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Manual Chapter: Initial vCMP Configuration Tasks
Manual Chapter
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vCMP application volume management

The BIG-IP system allocates all but 30 gigabytes of the total disk space to the vCMP application volume. Known as the reserve disk space, the remaining 30 gigabytes of disk space are left available for other uses, such as for installing additional versions of the BIG-IP system in the future. The vCMP disk space allocation, as well as the creation of the reserve disk space, occurs when you initially provision the vCMP feature as part of vCMP host configuration.

If you want the system to reserve more than the standard 30 gigabytes of disk space for non-vCMP uses, you must do this prior to provisioning the vCMP feature. Adjusting the reserved disk space after you have provisioned the vCMP feature can produce unwanted results.

Important: When increasing the reserve disk space for additional BIG-IP installations, the recommended amount of space to reserve is 8 gigabytes per installation.

Viewing disk space allocation for a vCMP application volume

Using this procedure, you can view the amount of disk space, in megabytes, that the system has allocated to a vCMP application volume.
  1. In the URL field, type the management IP address that you previously assigned to the system. https://<ip_address> The browser displays the login screen for the BIG-IP Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Disk Management. The display shows the logical disks and application volumes from the perspective of the vCMP host.
  3. Click the logical disk for which you want to reserve disk space. An example of a logical disk is HD1.
  4. On the menu bar, click Image List if displayed. The screen displays a list of the installed images on the system.
  5. If a list of images appears, locate the relevant image, and in the Disk column, click the logical disk name.
  6. In the Contained Application Volumes area of the screen, in the Volume column, locate the vCMP application volume.
  7. In the Size (MB) column, view the size of the application volume, in megabytes.

Modifying disk space allocation for a vCMP application volume

When you provision the BIG-IP system for vCMP, the BIG-IP system dedicates all but 30 gigabytes of disk space to running the vCMP feature. (The 30 gigabytes of reserved disk space protects against any possible resizing of the file system.) Before provisioning the vCMP feature, you can reserve additional space for a logical disk. Use this procedure if you decide that you need to change the amount of disk space (in megabytes) that the system allocates to a vCMP application volume.
  1. In the URL field, type the management IP address that you previously assigned to the system. https://<ip_address> The browser displays the login screen for the BIG-IP Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Disk Management. The display shows the logical disks and application volumes from the perspective of the vCMP host.
  3. Click the logical disk for which you want to reserve disk space. An example of a logical disk is HD1.
  4. On the menu bar, click Image List if displayed. The screen displays a list of the installed images on the system.
  5. If a list of images appears, locate the relevant image, and in the Disk column, click the logical disk name.
  6. In the Reserved (MB) field, increase the amount of disk space that you want to reserve for the logical disk. The more space your reserve, the less disk space is available for the vCMP application volume.
  7. Click Update.

Host configuration

As a vCMP host administrator, you have the important task of initially planning the amount of total system CPU and memory that you want the vCMP host to allocate to each guest. This decision is based on the resource needs of the particular BIG-IP modules that guest administrators intend to provision within each guest, as well as the maximum system resource limits for the relevant hardware platform. Thoughtful resource allocation planning prior to creating the guests ensures optimal performance of each guest. Once you have determined the resource allocation requirements for the guests, you are ready to configure the host. For more information on determining the resource needs of each guest, see Flexible Resource Allocation.

Overall, your primary duties are to provision the vCMP feature and to create and manage guests, ensuring that the proper system resources are allocated to those guests.

Task list

Accessing the vCMP host

Performing this task allows you to access the vCMP host. Primary reasons to access the host are to create and manage vCMP guests, manage virtual disks, and view or manage host and guest properties. You can also view host and guest statistics.

  1. From a system on the external network, display a browser window.
  2. In the URL field, type the management IP address that you previously assigned to the system, as follows: https://<ip_address> The browser displays the login screen for the BIG-IP Configuration utility.

Provisioning the vCMP feature

Before performing this task, ensure that the amount of reserve disk space that the provisioning process creates is sufficient. Attempting to adjust the reserve disk space after you have provisioned the vCMP feature produces unwanted results.
Performing this task creates the vCMP host (the hypervisor) and dedicates most of the system resources to running vCMP.
Warning: If the system currently contains any BIG-IP module configuration data, this data will be deleted when you provision the vCMP feature.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Resource Provisioning.
  2. Verify that all BIG-IP modules are set to None.
  3. From the vCMP list, select Dedicated.
  4. Click Update.
After provisioning the vCMP feature, the system reboots TMOS and prompts you to log in again. This action logs you in to the vCMP host, thereby allowing you to create guests and perform other host configuration tasks.

