Manual Chapter : Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 4.6.0
Manual Chapter

About VE VMware deployment

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

  • VMware ESX or ESXi. The Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix, published on the AskF5™ web site, identifies the versions that are supported.
  • VMware vSphere™ client
  • 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 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 VMware vSphere™ 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 VMware 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 BIG-IQ v4.x/Virtual Edition file package.
    There are two options to choose from.
    Option Description
    Large: the file name ends in .LARGE - scsi.ova The large option creates a 500GB disk footprint at installation. This choice supports larger log files required for data analytics.
    Normal: the file name ends in .scsi.ova The standard option creates a 55GB disk footprint at installation. This choice should be the normal working BIG-IQ installation unless data analytics functionality is required.
  3. Start your vSphere Client and log in.
  4. From the vSphere Client File menu, choose Deploy OVF Template.
    The Deploy OVF Template wizard starts.
  5. 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.
  6. Verify that the OVF template details are correct, and click Next.
    This displays the End-User License Agreement (EULA).
  7. Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next.
    The Name and Location pane opens.
  8. In the Name field, type a name for the F5 VE virtual machine, such as: smith_f5_ve.
  9. In the Inventory Location area, select a folder name and click Next.
  10. From the Configuration list, select the number of CPUs and disks required for your system, and then click Next.
    Important: Although you can successfully deploy BIG-IQ software with as few as 2 CPUs and 4 GB RAM, this configuration should only be used for evaluation purposes. For production use, F5 Networks reccomends either 4 CPUs and 16 GB RAM, or (for higher performance) 8 CPUs and 32 GB RAM.
  11. If the host system is controlled by VMware vCenter™, the Host Cluster screen opens. Choose the preferred host and click Next. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 your 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.
  14. Verify that all deployment settings are correct, and click Finish.

Powering on the virtual machine

You must power on the virtual machine before you can begin assigning IP addresses.
  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.

Assigning a management IP address to a virtual machine

The virtual machine needs an IP address assigned to its virtual management port.
Tip: The default configuration for new deployments and installations is for DHCP to acquire the management port IP address.
  1. Click the Console tab.
    You might need to click the console area and press Enter to activate the console.
  2. At the 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. 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.
When assigned, the management IP address appears in the Summary tab of the vSphere™ client. Alternatively, you can use a hypervisor generic statement to determine your management address; such as: tmsh list sys management-ip.
Tip: F5 Networks® highly recommends that you specify a default route for the virtual management port, but it is not required for operation of the virtual machine.