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Manual Chapter: Device Discovery
Manual Chapter
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Device Discovery

About device discovery and management

You use the BIG-IQ® system to centrally manage resources located on BIG-IP® devices in your local network.

The first step to managing devices is making BIG-IQ® ADC aware of them through the discovery process. To discover a device, you provide BIG-IQ ADC the device IP address, user name, and password. Alternatively, you can upload a CSV file to discover a large number of devices. When you discover a device, you place it into a group. These groups help you organize devices with similar features, like those in a particular department or running a certain software version.

After you discover devices, you can view inventory details about those devices for easy asset management, and you can modify device configurations as required without having to log in to each device individually.

Note: After discovering multiple devices, if there are identical configuration objects that exist on more than one device, those objects appear as unique objects. For example, if you discover ten devices, and a particular object (for example, an iRule, or a VLAN) is defined on each device, that object displays as a unique object for each device on which it is defined.

Discovering devices

After you license and perform the initial configuration for the BIG-IQ® system, you can discover BIG-IP® devices running version 11.5.1, Hot Fix 7 or later. For proper communication, you must configure the BIG-IQ system with a route to each F5 device you want to manage. If you do not specify the required network communication route between the devices, then device discovery fails.

Important: Although the BIG-IQ system can discover BIG-IP devices running version 11.4 or later, ADC supports LTM® object management only for BIG-IP devices running version 11.5.1, Hot Fix 7 or later.
Discovering BIG-IP devices is the first step to managing them.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ ADC with the administrator user name and password.
  2. Hover over the Devices header, click the + icon when it appears, and then select New Device.
    The Devices panel expands to show the New Device screen.
  3. In the IP Address field, type the IP address of the device.
    The preferred address for discovering a BIG-IP device is its management IP address.
  4. In the User Name and Password fields, type the user name and password for the managed device.
  5. To keep the discovery process from checking to see if the correct REST framework is installed on the BIG-IP® device, select Ignore Framework Check on Discovery.
    This setting can be handy if you use certain legacy platforms (such as a VIPRION® system with multi-bladed guests). BIG-IQ software sometimes struggles to get an accurate framework state from these legacy platforms.
  6. For the Update Framework setting, select the Update Framework On Discovery check box to direct the BIG-IQ system to perform any required REST framework updates on the BIG-IP device.
    For the BIG-IQ system to properly manage a BIG-IP device, the BIG-IP device must be running the most recent REST framework.
  7. If you selected Update Framework on Discovery, then type the root password in the Root Password field.
  8. Click the Discover button.
    Important: When you update the REST framework for BIG-IP devices running version 11.4.1 or earlier, the traffic management microkernel (TMM) restarts. Before you update the REST framework on a BIG-IP device, verify that no critical network traffic is targeted to that device. Additionally, in any system upgrade scenario, the potential exists for unexpected errors. Because there is not currently an automatic recovery and rollback feature, if an upgrade fails, it is conceivable that a BIG-IP device would not be left in the pre-discovery state. If you want to roll back the upgrade due to an error or any other reason, the recommended recovery for this situation is to perform a partition restore (restoring both the pre-discovery management components and any related configuration).
BIG-IQ system populates the properties of the device that you added, and displays the device in the ADC panel. If you discover BIG-IP devices configured in a device service clustering, or DSC®, BIG-IQ ADC also populates the DSC Groups panel with the device's details.

Discovering a large group of devices

After you license and perform the initial configuration for the BIG-IQ® system, you can discover BIG-IP® devices running version 11.5.1, Hot Fix 7 or later. For proper communication, you must configure the BIG-IQ system with a route to each F5 device you want to manage. If you do not specify the required network communication route between the devices, then device discovery fails.

Important: Although the BIG-IQ system can discover BIG-IP devices running version 11.4 or later, ADC supports LTM® object management only for BIG-IP devices running version 11.5.1, Hot Fix 7 or later.

