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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Installation, Licensing, and Upgrades for BIG-IP Systems v9.0: Connecting a Management Workstation or Network
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2

Connecting a Management Workstation
or Network



Understanding management connection options

Before you can configure and manage the system, you need to connect the unit to a management workstation or network. There are three ways to attach a management workstation or network to the traffic management system.

  • Use a Serial console
    You can connect a null modem cable to the port marked CONSOLE on the unit, and access the command line with a terminal emulator.

  • Add a network to the management interface
    You can configure an IP address on the Ethernet interface 1.1 labeled MGMT and access the web-based Configuration utility to configure the traffic management software.

  • Use the default network to connect to the management interface
    You can connect a cable to the Ethernet interface 1.1 labeled MGMT and access the web-based Configuration utility to configure the traffic management software and use the default network for setup.


Connecting with a null modem cable to the serial console

You can use a terminal emulator through a null modem cable attached to the serial port labeled CONSOLE on the unit during the installation process, and to configure the management port. To connect through the serial port, you must have a DB9 null modem cable, and a vt100-capable terminal emulator available on a computer in close proximity to the unit you want to configure.

Use the following process to connect the unit and the terminal emulator.

  1. Connect the null modem cable to the unit. Use the DB9 port labeled CONSOLE on the unit.

  2. Connect the null modem cable to a serial port on the system with the terminal emulator.

  3. Start the terminal emulator.
    Set the emulator to 19200 baud and choose the correct serial device.

  4. Turn on the hardware.
    It may take a moment for the terminal emulator to connect.

  5. At the login prompt, type the user name root with the password default.


Configuring the management interface

You must configure an IP address and net mask before you can use the Ethernet management interface, or you must use the default network on the management interface to connect. There are three ways to configure the management interface:

  • If the unit has an LCD panel, you can use the LCD controls to add the configuration.

  • If you have a serial console configured, you can configure the management IP through the serial console.

  • If you want to connect directly to the management interface, you can use the default network configuration on the management interface.

Note


Any self IP addresses you add to the system cannot be on the same network as the management interface. The management interface functions separately from other system functions and cannot share the same network.

Adding an IP address to the management interface using the LCD panel

The first task you need to complete when you configure the management IP address is to add an IP address.

  1. Press the X button on the display.

  2. Using the arrow buttons, navigate to the System menu and press the check mark button.

  3. Using the arrow buttons, navigate to IP Address menu and press the check mark button.

  4. Press the check mark button on the IP Address.

  5. Enter your management IP address using the up and down arrow keys, and press the check mark button.

After you enter the IP address, add the netmask for the address:

  1. Using the arrow buttons, navigate to the Netmask menu, and press the check mark button.

  2. Enter your netmask, and press the check mark button.

After you add the IP address and netmask, you have the option to add a default route.

  1. Using the arrow buttons, navigate to the Default Route menu, and press the check mark button.

  2. Enter your default route using the up and down arrow keys, and press the check mark button. If you do not have a default route, use 0.0.0.0.

  3. Navigate to the Commit menu, and press the check mark button.

  4. When you see the OK menu blinking, press the check mark button.

After you add an IP address, net mask, and gateway to your management port, you can log in to the Configuration utility (graphical user interface) and configure the unit. For instructions on accessing the Configuration utility through the management port (MGMT), see Licensing the traffic management software using the Configuration utility .

Adding an IP address to the management interface using the config command

After you complete the installation of the software, run the config command to configure an IP address, net mask, and gateway on the management port (MGMT). The config command is a command line utility created for this purpose. You can run the config command from the serial console you used during installation. For more information about configuring the serial console, see Connecting with a null modem cable to the serial console .

To run the config command, type the following command:

config

After you run this utility and add an IP address, net mask, and gateway to your management port, you can log in to the Configuration utility (graphical user interface) and configure the unit. For instructions on accessing the Configuration utility through the management port (MGMT), see Licensing the traffic management software using the Configuration utility .


Connecting to the management interface using the default network

All BIG-IP systems ship with a default network configured on the management interface. You can access the web-based Configuration utility through the management port, and configure the unit directly. You can use this method if you do not want to configure the management interface before you connect to the web-based configuration utility.


Running the Configuration utility remotely

You can run the Configuration utility remotely only from a workstation that is on the same LAN as the unit. To allow remote connections for the Configuration utility, the traffic management software comes with two pre-defined IP addresses, and a pre-defined root password. The default root password is default, and the preferred default IP address is 192.168.1.245. If this IP address is unsuitable for your network, the traffic management software uses an alternate IP address, 192.168.245.245. However, if you define an IP alias on an administrative workstation in the same IP network as the system, the unit detects the network of the alias and uses the corresponding default IP address. Once the utility finishes and the system reboots, these default IP addresses are replaced by the information that you entered in the initial configuration you create with the Configuration utility.


Setting up an IP alias for the default IP address before you start the unit

You must set up an IP alias for your remote workstation before you turn on the unit and connect to the Configuration utility. The remote workstation must be on the same IP network as the unit. If you add this alias prior to booting up the BIG-IP system, the unit detects the alias and uses the corresponding address.


Setting up an IP alias for the alternate IP address

The IP alias must be in the same network as the default IP address you want the system to use. For example, on a UNIX workstation, you might create one of the following aliases.

  • If you want the unit to use the default IP address 192.168.1.245, then add an IP alias to the machine you want to use to connect to the unit using the following command:

    ifconfig exp0 add 192.168.1.1

  • If you want to use the default IP address 192.168.245.245, then add an IP alias such as:

    ifconfig exp0 add 192.168.245.1

Warning


On Microsoft Windows® or Windows NT® machines, you must use a static IP address, not DHCP. Within the network configuration, add an IP alias in the same network as the IP address in use on the unit. For information about adding a static IP address to a Microsoft Windows operating system, please refer to the vendors documentation.


Determining which default IP address is in use

After you configure an IP alias on the administrative workstation in the same IP network as the BIG-IP system and you turn the system on, the BIG-IP software sends ARPs on the management interface to see if the preferred 192.168.1.245 IP address is in use. If the address is appropriate for the network and is currently available, the BIG-IP software assigns it to the management interface. You can immediately use it to connect to the unit and start the Configuration utility.

If the alternate network is present on the LAN, 192.168.245.0/24, or if the node address 192.168.1.245 is in use, then the BIG-IP software assigns the alternate IP address 192.168.245.245 to the management interface instead.


Starting the utility from a web browser

After you get the management workstation connected to the management interface, you can open the Configuration utility and begin licensing the system. When you start the utility from a web browser, you use the selected default IP address as the application URL.

To start the Configuration utility in a web browser
  1. Open a web browser on a workstation connected to the same IP network as the management interface IP address.

  2. Type the following URL, where <default IP> is the IP address in use on the management interface IP address.

    https://<default IP>

  3. At the login prompt, type admin for the user name, and default for the password.
    The Licensing screen of the Configuration utility opens.

  4. Click the Activation button to begin the licensing process.
    For details about licensing and configuring the system, see Licensing the traffic management software using the Configuration utility


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