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Manual Chapter: Getting Started with BIG-IP Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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What is BIG-IP Virtual Edition?

BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) is a version of the BIG-IP system that runs as a virtual machine in specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IP VE emulates a hardware-based BIG-IP system running a VE-compatible version of BIG-IP® software.

Note: The BIG-IP VE product license determines the maximum allowed throughput rate. To view this rate limit, you can display the BIG-IP VE licensing page within the BIG-IP Configuration utility. Lab editions have no guarantee of throughput rate and are not supported for production environments.

About BIG-IP VE compatibility with vCloud™ Director hypervisor products

BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) is compatible with vCloud™ Director 1.5 hosts.

Important: Hypervisors other than those identified in this guide are not supported with this BIG-IP version; any installation attempts on unsupported platforms might not be successful.

About the hypervisor guest definition requirements

The vCloud™ Director virtual machine guest environment for the BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE), at minimum, must include:

  • 2 x virtual CPUs (reserve 2 GHz)
  • 4 GB RAM with a 2-core CPU
  • 8 GB RAM with a 4-core CPU
  • 1 x virtual Flexible (PCnet32 LANCE) network adapter (for management)
  • 1 x virtual VMXNET3 network adapter (three are configured in the default deployment)
  • 1 x 100 GB SCSI disk, by default
  • 1 x 50 GB SCSI optional secondary disk, which might be required as a datastore for specific BIG-IP modules. For information about datastor requirements, refer to the BIG-IP module's documentation.
Important: Not supplying at least the minimum virtual configuration limits will produce unexpected results.

For production licenses, F5 Networks suggests using the maximum configuration limits for the BIG-IP VE system. Reservations can be less for lab editions. The vCloud™ Director virtual machine guest environment permits a maximum of 10 virtual network adapters (1 Flexible mgmt + 9 VMXNET3 dataplane) per virtual machine.

There are also some maximum configuration limits to consider for deploying a BIG-IP VE virtual machine, such as:

  • CPU reservation can be up to 100 percent of the defined virtual machine hardware. For example, if the hypervisor has a 3 GHz core speed, the reservation of a virtual machine with 2 CPUs can be only 6 GHz or less.
  • RAM reservation can be only 2, 4, or 8 GB.
  • For production environments, virtual disks should be deployed Thick (allocated up front). Thin deployments are acceptable for lab environments.
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