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Archived Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Installation guide v4.0: Setting Up the Hardware
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1

Setting Up the Hardware



Unpacking the hardware

There are four basic tasks you must complete to get the controller installed and set up.

  • Review the hardware requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with the controller hardware
  • Review the environmental requirements
  • Connect the controller to the network and optionally connect the peripheral hardware.

    The controller comes with the hardware that you need for installation and maintenance. However, you must also provide standard peripheral hardware, such as a keyboard or serial terminal, if you want to administer the controller directly.

Hardware provided with the controller

When you unpack the controller, you should make sure that the following components are included:

  • One power cable
  • One PC/AT-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter
  • Four rack-mounting screws
  • Two keys for the front panel lock
  • One extra fan filter
  • One BIG-IP Administrator Kit

    If you purchased a hardware-based redundant system, you also received one fail-over cable to connect the two controller units together (network-based redundant systems do not require a fail-over cable).

Peripheral hardware that you provide

For each controller in the system, you need to provide the following peripheral hardware:

  • If you plan to use direct administrative access to the controller, you need standard input/output hardware for direct administrative access to the controller. Either of the following options is acceptable:

  • If you want to use the default controller configuration, you must have an administrative workstation on the same IP network as the BIG-IP Controller.
  • You also need network hubs, switches, or concentrators to connect to the controller network interfaces. The devices you select must be compatible with the network interface cards installed in the controller. The devices can support 10/100 Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, or FDDI/CDDI (including multiple FDDI and full duplex).

    • Ethernet requires either a 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps hub or switch
    • FDDI/CDDI requires no additional hardware, but a concentrator or a switch is optional

      · Gigabit Ethernet requires a compatible Gigabit Ethernet switch

      If you plan on doing remote administration from your own PC workstation as most users do, we recommend that you have your workstation already in place. Keep in mind that the First-Time Boot utility prompts you to enter your workstation's IP address when you set up remote administrative access.

Familiarizing yourself with the controller

The controller is offered in 4U and 2U hardware configurations. Before you begin to install the controller, you may want to quickly review the following figures that illustrate the controls and ports on both the front and the back of a 4U controller and a 2U controller.

Using the 4U hardware configuration

This section describes the front and back layout of a 4U controller. If you have a special hardware configuration, such as those that include more than two interface cards, the ports on the back of your unit will differ slightly from those shown in Figure 1.2, on page 1-5.

Note: The interfaces on every controller are individually labeled, so it should be clear what each port is, no matter which hardware configuration you have purchased. For detailed information about interface naming, see the BIG-IP Reference Guide, Interface naming convention.

Figure 1.1 Front view of a 4U controller
1. Fan filter 2. Keyboard lock 3. Reset button 4. Keyboard lock LED 5. Hard disk drive LED 6. Power LED 7. On/off button 8. 3.5 floppy disk drive 9. CD-ROM drive

Figure 1.1 illustrates the front of a 4U controller with the access panel open. On the front of the unit, you can turn the unit off and on, or you can reset the unit. You can also view the indicator lights for hard disk access and for the keyboard lock.

Figure 1.2, the following figure, illustrates the back of a 4U controller. Note that all ports are labeled, even those which are not intended to be used. Ports marked with an asterisk (*) in the list following do not need to be connected to any peripheral hardware.

1. Fan 2. Power in 3. Voltage selector 4. Mouse port* 5. Keyboard port 6. Universal serial bus ports* 7. Serial terminal port 8. Printer port* 9. Fail-over port 10. Video (VGA) port 11. Interface (RJ-45) 12. Interface (RJ-45) 13. Interface indicator LEDs 14. Watchdog card*

*Not to be connected to any peripheral hardware.

Figure 1.2 Back view of a 4U controller

Using the 2U hardware configuration

This section describes the front and back layout of a 2U controller. If you have a special hardware configuration, such as those that include more than two interface cards, the ports on the back of your unit will differ slightly from those shown in Figure 1.4, on page 1-7.

Note: The interfaces on every controller are individually labeled, so it should be clear what each port is, no matter which hardware configuration you have purchased. For detailed information about interface naming, see the BIG-IP Reference Guide, Interface naming convention.

