approximation. Depending on the number of objects on each BIG-IP, you might need more or less RAM. Additionally, when the devices managed by the BIG-IP are provisioned with multiple modules, the RAM requirement increases.