Manual Chapter : Setting Up Devices for a VMware Cloud

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 6.0.0
Manual Chapter

Setting Up Devices for a VMware Cloud

What elements do I need to define so the service scaling group can create devices?

There are three main elements to specify when you define the devices for your service scaling group (SSG):
  • License pool
  • IP pool
  • Device template

License Pools

You license BIG-IP® VE devices in an SSG from a license pool. For this example, we're using a utility license pool, billed in a specific unit of measure (hourly, daily, monthly, or yearly). You identify the license pool in the device template, then the SSG assigns licenses from that pool as they are needed. When the devices are no longer required, the license is returned to the license pool. You can opt to automatically submit a license usage report to F5 to calculate billing based on the licensed services, duration of the license grant, and the unit-of-measure pricing.

IP Pools

BIG-IQ® uses IP pool addresses in a couple of ways.

When the SSG scaling rules trigger the creation of a new device (referred to also as spinning up), the SSG uses a device template. When you create a device template, you specify a pool of IP addresses to use when BIG-IQ spins up new devices. The scaling group assigns these addresses as self IP addresses when it creates a new device.

IP pools are also used for service templates. When you define the virtual servers for the applications that run on the devices in your SSG, you can specify that the virtual servers use addresses from an IP pool.

Device Templates

When BIG-IQ spins up new devices, it uses the device template that you created that contains all of the configuration objects that makes up those devices. All of the devices are configured identically, so your application managers have exactly what they need to manage their applications.

Activate a utility pool license

To activate your license, you'll need your base registration key which you get from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email.

Before you can use this procedure to automatically contact the F5 license server for license activation, make sure your F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management system:

  • Is connected to the public internet.

  • Is able to access the site.

  • Has existing firewalls that allow port 443 to pass through.

You activate a utility pool license for BIG-IQ to use for each new BIG-IP VE device that it creates in the cloud.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Licenses .
  3. Click the Add License button.
  4. In the Base Registration Key field, type or paste the registration key, and into the Add-on Keys field, type or paste any associated add-on keys.
  5. For the Activation Method setting, select Automatic.
  6. Review the user legal agreement and if you agree, select the I have read and agree to the terms of this license check box.
When the activation status displays as Active, you can use this license in the device template you use for your service scaling group.

Create an IP address pool for auto-scaling BIG-IP VE devices

You create an IP address pool so that you can control the IP addresses that the service scaling group (SSG) uses for the self IP addresses on the virtual machines that it creates. You can also use this pool of IP addresses for the virtual servers that are used in the applications that you deploy to the devices in your SSG.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices then, on the left, click IP Pools.
    The screen displays the list of the IP pools defined on this device.
  2. Click Create.
    The Create New IP Pool screen opens.
  3. Fill in the details for this IP address pool and then click Save & Close.
    This creates a new IP pool that you can now use in the VMware cloud environment.

Before you create a device template for a service scaling group

This is a list of things you'll need to set up your device template for auto-scaling BIG-IP VE devices.

Before you create your device template, you might want to gather some, or all, of the following information specific to creating the BIG-IP VE devices that deploy to the service scaling group (SSG). These things include:
  • If you want to specify the port for communication between BIG-IQ and the BIG-IP VE devices, determine what you want to use.
  • The licenses to use for licensing new BIG-IP VE devices.
  • The lookup server IP address, host name, or FDQN of the first DNS to use, as well as the NTP server and timezone you want the BIG-IP VE devices to use.
  • The VLAN interface for the virtual or physical port to connect the BIG-IQ to your managed devices, an optional tag you want to use in the packet header of this VLAN, and an optional frame size (MTU).
  • The self IP addresses you want to use for the BIG-IP VE devices as well as the port lockdown settings. If you use an IP pool alias, you'll need to get the one you specified for your cloud environment, because they must be the same.
  • Static route settings you want to use for newly-created BIG-IP VE devices. These routes are displayed in the destination column of your routing table.
  • Set up the admin user credentials to access the devices in the SSG.
    Note: If you're using local authentication with a password enforcement policy, you'll have to meet the criteria it specifies for the admin account you created for accessing BIG-IP VE devices.

Create a device template for auto-scaled BIG-IP VE devices

You create a new device template to specify a base configuration to create devices in a service scaling group (SSG). When you deploy the SSG, BIG-IQ uses the device template settings to create new virtual devices in your cloud environment.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices then, on the left, click DEVICE TEMPLATES.
  2. Click the Create button.
  3. After you name this template, click the Add/Remove button. Select the objects you want to add, and click OK.

    The system adds the objects to the template. A yellow circle displays next to each object to let you know that you need to provide an initial value.

    Object This is where you specify: Notes

    The text for a hostname prefix and/or suffix to help you identify new BIG-IP VE devices in the you cloud environment.

    The default route and management port used to communicate between BIG-IQ and the BIG-IP VE devices in the SSG.

    You must configure a hostname so that you can identify issues revealed through device specific analytics.

    You can use any port except for 8443.

    License Specific license pool you want to use to license new BIG-IP VE devices. You must specify a license pool for the devices in an SSG.
    Provisioning Components you want installed on new BIG-IP VE devices. You must at least select Local Traffic Manager (LTM). You also need Application Visibility and Reporting (AVR) so that analytic data from your devices can trigger scaling events.
    DNS & NTP

    Details about the lookup and NTP server settings and time zone.

    You must specify an NTP server so all of the devices in the SSG have the same time reference. This must be a server that has the same time as the managing BIG-IQ system.

    Interface for the virtual or physical port to connect BIG-IQ to your managed devices.

    Optional tag you want to use in the packet header of this VLAN and Optional frame size (MTU).

    You must specify a VLAN for the devices in an SSG.

    By default, BIG-IP devices use the standard Ethernet frame size of 1518 bytes (1522 bytes if VLAN tagging is used) with the corresponding MTU of 1500 bytes. For BIG-IP devices that support Jumbo Frames, you can specify another MTU value.


    IP address and VLAN details, including port lockdown options.

    You must specify self IP addresses for the devices in an SSG.

    You must specify self IP addresses for the devices in an SSG.

    Important: Do not remove or rename the external self IP or application deployments to this SSG will fail.

    For an IPv4 address, you must specify a /32 IP address per RFC 3021. You must type the full netmask. Specifying the prefix length in bits is not supported.

    If you use an IP pool for your self IP addresses, the pool name you specify in the template must match the name you specify when you configure the VMware environment.

    Routes Static route settings for new BIG-IP VE devices. For destination, you can use the self IP address for this route. It displays in the destination column of the routing table
    Root account Root user account for new BIG-IP VE devices. It is good practice to provide root access so that you can access the devices for troubleshooting.
    User accounts

    Select the role and specify a user name and password for users you want to provide access to new BIG-IP VE devices.

    In addition to alphanumeric input, you can use all punctuation characters for the password.

    Or, if you are using local authentication and have created a

    password enforcement policy, the password must meet the criteria specified in the password enforcement policy.

When you finish defining your new template, you can use it to create a new application that deploys to your BIG-IP devices.