Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP) is a feature of the BIG-IP system that allows you to provision and manage multiple, hosted instances of the BIG-IP software on a single hardware device. A vCMP hypervisor allocates a dedicated amount of CPU, memory, and storage to each BIG-IP instance. As a vCMP system administrator, you can create BIG-IP instances and then delegate the management of the BIG-IP software within each instance to individual administrators.
A key part of the vCMP system is its built-in flexible resource allocation feature. With flexible resource allocation, you can instruct the hypervisor to allocate a different amount of resource to each BIG-IP instance according to the particular needs of each instance. The hypervisor provides these resources to BIG-IP instances in the form of cores, which contain a portion of system CPU and memory.
At a high level, the vCMP system includes two main components:
This illustration shows a basic vCMP system with a host and four guests. Note that each guest a different set of modules provisioned, depending on the guest's particular traffic requirements.
In addition to the host and guests, the vCMP system includes these components:
The vCMP system separates the data plane network from the management network. That is, the host operates with the hardware switch fabric to control the guest data plane traffic. This provides true multi-tenancy by ensuring that traffic for a guest remains separate from all other guest traffic on the system.
The following illustration shows the separation of the data plane network from the management network.
Administering a vCMP system requires two distinct types of administrators: a vCMP host administrator who manages the host to create trunks and VLANs, create guests, and allocate resources to those guests, and a vCMP guest administrator who provisions and configures BIG-IP modules within a specific guest.
On a vCMP system, the administrative user accounts, roles, and associated access control mechanisms of a vCMP host are separate from those of the guests. This prevents a user from accessing the host or other guests on the system, thereby ensuring the separation of administrative tasks across the vCMP deployment.
After you initially set up the vCMP host, you will have a standalone, multi-tenant vCMP system with some number of guests defined. A guest administrator will then be ready to provision and configure the BIG-IP modules within a guest to process application traffic.
Optionally, if the host administrator has set up a second system with equivalent guests, a guest administrator can configure high availability for any two equivalent guests.
The BIG-IP system license authorizes you to provision the vCMP feature and create guests with one or more BIG-IP system modules provisioned. Note the following considerations:
You activate the BIG-IP system license when you initially set up the vCMP host.
To enable the vCMP feature, you perform two levels of provisioning. First, you provision the vCMP feature as a whole. When you do this, the BIG-IP system, by default, dedicates most of the disk space to running the vCMP feature, and in the process, creates the host portion of the vCMP system. Second, once you have configured the host to create the guests, each guest administrator logs in to the relevant guest and provisions the required BIG-IP modules. In this way, each guest can run a different combination of modules. For example, one guest can run BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) only, while a second guest can run LTM and BIG-IP ASM.