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Manual Chapter: Deploying BIG-IP Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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Deployment of BIG-IP VE on VMware

To deploy the BIG-IP VE system on a VMware ESX® or ESXi®, you need to perform these tasks:
  • Verify the host machine requirements.
  • Deploy an instance of the BIG-IP system as a virtual machine (VM) 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

There are specific requirements for the host system to run successfully on the BIG-IP VE system.

To successfully deploy and run the BIG-IP VE system, the host system requires:

  • VMware ESX 4.0 or 4.1, or ESXi 4.0 or 4.1 with update 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
  • support for virtualization (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) must be 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 steps in deploying BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE) are to download and extract the Zip file to your local system. Next, you can run the Deploy OVF Template wizard from within the VMware vSphere™ Client. Note that the Zip file contains a virtual disk image based on an Open Virtual Format (OVF) template. 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 VMware 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.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com).
  2. Download the BIG-IP VE file package ending with scsi.ova.zip.
  3. Extract the files from the Zip archive.
  4. From the File menu, choose Deploy OVF Template. The Deploy OVF Template wizard starts.
  5. In the Source pane, click Deploy from file, and, using the Browse button, locate the OVA file. For example: \MyDocuments\Work\Virtualization\<BIG-IP_OVA_filename>
  6. Click Next. The OVF Template Details pane opens.
  7. Verify that the OVF template details are correct, and click Next. This displays the End-User License Agreement (EULA).
  8. Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next. The Name and Location pane opens.
  9. In the Name field, type a name for the BIG-IP virtual machine, such as: smith_10.2.2.1-45.
  10. In the Inventory Location pane, select a folder name. Click Next.
  11. If the host system is controlled by VMware vCenter, the Host Cluster screen opens. Choose the preferred host and click Next. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  12. Map the source network Management Network to the name of a destination management network in your inventory. An example of a destination management network is Management.
  13. Map the source network Internal Network to the name of a destination non-management network in your inventory. An example of a destination internal network is Private Access.
  14. Map the source network External Network to the name of an external network in your inventory. An example of a destination external network is Public Access.
  15. Map the source network HA to the name of a high-availability network in your inventory. An example of a destination high-availability network is HA.
  16. Click Next. The Ready to Complete screen opens.
  17. Verify that all deployment settings are correct, and click Finish.

Powering on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine

You must power on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine (VM) before you can move on to assigning IP addresses.
  1. In the main vSphere Client window, click the Administration menu.
  2. Select the virtual machine that you want to power on.
  3. Click the Summary tab, and in the Commands area, click Power On. The BIG-IP VE status icon changes to indicate that the VM is on. Note that the BIG-IP VE will not process traffic until you start the BIG-IP VE from its command line or through its web interface.

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

The BIG-IP VE virtual machine (VM) needs an IP address assigned to its virtual management port.
  1. After a few seconds, a login prompt appears.
  2. At the password prompt, type default.
  3. Type config and press Enter. The F5 Management Port Setup screen appears.
  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.
  6. When assigned, the management IP address will appear 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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