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 Hyper-V deployment

To deploy the BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE) system on Hyper-V, 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:

  • Microsoft Windows Server with the Hyper-V role enabled. The BIG-IQ Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix, published on the AskF5™ web site, identifies the versions that are supported.
  • 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 the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

The first steps in deploying BIG-IQ® VE are to download and open the Zip file, extract the virtual hard drive (VHD) file, and then save it to a server running with the Hyper-V® role enabled. Next, you configure the virtual machine using Hyper-V Manager and the Settings window.

Important: Do not modify the configuration of the Hyper-V 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. Download the BIG-IQ v5.x/Virtual Edition file package. The file name ends in
    The file package creates a 95GB disk footprint at installation.
  3. Extract the file from the Zip archive and save it where your VHD files reside on the Hyper-V server.
    Important: In some packages there may be two VHD 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.
  4. Start Hyper-V Manager, log in to the Hyper-V server, and from the Actions pane, click New > Virtual Machine .
    The New Virtual Machine Wizard opens.
    Note: If the Before You Begin screen opens, click Next to continue.
  5. On the Specify Generation screen, select Generation 1, and click Next.
  6. In the Name field, type a name for the F5 VE virtual machine, such as: smith_f5_ve, and click Next.
  7. In the Memory field, type 16384 or 32768, and click Next.
    Tip: To increase performance, you can specify a value up to 65535.
  8. For the Connection setting, select the Management network, and click Next.
  9. On the Connect Virtual Hard Disk screen, select the Use an existing virtual hard disk check box, browse to the location where you saved your VHD file, select the larger of the two files, open it, and click Next.
    The file name will be similar to BIG-IQ-<version_number>.<build_number>.vhd.
  10. In the Summary screen, review your settings and click Finish.
    The New Virtual Machine Wizard closes, and the new F5 VE shows in the Virtual Machines list.
  11. From the Virtual Machines list, select the new F5 VE.
    The name of the F5 VE appears in the bottom half of the Actions pane.
  12. In the lower half of the Actions pane, click Settings.
    The Settings window for the selected F5 VE opens.
  13. From the Hardware list, select Processor, and then change the Number of logical processors to 4. Increase the Virtual machine reserve (percentage) to 100, and then click Apply.
  14. Decide whether you need a CD/DVD drive for this VE.
    Option Description
    If you do not need a CD/DVD drive
    1. From the Hardware list, under IDE Controller 1, select DVD Drive.
    2. Click Remove, and then Apply.
    If you need a CD/DVD drive
    1. From the Hardware list, under IDE Controller 1, select DVD Drive.
    2. Under Media, select Image file.
    3. Click Browse, then select a valid .ISO media file, and click Apply.
    Important: You cannot have an empty CD/DVD device attached to a BIG-IQ VE until after the virtual machine has been started for the first time and the virtual disk is successfully initialized. If you need an empty-state CD/DVD device on this BIG-IQ VE, you can add it to the device after start up and initialization.
  15. Specify the additional network adapters (NICs) you need for this BIG-IQ VE.
    The first NIC (added in step 8) is automatically designated for management traffic. Additional NICs (known as self-IP ports) are required. One additional NIC is needed for BIG-IP device discovery and communication. Another additional NIC is needed if you need a high-availability configuration. You can add as many additional NICs (up to a total of nine) as you need, and name them to suit your requirements.
    1. Click Add Hardware, select Network Adapter, click Add, choose a target network from the Virtual switch list, and then click Apply.
    2. If the F5 VE will be used in a high-availability configuration, click the third Network Adapter, click Add, select the appropriate Virtual switch, and then click Apply.
    3. Continue adding NICs and network virtual switches until you have as many as you will need, then proceed to the next step.
  16. In the Management area, click Automatic Stop Action and select Shut down the guest operating system.
    This setting ensures that the F5 VE virtual machine restarts with all previously-configured virtual hardware, and at the current system time.
  17. Click OK to save your changes and close the Settings window.

Power on the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

You power on the virtual machine so that you can begin assigning IP addresses.
  1. Open the Hyper-V Manager client.
  2. Select the virtual machine that you want to power on.
  3. From the Action menu, choose Start.
    The status icon changes to indicate that the virtual machine is on. The virtual machine boots and becomes ready for configuration.

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-IQ VE user interface or tmsh command-line utility.

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

  1. In the Hyper-V Manager, locate and highlight the virtual machine to which you want to assign the management IP address.
  2. In the Actions pane, choose Connect.
    The console screen opens. After a few seconds, a login prompt appears.
  3. At the password prompt, type default.
  4. Type config and press Enter.
    The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
  5. Click OK.
  6. 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.