Figure 1.3 Front view of a 2U controller
1. Fan filter 2. Keyboard lock 3. Reset button 4. Keyboard lock LED 5. Hard disk drive LED 6. Power LED 7. On/off button 8. Hard disk drive 9. CD-ROM drive

Figure 1.3 illustrates the front of a 2U controller with the access panel open. On the front of the unit, you can turn the unit off and on, or you can reset the unit. You can also view the indicator lights for hard disk access and for the keyboard lock.

Figure 1.4, the following figure, illustrates the back of a 2U controller. Note that all ports are labeled, even those which are not intended to be used. Ports marked with an asterisk (*) in the list following do not need to be connected to any peripheral hardware.

1. Fan 2. Power cable plug 3. Not used 4. Mouse port* 5. Keyboard port 6. Universal serial bus ports* 7. Serial terminal port 8. Printer port* 9. Fail-over port 10. Video (VGA) port 11. Interface (RJ-45) 12. Interface (RJ-45)

*Not to be connected to any peripheral hardware.

Figure 1.4 Back view of a 2U controller

Environmental requirements

Before you install the controller, review the following guidelines to make sure that you are installing and using the controller in the appropriate environment.

General guidelines

A controller is an industrial network appliance, designed to be mounted in a standard 19-inch rack. To ensure safe installation and operation of the unit:

  • Install the rack according to the manufacturer's instructions, and check the rack for stability before placing equipment in it.
  • Build and position the rack so that once you install the controller, the power supply and the vents on both the front and back of the unit remain unobstructed. The controller must have adequate ventilation around the unit at all times.
  • Do not allow the air temperature in the room to exceed 40° C.
  • Do not plug the unit into a branch circuit shared by more electronic equipment than the circuit is designed to manage safely at one time.
  • Verify that the voltage selector is set appropriately before connecting the power cable to the unit.

Guidelines for DC powered equipment

A DC powered installation must meet the following requirements:

  • Install the unit using a 20 Amp external branch circuit protection device.
  • For permanently connected equipment, incorporate a readily accessible disconnect in the fixed wiring.
  • Use only copper conductors.

Installing and connecting the hardware

There are six basic steps to installing the hardware. You simply need to install the controller in the rack, connect the peripheral hardware and the external and internal interfaces, and then connect the fail-over and power cables. If you have a unit with three or more network interface cards (NICs), be sure to review step 3 in the following procedure.

Warning: Do not turn on a controller until all peripheral hardware is connected to the unit.

To install the hardware

  1. Insert the controller in the rack and secure it using the four rack-mounting screws that are provided.
  2. Connect the hardware that you have chosen to use for input/output:

    · If you are using a VGA monitor and keyboard, connect the monitor connector cable to the video port (number 10 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or in Figure 2.4 for 2U), and connect the keyboard connector cable to the keyboard port (number 5 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or in Figure 2.4 for 2U). Note that a PC/AT-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter is included with each controller (see the component list on page 1-1).

    · Optionally, if you are using a serial terminal as the console, connect the serial cable to the terminal serial port (number 7 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or in Figure 2.4 for 2U). Also, you should not connect a keyboard to the controller. If there is no keyboard connected to the controller when it is started or rebooted, the controller defaults to using the serial port as the console.

  3. Connect the external interface (number 12 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or in Figure 2.4 for 2U) to the network from which the controller receives connection requests.

    If you have purchased a unit with three or more network interface cards (NICs), be sure to note or write down how you connect the cables to the internal and external interfaces. When you run the First-Time Boot utility, it automatically detects the number of interfaces that are installed and prompts you to configure more external interfaces, if you want. It is important to select the correct external interface based on the way you have connected the cables to the back of the unit.

  4. Connect the internal interface (number 11 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or in Figure 2.4 for 2U) to the network that houses the array of servers, routers, or firewalls that the controller load balances.
  5. If you have a hardware-based redundant system, connect the fail-over cable to the terminal serial port on each unit (number 7 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or number 7 in Figure 2.4 for 2U).
  6. Connect the power cable to the controller (number 2 in Figure 1.2 for 4U, or Figure 2.4 for 2U), and then connect it to the power source.

Warning: Before connecting the power cable to a power supply, customers outside the United States should make sure that the voltage selector is set appropriately. This check is necessary only if the controller has an external voltage selector.

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