Manual Chapter : Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

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Manual Chapter

Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition


VMware ESXi deployment overview

The tasks you perform to deploy the BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) system on VMware ESXi, depend on what you plan to do with the VMware ESXi:

If you plan to manage BIG-IP devices with the BIG-IQ system If you plan to manage applications in a service scaling group housed in a VMware cloud
  • Verify that the host machine requirements are satisfied.
  • Deploy a BIG-IQ system as a virtual machine.
  • Deploy the BIG-IP systems you intend to manage.
  • After you have deployed the virtual machines, log in to the BIG-IQ VE system and run the Setup utility. Using the Setup utility, you perform basic network configuration tasks, such as assigning VLANs to interfaces.
  • Configure secure communication between the BIG-IQ system and the BIG-IP device.
  • Verify that the host machine requirements are satisfied.
  • Deploy a BIG-IQ system in the VMware cloud as a virtual machine.
  • After you have deployed the virtual machines, log in to the BIG-IQ VE system and run the Setup utility. Using the Setup utility, you perform basic network configuration tasks, such as assigning VLANs to interfaces.
  • Configure an SSG to manage your applications. For detailed instructions, refer to F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management: Managing Applications in an Auto-Scaled VMware Cloud on
Note: When you deploy a VE for managing applications in an SSG, some parameter settings you specify are different. These settings are noted where appropriate.

Host machine requirements and recommendations

To successfully deploy and run the BIG-IQ VE system, the host system must satisfy minimum requirements.

The host system must include these elements:

  • VMware ESX or ESXi. The BIG-IQ Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix, published on the AskF5 web site, identifies the versions that are supported.
  • VMware vSphere client
  • The OpenStack Horizon Dashboard
    Note: Power users might prefer to use the OpenStack command line or APIs to deploy and configure the BIG-IQ VE. Consult the OpenStack API documentation for your distribution for details on how to use these APIs.
  • Connection to a common NTP source (this is especially important for each host in a redundant system configuration).
Important: The hypervisor CPU must meet the following requirements:
  • Use a 64-bit architecture.
  • Have support for virtualization (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) enabled.
  • 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.
  • Intel processors must be from the Core (or newer) workstation or server family of CPUs.

Deploy a BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

The first step in deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) is to download the OVA file to your local system. Next, you can run the Deploy OVF Template wizard from within the ESXi vSphere client or vCenter vSphere Web client. Follow the steps in this procedure to create an instance of the BIG-IQ system that runs as a virtual machine on the host system.

Important: Do not modify the configuration of the BIG-IQ VE guest environment with settings less powerful than the ones recommended in this document. This includes the settings for the CPU, RAM, and network adapters. Doing so might produce unexpected results.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (://
  2. On the Downloads Overview page, select Find a Download.
  3. Under Product Line, select Centralized Management.
  4. Under Name, select the release you want to install.
  5. If the End User Software License is displayed, read it and then click I Accept.
  6. Determine which BIG-IQ Virtual Edition file package to download.
    • If you are installing a BIG-IQ, download the file name that ends in ide.ova or -scsi.ova
    • If you are installing a Data Collection Device, download the file name that ends in LARGE-ide.ova or LARGE-scsi.ova

    The BIG-IQ file package creates a 95GB disk footprint at installation.

    The Data Collection Device file package creates a 500GB disk footprint at installation.

  7. Start your vSphere Client and log in.
    Note: If the ESXi host is being managed by vCenter Server, you should complete the deployment from the vCenter vSphere Web Client instead.
  8. From the vSphere Client File menu, choose Deploy OVF Template.
    The Deploy OVF Template wizard starts.
  9. In the Source pane, click Deploy from file or URL, and, using the Browse button, locate the OVF file, open it, and then click Next.
    For example: \MyDocuments\Work\Virtualization\<BIG-IQ_OVF_filename>
    The OVF Template Details pane opens.
  10. Verify that the OVF template details are correct, and click Next.
    This displays the End-User License Agreement (EULA).
  11. Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next.
    The Name and Location pane opens.
  12. In the Name field, type a name for the F5 VE virtual machine, such as: smith_f5_ve.
  13. In the Inventory Location area, select a folder name and click Next.
  14. From the Configuration list, select the number of CPUs and disks required for your system, and then click Next.
    Important: The Configuration pane appears only when you use the SCSI version of the OVA packages: it is absent when you deploy with one of the IDE packages. The IDE packages will deploy their VE with 2 CPUs and 4 GB RAM. For production use, F5 Networks recommends 4 CPUs and 16 GB RAM. (For higher performance and scale, F5 Networks recommends 8 CPUs and either 32 GB or 64 GB RAM). You can adjust the CPU and memory settings after you complete the initial deployment and power off the virtual machine.
  15. If the host system is controlled by VMware vCenter Server, the Host Cluster screen opens. Choose the preferred host and click Next. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  16. In the Datastore field, type the name of data source your system will use, in the Available space field, type in the amount of space your system needs (in Gigabytes), and then click Next.
    The Network Mapping dialog box opens.
  17. Map the Source Networks to the Destination Networks in your inventory.
    1. Map the source network Management to the name of the appropriate management network in your inventory.
      The network used for this interface is usually the same subnet as the vCenter Server, ESXi Host and NSX Manager.
    2. If you choose to manage the BIG-IP devices using an interface other than management, you can map the source network Internal to that non-management network.
      An example of a destination internal network is Private Access.
    3. Leave the source network External at its default setting. This network is not used in most configurations.
      An example of a destination external network is Public Access.
    4. When you have the destination networks correctly mapped, click Next.
      The Ready to Complete screen opens.
  18. Verify that all deployment settings are correct, and click Finish.

Power on the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine for the first time

You power on the virtual machine so that you can make the BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) accessible from the console.
  1. In the main vSphere client window, click the Administration menu.
  2. Select the virtual machine that you want to power on.
  3. Click the Summary tab, and in the Commands area, click Power On.
    The status icon changes to indicate that the virtual machine is on. Note that the system will not process traffic until you configure the virtual machine from its command line or through its web interface.

After the system completes the initialization process, two built-in user accounts are enabled that provide you with the access you need to complete initial configuration and setup:

  • The root account provides initial user access to command shells. You can use a local console connection, or you can use SSH. This account also provides access to the F5 Configuration utility. The initial root account password is default.
  • The admin account provides initial user access through the web interface. The initial admin account password is admin.
Important: You should change passwords for both accounts before bringing a system into production.

Set up the management network on the BIG-IQ virtual machine

If your network has DHCP, an IP address is automatically assigned to BIG-IQ VE during deployment. You can use this address to access the BIG-IQ VE user interface or tmsh command-line utility.

If no IP address was assigned, you can assign one by using the Configuration utility.

Important: Do not use VMware tools to configure the IP address. The BIG-IQ system will not use these changes.
  1. In the vSphere client, click Launch Virtual Machine Console.
    The console screen opens. After a few seconds, a login prompt appears.
  2. At the <username> login prompt, type root.
  3. At the password prompt, type default.
  4. Type config and press Enter.
    The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Determine how to assign the management port:
    • If you want DHCP to automatically assign an address for the management port, select Yes.
    • To manually assign an IP address and netmask for the management port, select No and follow the instructions to set the IPv4 address, network mask, and management route (gateway address).

When assigned, the management IP address appears in the Summary tab of the vSphere client. Alternatively, you can use a hypervisor generic statement, such as tmsh list sys management-ip.

You can now log in to the BIG-IQ VE user interface, and license and provision the VE.