Manual Chapter : Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 5.1.0, 5.0.0
Manual Chapter

About VE ESXi deployment

To deploy the BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE) system on ESXi, 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 BIG-IQ 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 ESXi 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 ESXi 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 .scsi.ova
    • If you are installing a Logging Node, download the file name that ends in LARGE.scsi.ova

    The BIG-IQ file package creates a 95GB disk footprint at installation.

    The Logging Node file package creates a 500GB disk footprint at installation.

  7. Start your vSphere Client and log in.
  8. From the vSphere Client File menu, choose Deploy OVF Template.
    The Deploy OVF Template wizard starts.
  9. 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.
  10. Verify that the OVF template details are correct, and click Next.
    This displays the End-User License Agreement (EULA).
  11. Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next.
    The Name and Location pane opens.
  12. In the Name field, type a name for the F5 VE virtual machine, such as: smith_f5_ve.
  13. In the Inventory Location area, select a folder name and click Next.
  14. 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 recommends either 4 CPUs and 16 GB RAM, or (for higher performance) 8 CPUs and 32 GB RAM.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 the 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.
  18. Verify that all deployment settings are correct, and click Finish.

Power on the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

Power on the virtual machine so that 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.

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.

Important: Do not use VMware tools to configure the IP address; the BIG-IQ system will not use these changes.
  1. In the vSphere client, click Launch Virtual Machine Console.
    The console screen opens. After a few seconds, a login prompt appears.
  2. At the <username> 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, a hypervisor generic statement can be used, such as tmsh list sys management-ip.

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