Before you discover a large group of devices, you must save the information in a .csv file in one of the following formats:

  • [address],[userName],[password],[automaticFrameworkUpdate?],[rootUser],[rootPassword], for example: 192.168.2.xxx,admin,password,true,root,password. Use this option if you want BIG-IQ Device to automatically update the framework required to manage the devices.
  • [address],[userName],[password], for example: 192.168.2.xxx,admin,password .
If you have a large number of devices to discover, discovering them in a group saves you a significant amount of time, because you are not required to provide the device identification details for each individual device. Instead, you can upload a CSV file that contains the IP address, user name, and password for the devices you want to discover.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ ADC with the administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Configuration, and then click Editing View.
    The Devices panel displays the list of devices that the BIG-IQ system is currently managing, along with the configuration objects on those devices. This view displays the objects and settings currently configured on the managing BIG-IQ system. Only configuration objects for which you have Read or Read/Write permissions are displayed.
  3. Hover over the Devices header, click the + icon when it appears, and then select Import Devices.
  4. From the Group Name list select the group to which you want to add the imported devices.
  5. If you want to have any previously discovered devices rediscovered during the bulk discovery process, select Rediscover existing devices in CSV file.
  6. Click the Choose File button and select the CSV file to which you exported the device list.
    Alternatively, you can navigate to the CSV file on your computer and drag and drop it to the Import Devices screen.
  7. Click the Discover button to complete the discovery process.
    If there was a format error for the data in the CSV file, discovery fails and BIG-IQ Device returns an error message.
BIG-IQ software adds devices that it successfully discovers to the list of devices in the group that you specified.
To view or manage the configuration objects on the just added devices, you need to select each device and specify that you want to manage it.

About static and dynamic device groups

To help you manage a large number of BIG-IP® devices, you can organize them into groups. You can create two different types of device groups:

  • Static group
  • Dynamic group

A static group contains a specific set of devices. You may want to create a static group for devices hosting certain applications, in a certain geographical location, or running specific version of BIG-IP software. In contrast, a dynamic group is essentially a saved query on against a static group. For example, if you create a static group that contained all of the managed BIG-IP devices and you wanted to view only those devices running a specific version of software, you would create a dynamic group with that parameter.

If you delete a managed BIG-IP device from the static group, that change reflects in the dynamic group when you view it.

Creating a static group of managed devices

You must license and discover devices before you can place BIG-IP® devices into a group.

To help you manage a large number of devices, you can organize them into groups. For example, you could group devices by applications, geographical location, or department.

  1. Log in to BIG-IQ ADC with the administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Configuration, and then click Editing View.
    The Devices panel displays the list of devices that the BIG-IQ system is currently managing, along with the configuration objects on those devices. This view displays the objects and settings currently configured on the managing BIG-IQ system. Only configuration objects for which you have Read or Read/Write permissions are displayed.
  3. Hover over the Devices header, click the + icon when it appears, and then select New Group.
  4. In the Display Name field, type the name you want to use to identify this group.
    This name is displayed in the Devices panel. You can change this name at any time, after you save this group.
  5. In the Description field, type a description for this group.
    For example, BIG-IP devices located in Seattle.
    You can change this name at any time, after you save this group.
  6. For the Group Type setting, select Static Group.
  7. From the Parent Group list, select the source for the group you are creating.
  8. Click Save.
The associated managed devices now display in the Device panel, within the group you created. If you a saved filter on specific devices within this group, you can create a dynamic group.

Creating a dynamic group of managed devices

You must license and discover devices, and create a static group before you can create a dynamic group.

To filter a static group on specific parameters, you can create a dynamic group. For example, if you have a static group for all devices located in a particular city, you might want to view only those running a specific version of software.

  1. Log in to BIG-IQ ADC with the administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Configuration, and then click Editing View.
    The Devices panel displays the list of devices that the BIG-IQ system is currently managing, along with the configuration objects on those devices. This view displays the objects and settings currently configured on the managing BIG-IQ system. Only configuration objects for which you have Read or Read/Write permissions are displayed.
  3. Hover over the Devices header, click the + icon when it appears, and then select New Group.
  4. In the Display Name field, type the name you want to use to identify this group.
    This name is displayed in the Devices panel. You can change this name at any time, after you save this group.
  5. In the Description field, type a description for this group.
    For example, BIG-IP devices located in Seattle.
    You can change this name at any time, after you save this group.
  6. For the Group Type setting, select Dynamic Group.
  7. For the Source Group setting, select the static group on which you want to query for results.
  8. In the Search Filter field, type a term on which you want to filter the group.
    You can filter on a single term or, if you want to filter on more than one parameter, use the standard Open Data Protocol (OData) format.
  9. Click Save.
This dynamic group displays in the ADC panel as a child of the associated static group.
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