Creating a vCMP guest

Before creating a guest on the system, verify that you have configured the base network on the system to create any necessary trunks, as well as VLANs for guests to use when processing application traffic.
You create a vCMP guest when you want to create an instance of the BIG-IP software for the purpose of running one or more BIG-IP modules to process application traffic. For example, you can create a guest that runs BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager and BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager. When creating a guest, you specify the number of cores that you want the vCMP host to allocate to each guest.
Note: When creating a guest, if you see an error message such as Insufficient disk space on /shared/vmdisks. Need 24354M additional space., you must delete existing unattached virtual disks until you have freed up that amount of disk space.
Important: If you are planning to add this guest to a Sync-Failover device group and enable connection mirroring with a guest on another system, you must ensure that the two guests are configured identically with respect to core allocation.
  1. Use a browser to log in to system, using the management IP address. This logs you in to the vCMP host.
  2. On the Main tab, click vCMP > Guest List.
  3. Click Create.
  4. From the Properties list, select Advanced.
  5. In the Name field, type a name for the guest.
  6. In the Host Name field, type a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) name for the guest. If you leave this field blank, the system assigns the name localhost.localdomain.
  7. From the Cores Per Guest list, select the number of cores that you want the host to allocate to the guest.
    Important: For metrics on memory and CPU support per appliance model, refer to the vCMP guest memory/CPU allocation matrix at http://support.f5.com.
  8. From the Management Network list, retain the value Bridged, or select Isolated. The recommended value is Bridged.
  9. For the Management Port setting, fill in the required information:
    1. In the IP Address field, type a unique management IP address that you want to assign to the guest. You use this IP address to access the guest when you want to manage the BIG-IP modules running within the guest.
    2. In the Network Mask field, type the network mask for the management IP address.
    3. In the Management Route field, type a gateway address for the management IP address.
  10. From the Initial Image list, select an ISO image file for installing TMOS software onto the guest's virtual disk.
  11. In the Virtual Disk list, retain the default value of None. Note that if an unattached virtual disk file with that default name already exists, the system displays a message, and you must manually attach the virtual disk. You can do this using the tmsh command line interface, or use the Configuration utility to view and select from a list of available unattached virtual disks. The BIG-IP system creates a virtual disk with a default name (the guest name plus the string .img, such as guestA.img).
  12. For the VLAN List setting, select both an internal and an external VLAN name from the Available list, and use the Move button to move the VLAN names to the Selected list. The VLANs in the Available list are part of the vCMP host configuration. After you create the guest, the guest can use the selected VLANs to process application traffic.
  13. From the Requested State list, select Provisioned. After the guest is provisioned, the host allocates all necessary resources to the guest, such as cores and virtual disk.
  14. Click Finish. The system installs the selected ISO image onto the guest's virtual disk and displays a status bar to show the progress of the resource allocation.
After clicking Finished, you must wait while the system installs the selected ISO image onto the guest's virtual disk. When this process is complete, you can deploy the guest.

Setting a vCMP guest to the Deployed state

Setting a guest to the Deployed state enables a guest administrator to then provision and configure the BIG-IP modules within the guest.
  1. Ensure that you are logged in to the vCMP host.
  2. On the Main tab, click vCMP > Guest List.
  3. In the Name column, click the name of the vCMP guest that you want to deploy.
  4. From the Requested State list, select Deployed.
  5. Click Update.
After moving a vCMP guest to the Deployed state, a guest administrator can provision and configure the BIG-IP modules within the guest so that the guest can begin processing application traffic.

Overview: vCMP guest configuration

The primary duties of a vCMP guest administrator are to provision BIG-IP modules within the guest and configure any self IP addresses that the guest needs for processing application traffic. The guest administrator must also configure all BIG-IP modules, such as creating virtual servers and load balancing pools within BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM).

Optionally, a guest administrator who wants a redundant system configuration can create a device group with the peer guests as members.

Provisioning BIG-IP modules within a guest

Before a guest administrator can access a guest to provision licensed BIG-IP modules, the vCMP guest must be in the Deployed state.
To run BIG-IP modules within a guest, the guest administrator must first provision them. For example, a guest administrator for guestA who wants to run LTM and GTM must log into guestA and provision the LTM and GTM modules.
Note: This procedure applies to guests in Bridged mode only. Guests in Isolated mode can be accessed using vconsole and tmsh only.
  1. Open a browser, and in the URL field, specify the management IP address that the host administrator assigned to the guest.
  2. At the login prompt, type the default user name admin, and password admin, and click Log in. The Setup utility screen opens.
  3. Click Next. This displays the Resource Provisioning screen.
  4. For each licensed BIG-IP module in the list, select the check box and select Minimal, Nominal, or Dedicated.
  5. Click Next. This displays the Certificate Properties screen.
  6. Click Next. This displays some general properties of the guest.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Finished.

Creating a self IP address within a vCMP guest

A guest administrator creates a self IP address within a vCMP guest as a way to provide a hop for application traffic. On a standalone system, the self IP address that a guest administrator creates is a static (non-floating) IP address. Note that the administrator does not need to create VLANs within the guest; instead, the VLANs available for assigning to a self IP address are VLANs that a host administrator previously created on the vCMP host.
  1. On the Main tab of the BIG-IP Configuration utility, click Network > Self IPs. The Self IPs screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Self IP screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the self IP.
  4. In the IP Address field, type an IPv4 or IPv6 address. This IP address should represent the address space of the VLAN that you specify with the VLAN/Tunnel setting.
  5. In the Netmask field, type the network mask for the specified IP address.
  6. From the VLAN/Tunnel list, select the VLAN to associate with this self IP address.
    • On the internal network, select the VLAN that is associated with an internal interface or trunk.
    • On the external network, select the VLAN that is associated with an external interface or trunk.
    The VLANs in the list are VLANs that the host administrator previously created on the vCMP host.
  7. From the Port Lockdown list, select Allow Default.
  8. Click Finished. The screen refreshes, and displays the new self IP address in the list.
After creating a self IP address, the BIG-IP system can send and receive traffic through the specified VLAN.

Next steps

After all guests are in the Deployed state, each individual guest administrator can configure the appropriate BIG-IP modules for processing application traffic. For example, a guest administrator can use BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) to create a standard virtual server and a load-balancing pool. Optionally, if guest redundancy is required, a guest administrator can set up device service clustering (DSC).

Configuration results

After you and all guest administrators have completed the initial configuration tasks, you should have a system provisioned for vCMP, with one or more guests ready to process application traffic.

When logged in to the vCMP host, you can see the VLANs and trunks configured on the system, as well as all of the guests that you created, along with their virtual disks. You can also see the number of cores that the host allocated to each guest.

When logged in to a guest, the guest administrator can see one or more BIG-IP modules provisioned and configured within the guest to process application traffic. If the guest administrator configured device service clustering (DSC), the guest is a member of a device group.

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