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Manual Chapter: Deploying BIG-IP Virtual Edition in ESXi
Manual Chapter
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Deploy BIG-IP VE on ESXi

To create a BIG-IP® VE virtual appliance, download a template from F5® and deploy it in your environment.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com) and log in.
  2. On the Downloads Overview page, select Find a Download.
  3. Under Product Line, select BIG-IP v12.x/Virtual Edition.
  4. Under Name, select Virtual-Edition.
  5. If the End User Software License is displayed, read it and then click I Accept.
  6. Download one of the files that ends with scsi.ova.
  7. Start the vSphere client and log in.
  8. From the vSphere File menu, choose Deploy OVF Template.
  9. Browse to the .ova file and click Next.
    The template is verified.
  10. Click Next and complete the wizard. Note the following.
    Section Details
    Configuration Choose from the available configurations. You can change CPU or RAM later.
    Storage If you decide to increase storage later, you must also adjust the BIG-IP directories to use the extra storage space. See Increasing disk space for BIG-IP® VE for details.
    Datastore Choose Thick for production environments. Thin is sufficient for lab environments.
    Source Networks The wizard leads you through creating four networks: internal, external, management, and high availability (HA).
    Ready to Complete If you want to deploy with the four default networks, then select the Power on after deployment check box. If you want a single NIC deployment, do not select this check box.
  11. Click Finish.
  12. For a single NIC deployment, edit the virtual machine's properties and remove Network adapter 2, 3, and 4. Then power on the virtual machine.

The virtual machine is created, as well as two user accounts.

  • The root account provides access locally, using SSH, or the F5 Configuration utility. The root account password is default.
  • The admin account provides access through the web interface. The admin account password is admin.

You should change passwords for both accounts before bringing a system into production.

If you need to create a redundant configuration, place the two BIG-IP VE virtual appliances (the active-standby pair) on separate physical hosts. You can accomplish this in one of two ways:
  • Manually create a virtual machine peer on each host.
  • If you are using VMware Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS), create a DRS rule with the Separate Virtual Machine option that includes each BIG-IP VE in the pair.

Access the BIG-IP VE Configuration utility

If your network has DHCP, an IP address is automatically assigned to BIG-IP® VE during deployment. You can use this address to access the BIG-IP VE Configuration utility or tmsh command-line utility.

If no IP address was assigned, you can assign one.

Important: Do not use VMware tools to configure the IP address; the BIG-IP system will not use these changes.
  1. In the vSphere client, click Launch Virtual Machine Console.
    The console screen opens. After a few seconds, a login prompt appears.
  2. At the <username> login prompt, type root.
  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 show sys management-ip.

You can now log into the BIG-IP VE Config utility, and license and provision BIG-IP VE.

Configure SR-IOV on the guest

Before you can complete these steps, you must have configured Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) on the hypervisor.
After deploying BIG-IP® VE, to configure SR-IOV on the guest, you must add three PCI device NICs and map them to your networks.
  1. In vSphere, delete the existing Source Networks for External, Internal, and HA.
    Important: Leave the Source Network for Management.
  2. Edit the settings for the virtual machine to add a PCI device.
    If your hypervisor was set up correctly, there will be 16 virtual functions on each port (05:10.x and 05:11:x).
  3. Map the new device to the VLAN for your internal subnet.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the external and HA VLANs.
  5. When all four destination networks are correctly mapped, click Next.
    The Ready to Complete screen opens.
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