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Manual Chapter: Getting Started with BIG-IP Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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What is BIG-IP Virtual Edition?

BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) is a version of the BIG-IP system that runs as a guest in specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IP VE virtualizes a hardware-based BIG-IP system running a VE-compatible version of BIG-IP® software.

Note: The BIG-IP VE product license determines the maximum allowed throughput rate. To view this rate limit, you can display the BIG-IP VE licensing page within the BIG-IP Configuration utility. Lab editions have no guarantee of throughput rate and are not supported for production environments.

About BIG-IP VE compatibility with EC2 hypervisor products

Each time there is a new release of BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) software, it includes support for additional hypervisor management products. The Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix on the AskF5™ website, http://support.f5.com, details which hypervisors are supported for each release.

BIG-IP® VE is compatible with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 hypervisors. This information documents the AWS interface as it exists at the time of the version 11.5.0 BIG-IP software release to Amazon Web Services.

SSL encryption processing on your VE will be faster if the instance type you choose supports the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction (AES-NI). Contact your cloud vendor for details on which instance types provide AES-NI support.

Important: Hypervisors other than those identified in the matrix are not supported with this BIG-IP version; installation attempts on unsupported platforms might not be successful.

About the hypervisor guest definition requirements

The Amazon Web Services instance types supported for this release, along with the number of NICs each supports, are detailed here:

  • m3.large (supports up to 3 network interfaces)
  • m3.xlarge (supports up to 4 network interfaces)
  • m3.2xlarge (supports up to 4 network interfaces)
  • c3xlarge (supports up to 4 network interfaces)
  • c3.2xlarge (supports up to 4 network interfaces)
  • cc2.8xlarge (supports up to 8 network interfaces)
  • c3.4xlarge (supports up to 8 network interfaces)
  • c3.8xlarge (supports up to 8 network interfaces)
  • 2 x virtual network adapter cards (NICs). Up to 8 (1 management + 7 dataplane) are supported).
    Important: F5 Networks recommends three or more network adapters for most topologies, but the minimum requirement is two (one for management and one for traffic).
    Important: To support NICs on Amazon Web Services you must create a virtual private cloud (VPC).
  • 1 x virtual private cloud (VPC).
  • SCSI disk storage; download the image size that provides sufficient space to meet your requirements. An optional secondary disk might also be required as a datastore for specific BIG-IP modules. For information about datastore requirements, refer to the BIG-IP module's documentation.
Note: Refer to Increasing the disk space allotted to the BIG-IP virtual machine for details on changing the disk size after initial download.
Important: You must supply at least the minimum virtual configuration limits to avoid unexpected results.
Important: There is no longer any limitation on the maximum amount of RAM supported on the hypervisor guest.
Note: Refer to http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/instance-types.html for their most current definition of the service that meets these requirements.
Disk space guidelines

The size of the image that you choose to download determines both the number of slots and the number and type of modules that are supported on the VE instance.

Allocated disk space Supported module combinations Module specific concerns
7 GB LTM only on a single slot You cannot install upgrades or hotfixes to this version.
31 GB LTM only on two slots. This option can be extended and upgraded with new versions and hot fix updates. It does not allow installing any modules besides LTM, GTM, or LTM + GTM.
100 GB Supports all modules. Two slots are supported with potential room to install a third.

This option can be extended and upgraded with new versions and hot fix updates. It allows installing any combination of other modules supported by the current version of BIG-IP VE software.

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