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Manual Chapter: Getting Started with BIG-IP Virtual Edition
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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 virtual machine in specifically-supported hypervisors (Citrix® XenServer® for this guide). BIG-IP VE emulates 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.

BIG-IP Virtual Edition compatibility with XenServer hypervisor products

BIG-IP VE is compatible with Citrix® XenServer® version 5.6 or 5.6 Service Pack 2 using Citrix®XenCenter® version 5.6 or 5.6 Feature Pack 1.

Hypervisor guest definition

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

  • 2 x virtual CPUs
  • 4 GB RAM with a 2-core CPU
  • 4 x virtual rtl8139-compatible network adapters
  • 1 x 100 GB IDE disk
Important: Not supplying at least the minimum virtual configuration limits will produce unexpected results.

For production licenses, F5 Networks suggests using the maximum configuration limits for the BIG-IP VE system. Reservations can be less for lab editions.

There are also some maximum configuration limits to consider for deploying a BIG-IP VE virtual machine, such as:

  • CPU reservation can be up to 100 percent of the defined virtual machine hardware. For example, if the hypervisor has a 3 GHz core speed, the reservation of a virtual machine with 2 CPUs can be only 6 GHz or less.
  • RAM reservation can be only 2, 4, or 8 GB.
  • For production environments, virtual disks should be deployed Thick (allocated up front). Thin deployments are acceptable for lab environments.
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