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Manual Chapter: Deploying BIG-IP Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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Host machine requirements and recommendations

To successfully deploy and run the BIG-IP VE system, the host system must satisfy minimum requirements.

The host system must include:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012 with the Hyper-V role enabled
  • Connection to a common NTP source (this is especially important for each host in a redundant system configuration)
Important: The hypervisor CPU must meet the following requirements:
  • use 64-bit architecture
  • must have support for virtualization (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) enabled
  • support a one-to-one thread-to-defined virtual CPU ratio, or (on single-threading architectures) support at least one core per defined virtual CPU
  • Intel processors must be from the Core (or newer) workstation or server family of CPUs

The hypervisor memory requirement depends on the number of licensed TMM cores. The table describes these requirements.

Number of Cores Memory Required
1 2 Gb
2 4 Gb
4 8 Gb
8 16 Gb

About BIG-IP VE Hyper-V deployment

To deploy the BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE) system on Microsoft® Hyper-V®, you need to perform these tasks:

  • Verify the host machine requirements.
  • Deploy an instance of the BIG-IP system as a virtual machine on a host system.
  • Power on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
  • Assign a management IP address to the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.

After you complete these tasks, you can log in to the BIG-IP VE system and run the Setup utility. Using the Setup utility, you can perform basic network configuration tasks, such as assigning VLANs to interfaces.

Deploying the BIG-IP VE virtual machine

The first steps in deploying BIG-IP VE are to download the Zip file and extract the virtual hard drive (VHD) file, and save it to the server running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012 with the Hyper-V role enabled. Next, you configure the virtual machine using Hyper-V Manager and the Settings window.

Important: Do not modify the configuration of the Hyper-V guest environment with settings less powerful than the ones recommended in this document. This includes the settings for the CPU, RAM, and network adapters. Doing so might produce unexpected results.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com).
  2. Download the BIG-IP VE file package ending with vhd.zip.
  3. Extract the file from the Zip archive and save it where your VHD files reside on the Hyper-V server.
  4. Start Hyper-V Manager, log in to the Hyper-V server, and from the Actions pane, click New > Virtual Machine. The New Virtual Machine Wizard opens.
  5. In the Name field, type a name for the BIG-IP VE virtual machine, such as: smith_big-ip_ve and click Next.
  6. In the Memory field, type 4096 and click Next.
    Tip: To increase performance, you can specify a value up to 8192.
  7. For the Connection setting, select Management and click Next.
  8. Map the source network HA to the name of a high-availability network in your inventory. An example of a destination high-availability network is HA.
  9. Select the Use an existing virtual hard disk check box, browse to the location where you saved your VHD file, select the file, open it, and click Next.
  10. In the Summary page, review your settings and click Finish. The New Virtual Machine Wizard closes, and the new BIG-IP VE shows in the Virtual Machines list.
  11. From the Virtual Machines list, select the new BIG-IP VE. The name of the BIG-IP VE appears in the bottom half of the Actions pane.
  12. In the lower half of the Actions pane, click Settings. The Settings window for the selected BIG-IP VE opens.
  13. From the Hardware list, select Processor, and then change the Number of logical processors to 2, and increase the Virtual machine reserve (percentage) to 100.
  14. Click Add Hardware, select Network Adapter and click Add. Repeat this for a total of three adapters (or four, for a high-availability configuration).
    1. Click the second Network Adapter, and then from the Network list select External.
    2. Click the third Network Adapter, and then from the Network list select Internal.
    3. If the BIG-IP VE will be used in a high-availability configuration, click the fourth Network Adapter, and then from the Network list select HA.
  15. In the Management area, click Automatic Stop Action and select Shut down the guest operating system. This setting ensures that the BIG-IP VE virtual machine restarts with all previously-configured virtual hardware, and at the current system time.
  16. Click OK to save your changes and close the Settings window.

Powering on the virtual machine

You must power on the virtual machine before you can begin assigning IP addresses.
  1. Open the Hyper-V Manager client.
  2. Select the virtual machine that you want to power on.
  3. From the Action menu, choose Start. The status icon changes to indicate that the virtual machine is on. The virtual machine boots and becomes ready for configuration.

Assigning a management IP address to a virtual machine

The virtual machine needs an IP address assigned to its virtual management port.
Tip: The default configuration for new deployments and installations is for DHCP to acquire the management port IP address.
  1. In the Hyper-V Manager, locate and highlight the virtual machine to which you want to assign the management IP address.
  2. In the Actions pane, choose Connect. The console window for opens. After a few seconds, a login prompt appears.
  3. At the password prompt, type default.
  4. Type config and press Enter. The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
  5. Click OK.
  6. If you want DHCP to automatically assign an address for the management port, select Yes. Otherwise, select No and follow the instructions for manually assigning an IP address and netmask for the management port.
When assigned, the management IP address appears in the Summary tab of the vSphere client. Alternatively, a hypervisor generic statement can be used, such as tmsh list sys management-ip
Tip: F5 Networks highly recommends that you specify a default route for the virtual management port, but it is not required for operation of the virtual machine.
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