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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 creates a virtual instance of 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 11.6.0 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

This table details the capabilities and limitations of the disk space options you can choose.

Provisioned disk space Capabilities and Limitations Special Considerations
7 GB The Local Traffic Manager (LTM®) module is supported, but there is no space available for installing LTM upgrades. Disk space can be increased if you need upgrade LTM, or decide to provision additional modules.
31 GB The LTM module is supported. There is also sufficient space available for installing LTM upgrades. Disk space can be increased if you decide to provision additional modules. You can also install another instance of LTM on a separate partition.
104 GB (OS only) or 124 GB (with Datastore) All modules and combinations are supported. There is also sufficient space available for installing upgrades. If you plan to use the Acceleration Module (AM) in addition to other modules, you must add a second 20 GB disk in addition to the 104 GB operating system disk used by the other modules. The 20 GB volume serves as a dedicated Datastore for AM. Do not use this volume for any other purpose. If you need additional space, increase the disk space allotted to this VE. For information on configuring the Datastore volume, refer to Disk Management for Datastore published on the AskF5™ web site, http://support.f5.com.
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