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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP v9.0 New and Updated Commands: Managing the Base Network
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Managing the Base Network

Customizing the BIG-IP base network

Before you configure a BIG-IP system to manage local application traffic, you must use the Setup utility to configure what is referred to as a base network configuration. The base network components are:

  • Interfaces
  • Routes
  • Self IP addresses
  • Packet Filters
  • Trunks (802.3ad Link Aggregation)
  • Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)
  • VLANs and VLAN groups
  • ARP

Once you have configured base network components using the Setup utility, you are free to customize the configuration of those components. To customize the configuration of your base network components, you can use the browser-based Configuration utility, or you can use the bigpipe utility.

Summarizing the bigpipe commands

The bigpipe utility that is provided with the BIG-IP system includes a number of commands designed to help you customize the BIG-IP base network configuration.

Table 2.1 provides a concise listing of the individual bigpipe commands that you can use to manage the BIG-IP network. For more details on these commands, see the online man pages.

Table 2.1 bigpipe commands for BIG-IP network management 
bigpipe Command Description
Displays online help for an individual bigpipe command. For example, you can display information on the bigpipe vlan command by typing b vlan help. For more information, see Chapter 1, Introducing BIG-IP System Commands .
Creates static ARP addresses, and lists static and dynamic ARP addresses.
Sets the BIG-IP system as active or standby.
Sets global variable definitions.
Sets options on individual interfaces.
Loads the BIG-IP system configuration and resets it.
Assigns a self IP address for a VLAN or interface.
Implements spanning tree protocol (STP).
Aggregates links to form a trunk.
Defines VLANs, VLAN mappings, and VLAN properties.
Defines VLAN groups.


Performing network management tasks

Network management tasks are tasks that you do to customize the base network, using the bigpipe utility that the BIG-IP system provides.

Table 2.2 lists the tasks you can perform to further customize the base network that you configured using the Setup utility. For each task, the table shows the commands or utilities you use to perform that task.


The command syntax shown in Table 2.2 is not exhaustive. For each command, see the corresponding man page for the correct syntax.


Table 2.2 Tasks for customizing a base network 
Tasks to customize your base network configuration Command or utility to use
Display status and settings for interfaces.
bigpipe interface show
Set the media type on an interface.
bigpipe interface <interface_name> media <media_type>
Set the duplex mode on an interface.
bigpipe interface <interface_name> duplex<duplex>
Create a VLAN.
bigpipe vlan <vlan_name> interfaces add <interface_list>
Rename a VLAN.
bigpipe vlan <old_vlan_name> rename <new_vlan_name>
Delete a VLAN.
bigpipe vlan <vlan_name> delete
Configure interfaces to accept traffic from multiple VLANS.
bigpipe vlan <vlan_name> interfaces add tagged <interface_list>
View entries in the L2 forwarding table.
bigpipe vlan fdb show
Add entries to the L2 forwarding table.
bigpipe vlan fdb <mac> interface <interface> add
Delete entries from the L2 forwarding table.
bigpipe vlan fdb <mac> delete
Create a VLAN group.
bigpipe vlangroup <vlangroup_name> vlans add <vlan_name>
Verify that L2 forwarding is enabled.
bigpipe vlangroup show
Prevent the forwarding of proxy ARP requests.
bigpipe vlangroup <name> proxy exclude <IP_list>
Assign a self IP address to a VLAN group.
bigpipe self <ip address> vlan <vlangroup_name>
Specify a value in seconds for downed links.
bigpipe db Failover.Standby.LinkDownTime <value>
Allow or disallow services, such as SSH, for each self IP.
bigpipe self <self IP_list> allow <service_list | all | none>
Set the failover timeout, in seconds, for a VLAN.
bigpipe vlan <vlan_name> timeout <value>
Enable the failsafe.
bigpipe vlan <vlan_name> failsafe enable
View the interfaces mapped to all VLAN.
bigpipe vlan show
View the interfaces mapped to a VLAN.
bigpipe vlan <name> show
View the MAC addresses for the BIG-IP interfaces.
bigpipe interface show verbose
Set the MAC address to be shared by redundant units.
bigpipe vlan <vlan_name> mac masq <MAC_addr>
Add a self IP address to a VLAN.
bigpipe self <IP_address> vlan <name>
Add a route.
bigpipe route <ip_addr> vlan <name>/
Create a trunk.
bigpipe trunk <name> interface <interface_list> add
Manage Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).
See the man pages for the commands stp_instance and man stp.
View interfaces.
bigpipe interface <interface_name> show


The following two sections describe command line tasks that are different in version 9 systems.

Implementing packet filtering

Packet filters provide a level of access control by filtering packets from a client based on criteria that you specify. You can specify these criteria by configuring a packet filter's general properties, and by creating a packet filter rule.

To implement packet filtering

Enable packet filtering using the bigpipe packet filter command.

When using this command, you can specify a packet filter rule to provide access control, rate shaping, or logging.

Configuring routing

You can add or remove routes for the switch interfaces, as well as the management interface.

To add and configure routes

Use either the bigpipe route or the bigpipe route mgmt command, specifying a list of route keys and a resource (gateway IP address, pool name, VLAN name, or reject). For more information, see the route man page.

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