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Manual Chapter: Getting Started with BIG-IP Virtual Edition in Azure
Manual Chapter
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Sample topology for BIG-IP VE on Azure

The following diagram shows a simple single-NIC deployment of a BIG-IP® VE virtual appliance in Microsoft Azure. When you deploy BIG-IP VE from the Azure Marketplace, it is deployed in a single-NIC configuration. All other configurations must use an ARM template.

Follow the steps in this guide to create this deployment.

In this deployment, you can use the BIG-IP VE virtual appliance to process traffic in all of the ways an on-premise BIG-IP appliance processes traffic; for example, you can use it as a load balancer, to edit packets before they're sent to application servers, as a firewall, and so on.

As shown in the diagram, all access to the BIG-IP VE appliance is through the same IP address. Because of this, in a single-NIC configuration, the BIG-IP VE high availability (HA) feature does not work in Azure. (You cannot create an active-standby pair.) If you want to do HA, use the template available on http://github.com/f5networks.

If you have two or more applications that need access to the same port, you have several options, including:
  • BIG-IP VE supports Server Name Indicator (SNI), which allows a single virtual IP to host multiple domains. For more information, see https://support.f5.com/kb/en-us/solutions/public/13000/400/sol13452.html.
  • If you are using Windows/IIS web sites, add a DNS record for each domain name and have them both point to the same IP address. The browser sends the URL in the host header field of the request and the correct web site is served.
  • Use BIG-IP iRules® to make pool decisions based on header content.

Steps to deploy BIG-IP VE

To deploy the BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) system on Azure, use the following checklist.

Step Details More information
1 Choose the F5 license that meet your needs. See https://f5.com/products/how-to-buy/simplified-licensing for licensing information.
2 Choose the Azure instance that meets your needs. Supported instances are listed in Azure instances for BIG-IP® VE.
3 Deploy a BIG-IP VE virtual appliance. You can find a F5 BIG-IP VE image in the Azure Marketplace and create a virtual appliance from it. If you are using the Classic deployment model, the process will be different than the Resource Manager deployment model.
4 Log in and provision the BIG-IP VE. Log in to the BIG-IP VE management user interface, using the username and password you specified during deployment. Then license and provision the BIG-IP VE.
5 Change the port assigned to the BIG-IP VE user interface. By default, the BIG-IP user interface uses port 443 for management. If you want to use 443 for other traffic, change the BIG-IP VE user interface port to something else (8443 or 10443, for example).

Azure instances for BIG-IP VE

Choose the Microsoft Azure instance based on the F5® license you need. For more information about F5 licenses, see https://f5.com/products/how-to-buy/simplified-licensing.

The following Azure instances are recommended for this release of BIG-IP® VE.
Note: Instance types with similar vCPU and memory are also supported.
Azure instance Good Better Best
Standard_A1 X    
Standard_D11 X    
Standard_DS1_v2 X    
Standard_DS2_v2 X    
Standard_DS11_v2 X    
Standard_A4 X X  
Standard_A6 X X  
Standard_D4 X X  
Standard_DS3 X X  
Standard_DS3_v2 X X  
Standard_DS12_v2 X X  
Standard_A7 X X X
Standard_DS4_v2 X X X
Standard_DS13_v2 X X X
Note: The minimum storage required for BIG-IP VE running all modules is 139GB. If you want to use Application Acceleration Manager™ (AAM®), you need an additional 20GB of storage that is dedicated to AAM only. For more information, see Disk Management for Datastore in the AskF5™ Knowledge Base (http://support.f5.com).
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