Manual Chapter : Auto-scaling BIG-IP VE Devices to Applications in a VMware Environment

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 6.1.0
Manual Chapter

Auto-scaling BIG-IP VE Devices to Applications in a VMware Cloud

What does a service scaling group do?

When you create a service scaling group (SSG), you specify thresholds that prompt new BIG-IP VE devices to be created (scale out) and thresholds that prompt BIG-IP VE devices to be deleted (scale in). This scaling helps you better manage resources, saving you money because you are paying only for the resources you're using.

After you configure the service scaling group and deploy applications to it, you and your application managers will have a centralized view into all of the aspects of your traffic and device details, including analytics and health. This means that you can be alerted to a problem as soon as it occurs, making it easy for you to troubleshoot and quickly address issues with your applications.

Provide your VMware cloud environment details

Before you can specify the details for the VMware cloud environment that supports your service scaling group, you must have either a template or a snapshot for a 1-slot, BIG-IP virtual machine (VM) in your VMware cloud. Requirements for this VM depend on the services required by the applications you deploy.
Software Version and later

LTM only: 2

LTM and ASM: 4

LTM only: 4GB

LTM and ASM: 8GB
Disk Space

LTM only: 9GB

LTM and ASM: 82GB
Note: The devices in a service scaling group (SSG) require only one disk, but some default images from, include two. If your image includes two disks, F5 recommends that you remove the second (20 GB) disk from the template or snapshot before the SSG starts using it to create virtual machines in your cloud environment.
Note: The user account that you specify to provide the BIG-IQ access to the vCenter server must provide full privileges for the following categories:
  • Datastor
  • Resource
  • Virtual Machine
  • vApp
You define a new cloud environment to specify the parameters the BIG-IQ needs so it can communicate with vCenter to manage the BIG-IP devices in your service scaling group (SSG). You also specify the device template to use when creating new BIG-IP devices for that SSG.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Applications then, on the left, click ENVIRONMENTS > Cloud Environments .
  2. Click Create.
  3. After you provide a Name and optional Description for this cloud environment, from the Device Template list, select the device template you want to use to define the new BIG-IP VE devices created for this SSG.
  4. From the Cloud Provider list, select the name of the VMware provider you want to use for this environment.
    The VMware Properties fields display.
  5. Specify the VMware properties.
    1. Select an option to identify the VMware destination to which you want new BIG-IP VE devices to deploy:
      Important: If you identify the destination using a cluster name, the VMware host must have DRS enabled before you try to deploy the SSG, or the deployment will fail. If you use the ESXi hostname, the DRS setting is optional.
      • Select Cluster, and type the name of the cluster.
      • Select ESXi Hostname, and type either the IP address or the FQDN of the ESXi host.
    2. If you want to include an Annotation that will appear in the notes section of the virtual machine summary for this SSG, type one in.
    3. Type the name of the vSphere Datacenter that houses the VMware resources on which this SSG will reside.
    4. If you want to specify a Resource Pool, type the name of the resource pool the ESXi host uses for this SSG.
    5. If you want to specify a Folder, type the name of the shared folder the ESXi host uses for this SSG.
    6. Specify how you want VMware to create the virtual machines it uses when it creates a BIG-IP device.
      • To use a VMware template, in the VM Image field, type the name of the template.
      • To use a VM snapshot:
        1. For VM Image, type the name of the BIG-IP image used to create the snapshot.
        2. For Linked Clone, select Yes, and then type the name of the snapshot you created for this image in Snapshot name for Linked Clone.
      Note: When you set up the VM image that you want to create your clone from, it must reside on storage that is accessible to all ESXi hosts for that cluster.
      Note: Details about creating a virtual machine in your VMware environment are provided in the BIG-IP Virtual Edition 13.1.0 and VMware ESXi: Setup guide on
      Note: If you want to use an IP pool to set the Management IP for the devices in your SSG, the BIG-IP VE in vCenter must have VMware tools installed on it. After you deploy the BIG-IP VE to vCenter, use the procedure in the article: to install the VMware tools.
    7. Type the User name and Password for the vCenter user that you configured for this VMware SSG.
    8. In the Network Interface Mapping fields, specify the network interface mappings for the BIG-IP VE devices the SSG creates.
      The mappings you specify must match the settings that were used when the virtual machine network interfaces were defined as part of the BIG-IP VE deployment to your VMware environment.
      Note: For additional detail on NIC configuration, refer to the BIG-IP Virtual Edition 13.1.0 and VMware ESXi: Setup on
      You can click + if you want to specify additional NICs for this environment.
  6. For IP Pool Alias Mapping, if the device template for this environment includes an IP pool alias and you want to map the alias to a specific IP pool for this environment, type the name of the alias, and then select the name of the IP pool that you want the alias to use in this environment.
    You can click + if you want to specify additional aliases for this environment.
    Note: If the alias you specify here conflicts with the alias specified in the device template, the alias you specify here takes precedence.
  7. Click the Save & Close button at the bottom of the screen.
    BIG-IQ creates the new cloud environment. You can now use this environment when you create an SSG.