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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,, 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 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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