Manual Chapter : Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 6.0.1, 6.0.0, 5.4.0, 5.3.0, 5.2.0
Manual Chapter

About VE KVM deployment

To deploy the BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE) system on KVM, you perform these tasks:

  • Verify the host machine requirements.
  • Deploy a BIG-IQ® system as a virtual machine.
  • Deploy a BIG-IP® system.
  • 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.

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:

  • RHEL, Ubuntu, Debian, or CentOS with the KVM package. The BIG-IQ Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix, published on the AskF5™ web site, identifies the Linux versions that are supported.
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • 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.

Deploying a BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

The first steps in deploying BIG-IQ® VE are to download the Zip file and then extract the .qcow2 file, and save it to the KVM server. Next, you configure the virtual machine using Virtual Machine Manager.

Important: Do not modify the configuration of the KVM 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 v5.x/Virtual Edition file package to download.
    • If you are installing a BIG-IQ, download the file name that ends in
    • If you are installing a Data Collection Device, download the file name that ends in

    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. Extract the file from the Zip archive and save them where your qcow2 files reside on the KVM server.
    Important: In some packages there may be two qcow2 files. The larger of the two is the one that is required. The smaller, if it exists, will have “DATASTORE.LTM” or “DATASTORE.ALL” in its name. It has been deprecated and should not be used.
  8. Use VNC to access the KVM server, and then start Virt Manager.
  9. Right click localhost (QEMU), and from the popup menu, select New.
    The Create a new virtual machine, Step 1 of 4 dialog box opens.
  10. In the Name field, type a name for the connection.
  11. Select import existing disk image as the method for installing the operating system, and click Forward.
    The Create a new virtual machine, Step 2 of 4 dialog box opens
  12. Type in the path to the larger of the two extracted qcow files, or click Browse to navigate to the path location; select the file, and then click the Choose Volume button to fill in the path.
    The file name will be similar to BIG-IQ-<version_number>.<build_number>.qcow2.
  13. In the OS type setting, select Linux, for the Version setting, select Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, and click Forward.
    The Create a new virtual machine, Step 3 of 4 dialog box opens.
  14. In the Memory (RAM) field, type the appropriate amount of memory (in megabytes) for your deployment. (For example 16384, for a 16GB deployment). From the CPUs list, select 4, and click Forward.
    The Create a new virtual machine, Step 4 of 4 dialog box opens.
  15. Select Customize configuration before install, and click the Advanced options arrow.
  16. Select the network interface adapter that corresponds to your management IP address, and click Finish.
    The Virtual Machine configuration dialog box opens.
  17. Click Add Hardware. When The Add New Virtual Hardware dialog box opens, select Network to access controls for specifying a new network interface device.
  18. From the Host device list, select the network interface adapter that corresponds to your external network, and from the Device model list, select virtio. Then click Finish.
  19. Repeat the last two steps, but this time select the network interface adapter that corresponds to your internal network.
  20. From the left pane, select Disk 1.
  21. Click the Advanced options button.
  22. From the Disk bus list, select Virtio.
  23. From the Storage format list, select qcow2.
  24. Click Apply.
  25. Click Begin Installation.
    Virtual Machine Manager creates the virtual machine just as you configured it.

Power on the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

You power on the virtual machine so that you can begin assigning IP addresses.
  1. Open Virtual Machine Manager.
  2. Right click the virtual machine that you want to power on, and then from the popup menu, select Open.
    The virtual machine opens, but in a powered-off state.
  3. From the toolbar, select the Power on the virtual machine (right-arrow) button.
    The virtual machine boots and then displays a login prompt.

There are two default accounts used for initial configuration and setup:

  • The root account provides access locally, or using SSH, or using the F5 Configuration utility. The root account password is default.
  • The admin account provides access through the web interface. The admin account password is admin.

You should change passwords for both accounts before bringing a system into production.

Accessing the BIG-IQ VE management user interface

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-IQVE user interface or tmsh command-line utility.

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

  1. At the login prompt, type root.
  2. At the password prompt, type default.
  3. Type config and press Enter.
    The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
  4. Click OK.
  5. If you want DHCP to automatically assign an address for the management port, select Yes. Otherwise, select No and follow the instructions for manually assigning an IP address and netmask for the management port.

You can use a hypervisor generic statement, such as tmsh list sys management-ip to confirm that the management IP address has been properly assigned.

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