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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 guest in specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IP VE virtualizes 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 EC2 hypervisor products

Each time there is a new release of BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE) software, it includes support for additional hypervisor management products. The Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix on the AskF5 website, http://support.f5.com, details which hypervisors are supported for each release.

BIG-IP VE is compatible with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 hypervisors. This guide documents the AWS interface as it exists at the time of the version 11.3.0 BIG-IP software release to Amazon Web Services.

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

About the hypervisor guest definition requirements

The EC2 virtual machine guest environment for the BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE), at minimum, must include:

  • a 64 bit EC2 instance with at least 2 virtual cores (up to 16 are supported in this release)
  • at least 4 GB RAM (64GB has been tested, F5 Networks recommends at least 2GB per virtual core)
  • 2 x virtual Network Adapter cards (NICs). Up to 8 (1 management + 7 dataplane) are supported).
    Important: F5 Networks recommends three or more Network Adapters for most topologies, but the minimum requirement is two (one for management and one for traffic).
    Important: To support NICs on an Amazon Web Services you must create a virtual private cloud (VPC).
  • 1 x virtual private cloud (VPC).
Important: Not supplying at least the minimum virtual configuration limits will produce unexpected results.
Important: There is no longer any limitation on the maximum amount of RAM supported on the hypervisor guest.
Note: Refer to http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/instance-types.html#AvailableIpPerENI for their most current definition of the service that meets these requirements.
Important: At the time of this publishing, BIG-IP VE requires launch in a VPC so that NICs can be attached. This configuration is supported from the Launch with EC2 Console option, but not the 1-Click Launch option.
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