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Manual Chapter: Updating a BIG-IP VE Virtual Machine
Manual Chapter
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About VE disk space

BIG-IP VE can be deployed in a number of different disk space configurations. Because disk space can be a costly resource, it makes sense to install the smallest disk space configuration that is practical for your operation. If you opt for a smaller disk size, but later determine that you need additional space so you can install upgrades and hot fixes, or to run additional module combinations, you can increase the size of the disk space the BIG-IP VE uses to suit your needs.

Important: At the time of this release, decreasing the VE disk size is not supported. If you decide that you need a smaller disk size, first install a smaller disk size version of BIG-IP VE, and then increase the size to what you want. For example, you might install the 31Gb disk version of BIG-IP VE, but then decide you only need 20Gb. You could install the 7Gb version, and then increase the disk size to 20Gb.

Increasing the disk space allotted to the BIG-IP virtual machine

You can customize the amount of resources available by using a sequence of hypervisor-specific steps to increase the disk space the hypervisor uses, and follow those with a sequence of tmsh commands to increase the size of the directories that BIG-IP VE uses.
  1. The process of expanding the virtual disk size of your hypervisor depends on which hypervisor you use. Consult your hypervisor documentation for specific instructions.
  2. After you complete the steps for expanding your hypervisor disk size, reboot the BIG-IP VE to see that new disk size.
    Important: Before the BIG-IP VE can use the additional disk space, you need to increase the size of the directories on the disk.
  3. Submit the following sequence of tmsh commands to schedule expansion of the directories in which you need more room.
    Tip:

    There are four disk directories that can be resized.

    • /config
    • /shared
    • /var
    • /var/log
    1. List the current size of the directories on your disk so you can determine which ones need to be resized. (tmsh show sys disk directory)
    2. Expand the size of the directories in which you need additional space. (tmsh modify sys disk directory <directory name> new-size <new directory size in 1KB blocks>) For example, use tmsh modify sys disk directory /config new-size 3145740 to increase the size of /config directory to 3145740 1KB blocks (or roughly 3,221,237,760 bytes).
    3. To confirm that the command you just submitted is properly scheduled, you can show the new list of directories again. (tmsh show sys disk directory)
    4. If you change your mind about a submitted size change, you can revoke that size change. (tmsh modify sys disk directory /config new-size 0) In this example, the size of the /config directory is left as is, revoking any scheduled size changes.
    After you submit this sequence of tmsh commands, the directory size changes will be scheduled. That is, the next time the BIG-IP VE is rebooted, the disk directories are re-sized.
  4. Reboot the BIG-IP VE. During the reboot, the directory size increases finish.

About updates to the BIG-IP VE virtual machine

BIG-IP VE updates within the same major version are installed in the same manner as updates to BIG-IP software already installed on BIG-IP hardware. You do not need to reinstall BIG-IP VE in the hypervisor guest environment to upgrade your system. To update a BIG-IP VE virtual machine, you can use the Software Management tool in the Configuration utility, or you can upgrade the software from the command line. The update procedure described here uses the Software Management tool.

Downloading and importing a BIG-IP VE update

To install an update, BIG-IP software needs access to the ISO file. If the update is a hotfix, you need the ISO files for both the base version and the hotfix before you can successfully import and install a hotfix update.

  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com).
  2. Download the version's base ISO file, such as 11.5, and its associated MD5 checksum file.
    Tip: The location to which you download ISO files is not significant. Just make sure you can navigate to that location when you perform the import task.
  3. Download the update ISO file, such as Hotfix-BIGIP-11.5.1-511.0-HF3.iso, and its associated MD5 checksum file.
    Important: Before you perform the installation, F5 recommends testing the integrity of the ISO files to verify that you have downloaded clean copies. Use an MD5 verification program to ensure that the downloaded ISO file's checksums match the values in their corresponding MD5 files.
  4. On the Main tab, click System > Software Management > Image List > Import. The Import Software Image screen opens.
  5. Click Browse to navigate to the downloaded base level installation file.
  6. When the image name appears in the Software Image field, click Import to begin the operation.
    Important: Do not navigate away from this screen before the operation completes; the system might not import the image successfully. Wait for the operation to complete before continuing with any other work on the BIG-IP VE system.
    The system presents a progress indicator during the operation; when the import is complete, the Import page closes and the downloaded base image displays as an available image.
  7. Click the Hotfix List tab. The Available Images portion of the screen displays any hotfixes you have imported previously.
  8. At the right side of the screen, click Import. The Import Hotfix screen opens.
  9. Click Browse to navigate to the downloaded hotfix installation file.
  10. When the image name appears in the Software Image field, click Import to begin the operation.
    Important: Do not navigate away from this screen before the operation completes; the system might not import the image successfully. Wait for the operation to complete before continuing with any other work on the BIG-IP VE system.
    The system presents a progress indicator during the operation; when the import is complete, the Import page closes and the downloaded hotfix displays in the list of available images.

Installing a BIG-IP VE update

After you download and import the software installation image, you can initiate the installation operation. There are three boot locations on which you can install images on the BIG-IP system. The process for installing a hotfix or a base version is essentially the same.
  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, click System > Software Management. The Software Management Image List screen opens.
  2. In the Available Images area, select the software image you want to install and click Install. The Install Software Image popup screen opens.
  3. Select the disk you want to install the image on, and then type or select a volume name, and click Install. The upgrade process installs the software on the inactive disk location that you specify. This process usually takes between three and ten minutes.
    Tip: If there is a problem during installation, you can use log messages to troubleshoot a solution. The system stores the installation log file as /var/log/liveinstall.log.
    The software image is installed.
When the installation operation is complete, you can safely reboot the newly installed volume or partition.

Rebooting after a BIG-IP VE update

When the installation operation is complete, you can safely reboot into the newly installed volume or partition.

  1. On the Main tab, click System > Software Management. The Software Management Image List screen opens.
  2. On the menu bar, click Boot Locations. The Boot Locations screen opens.
  3. In the Boot Location column, click the link representing the boot location you want to activate. The properties screen for the boot location opens.
  4. Click Activate. A confirmation screen opens.
  5. Click OK to initiate the reboot operation. The system presents progress messages during the restart operation.
When the BIG-IP VE system reboot is complete, the system presents the login screen. To configure the system, log in using an account that has administrative permissions.

Upgrading BIG-IP VE from versions prior to 11.3

Starting with version 11.3, BIG-IP VE uses a different network adapter type than previous versions. To upgrade to versions newer than 11.3, install the BIG-IP VE and then contact F5 to transfer your license.
  1. Save a UCS file offline for the BIG-IP VE system you are upgrading.
    Important: An SCF will not suffice for this procedure.
  2. Required: Make sure to note the host name for UCS restoration. The command string tmsh show sys global-settings hostname will show you the active host name.
  3. In the Microsoft Hyper-V Manager client, power off (shut down) the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
  4. Perform the Deploying the BIG-IP VE virtual machine task to deploy the current version of BIG-IP VE.
  5. Copy the UCS to /var/local/ucs/ on the newly deployed BIG-IP VE.
  6. Run the command tmsh modify sys global-settings hostname xxx.xxx, where xxx.xxx is the previously collected host name.
  7. Restore the UCS. For example, if the UCS is named webfarm1.ucs and is stored in /var/local/ucs, then the restoration command is tmsh load sys ucs webfarm1. At this point, the system is active with the pre-11.3 configuration restored.
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