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Manual Chapter: Updating a BIG-IP VE Virtual Machine
Manual Chapter
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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 in this guide uses the Software Management tool.

Downloading or importing a BIG-IP VE update

To install an update, BIG-IP software needs access to the ISO file. You can either download the ISO file using a script or the command line; or, you can import the file with the user interface.

  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com).
  2. Download the version's base ISO file, such as 11.1, and its associated MD5 checksum file.
    Important: If you are installing a hotfix, you must import the ISO for the base version of the hotfix before you can successfully import and install a hotfix update. For installation, you select only the hotfix image, but the base version of the hotfix must be in place before the hotfix can be applied to BIG-IP VE. .
  3. Download the update ISO file, such as Hotfix-BIGIP-11.1.1-511.0-HF3.iso, and its associated MD5 checksum file.
    Attention: 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 files checksums match the values in their corresponding MD5 files.
  4. On the Main tab, click System > Software Management. The Software Management Image List screen opens.
  5. At the right side of the screen, click Import. The New Image screen opens.
  6. Click Browse to navigate to the downloaded installation file.
  7. When the image name appears in the Software Image field, click Import to begin the operation.
    Important: If you navigate away from this screen before the operation completes, the system might not import the image successfully. Therefore, F5 recommends that you 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.

Installing a BIG-IP VE update

After you download the software installation image and import the software image to the /shared/images directory on the BIG-IP® VE system, you can initiate the installation operation. The destination you specify for installation must represent a hard drive volume or partition on the BIG-IP system.
  1. On the Main tab of the navigation pane, click System > Software Management. The Software Management Image List screen opens.
  2. From the Available Images table, select the software image you want to install. The image properties screen opens.
  3. Click Install. The Install Software screen opens.
  4. Select the disk you want to install the image on, and 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.

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 of the navigation pane, 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 version 10.x to 11.x

When a new version is available, you can upgrade from BIG-IP® VE version 10.x to the BIG-IP VE version 11.x that is available for your hypervisor.
Note: The BIG-IP VE commands in this procedure are run using the BIG-IP command-line interface within the hypervisor.
  1. Download the base ISO files and MD5 files for versions 10.2.x and version 11 from the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com), and verify the downloaded ISO files against their corresponding MD5 files.
    Important: If you are installing a hotfix, you must import the ISO for the base version of the hotfix before you can successfully import and install a hotfix update. For installation, you select only the hotfix image, but the base version of the hotfix must be in place before the hotfix can be applied to BIG-IP VE.
  2. Save a UCS file offline for the BIG-IP VE system you are upgrading.
    Important: An SCF will not suffice for this procedure.
  3. Required: Make sure to note the host name for UCS restoration. The command string tmsh list sys global-settings hostname will show you the active host name.
  4. In the VMware vSphere™ client, power off (shut down) the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
  5. Take a snapshot and back up the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
  6. Add a CD/DVD drive to the virtual machine using either a physical device or ISO file as appropriate.
  7. Configure the target virtual machine to boot from the 10.2.x ISO image as the virtual device default node. The virtual device node should be IDE, where (0:0) or (1:0) is bootable. The Connect at power on setting should remain selected.
  8. Remove the existing virtual disk labeled Hard disk 1.
    Important: Select Remove from virtual machine so that the disk is available for recovery purposes.
  9. Add a hard disk.
    1. Select Create a new virtual disk and make the disk size 100 GB.
      CAUTION:
      Other sizes are not supported, and unexpected problems can occur if a size other than 100 GB is used.
    2. Select the Provision type. For production nodes, a Flat Disk/Thick Provision is preferred to a Thin Provision. For lab editions, a Thin Provision can be used.
    3. Select Create a new virtual disk. Use SCSI (0:0) for the Virtual Device node.
    4. After the Summary screen, click Finish.
    At this point the system has:
    • Configured a CD/DVD drive to attach when powering on the BIG-IP VE 10.2.x ISO image.
    • Removed the legacy 40 GB disk.
    • Created a new 100 GB disk.
  10. Select BIG-IP VE from the inventory panel and power it on.
  11. At the [VT100] prompt, press Enter.
  12. You are prompted for an unattended default installation; press Enter to continue.  BIG-IP VE version 10.2.2 and later 10.x versions should proceed normally. Versions 10.2.0 and 10.2.1 will return the message: No configuration provided for hardware type Z100. For these versions, use the command diskinit --style volumes to format the volume, and then use the command image2disk --nosaveconfig --instslot HD1.1 to install the image. This will prepare the disk and automatically install the 10.2.x system onto boot volume HD1.1.
  13. When the installation is complete for version 10.2.2 and later, the system prompt shows this message: Remove media, then press [Enter] to reboot. Press Enter to reboot the machine. For versions 10.2.0 and 10.2.1, type reboot and press Enter.
  14. Boot into the 10.2.x BIG-IP VE system.
  15. Log in to the console and run config to configure the management port's IP address.
  16. Copy the 10.2.x and 11 ISO files to /shared/images.
  17. If a hotfix was installed, copy the hotfix ISO file to /shared/images, and then perform a live installation of the hotfix onto the system's HD1.2. When finished, reboot into the hotfix image before restoring the UCS.
  18. Copy the UCS to /var/local/ucs/ on the BIG-IP VE.
  19. Run the command tmsh modify sys global-settings hostname xxx.xxx, where xxx.xxx is the previously collected host name.
  20. 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 10.2.x configuration restored.
  21. Perform a live installation of BIG-IP VE 11 on the system.
  22. When the live installation is complete, halt and power off the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
  23. Within the hypervisor, open the guest settings for the BIG-IP VE.
  24. Remove the previously added CD/DVD drive.
  25. Adjust the memory reservation from 2 GB to 4 GB to match the memory configuration.
    Important: BIG-IP VE version 11 includes new high-availability features. You should consider adding another VMXNET3 network interface at this point in order to avoid a reboot at a later time.
  26. Power on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine. The BIG-IP VE virtual machine will boot into version 11.
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