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Manual Chapter: Deploying BIG-IP Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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About BIG-IP VE vCloud™ Director deployment

To deploy the BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) system on a VMware vCloud™ Director, you need to perform these tasks:

  • Verify the host machine requirements.
  • Deploy an instance of the BIG-IP system as a virtual machine on a host system.
  • Power on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
  • Assign a management IP address to the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.

After you complete these tasks, you can log in to the BIG-IP VE system and run the Setup utility. Using the Setup utility, you can perform basic network configuration tasks, such as assigning VLANs to interfaces.

Host machine requirements and recommendations

To successfully deploy and run the BIG-IP® VE system, the host system must satisfy minimum requirements.

The host system must include:

  • VMware vCloud Director 1.5
  • VMware ESX 4.0 or 4.1, or ESXi 4.0 or 4.1 update 1, or ESXi 5.0 or 5.1
  • VMware vSphere™ client
  • Connection to a common NTP source (this is especially important for each host in a redundant system configuration)
Important: The hypervisor CPU must meet the following requirements:
  • use 64-bit architecture
  • must have support for virtualization (AMD-V™ or Intel® VT-x) enabled
  • support a one-to-one thread-to-defined virtual CPU ratio, or (on single-threading architectures) support at least one core per defined virtual CPU
  • Intel processors must be from the Core (or newer) workstation or server family of CPUs

Deploying the BIG-IP VE virtual machine

The first step in deploying BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE) is to download the compressed OVF file to your local system. Next, you can run the Deploy OVF Template wizard from within the vCloud™ Director vSphere™ client. Follow the steps in this procedure to create an instance of the BIG-IP system that runs as a virtual machine on the host system.

Important: Do not modify the configuration of the vCloud™ Director guest environment with settings less powerful than the ones recommended in this document. This includes the settings for the CPU, RAM, and network adapters. Doing so might produce unexpected results.
Note: The following procedures are a suggested guideline. F5 Networks highly suggests that you consult vCloud™ Director documentation for template creation as the steps might differ with your organization's vCloud™ Director deployment.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (
  2. Download the BIG-IP VE file package ending with
  3. Extract the file from the Zip archive.
  4. Start the vCloud™ Director vSphere™ web-based client and log in.
  5. Click Catalogs > My Organization's Catalogs and on the vApp Templates tab, click Upload.
  6. Browse for and select the extracted .ovf file, type a name for the template, and click Upload.
  7. Type a name and optional description for the vApp template.
  8. Select a virtual data center and catalog.
  9. Click Upload. Click Launch Uploads and Downloads Progress Window to track the progress.
  10. Click My Cloud > vApps.
  11. Click Add vApp from Catalog.
  12. Select My organization's catalogs or Public catalogs from the list, select a vApp template, and click Next. You can also enter an optional description for the vApp.
  13. Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next. The Name and Location pane opens.
  14. In the Inventory Location area, select a folder name and click Next.
  15. Under Configure Virtual Machines, specify the full name and computer name for the vApp, and configure the network settings.
    1. Select the network for NIC0 from the list of networks. This network is used to manage the BIG-IP system. The Select IP Assignment – Static settings have no effect, so you should configure IP address for management interface through the console after the VM starts. When using DHCP, you should have a DHCP server on that network.
    2. Select the networks for NIC1, NIC2, and NIC3.
    3. Click Next.
  16. Configure organizational settings, such as Fence vApp and IP persistence for example, and click Next.
  17. Verify the settings and click Finish to start deployment.

Powering on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine

You must power on the BIG-IP® VE virtual machine before you can begin assigning IP addresses.
  1. In the vCloud Director web interface, click My Cloud > vApps.
  2. Select the vApp to power on.
  3. Click Start. The BIG-IP VE virtual machine starts.

Assigning a management IP address to a BIG-IP VE virtual machine

The BIG-IP® VE virtual machine needs an IP address assigned to its virtual management port.
Tip: The default configuration for new deployments and installations is for DHCP to acquire the management port IP address.
  1. From the main vSphere client screen, click the Administration menu.
  2. At the password prompt, type default.
  3. Type config and press Enter. The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
  4. Click OK.
  5. If you want DHCP to automatically assign an address for the management port, select Yes. Otherwise, select No and follow the instructions for manually assigning an IP address and netmask for the management port.
When assigned, the management IP address appears in the Summary tab of the vSphere™ client. Alternatively, a hypervisor generic statement can be used, such as tmsh list sys management-ip
Tip: F5 Networks highly recommends that you specify a default route for the virtual management port, but it is not required for operation of the BIG-IP VE virtual machine.
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