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Manual Chapter: License Management
Manual Chapter
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How do I manage software licenses for my devices?

A software license is specific to F5 services (for example, BIG-IP LTM®, BIG-IP APM®, and so on) and you manage software licenses by adding them to BIG-IQ® , and then deploying them to BIG-IP® VE devices in your network. If later you decide you don't need that specific device licensed, you can revoke the license instance and grant it to another BIG-IP VE device. This process is similar to a library, where you loan (grant) a license to a BIG-IP VE when its required, and check the license back in to BIG-IQ (revoke it from the device) to grant to another BIG-IP VE. The flexible scalability you get by being able to reassign licenses to your devices, as needed, helps keep your operating costs fixed. You can deploy and revoke licenses for both managed and unmanaged devices in your network.

You can also use BIG-IQ as a local, on-site licensing manager. To do this, you must also have a pool registration key (in addition to the BIG-IQ product registration key). BIG-IQ uses the pool registration key to activate BIG-IP licenses. When you use BIG-IQ as a licensing manager, connectivity is required only between BIG-IQ and the BIG-IP VE you are licensing. No contact between the F5 license server and the BIG-IP VE is necessary; this supports network configurations where BIG-IP VE devices don't have Internet access.

You can activate a registration key in the following ways:

  • Automatically - Use this procedure if BIG-IQ is connected to the public Internet.
  • Manually - Use this procedure if BIG-IQ is not connected to the public Internet.
  • CNN - Use this procedure if the BIG-IQ is in a closed-circuit network (CCN) that does not permit you to export any encrypted information. For this procedure, you must open a case with F5 Support.

Types of F5 licenses

There are three types of F5 licenses.

License Type Description
Pool licenses Purchased once, you assign pool licenses to a number of concurrent BIG-IP VE devices, as defined by the license.
Utility licenses Purchased as you need, utility licenses are billed only when assigned to a BIG-IP VE device and at a specific interval (hourly, daily, monthly, or yearly).
Volume licenses Prepaid for a fixed number of concurrent devices, you assign volume licenses to BIG-IP VE devices for a set period of time.

Automatically contacting the F5 Networks license server for a license

You must have a base registration key before you can get a license from F5 Networks.
You get a license from F5 Networks to make it available to assign to BIG-IP® VEs in your network. You can automatically contact the F5 license server if the BIG-IQ® system is:
  • Connected to the public internet.
  • Able to access the activate.f5.com site.
  • Existing firewalls allow port 443 to pass through.
  1. Log in to the BIG-IQ® system with your user name and password.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  3. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  4. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  5. Click the New License button.
  6. In the License Name field, type a name to identify this license.
  7. In the Base Registration Key field, type or paste the registration key, and into the Add-on Keys field, type or paste any associated add-on keys.
  8. For the Activation Method setting, select Automatic.
  9. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
  10. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, select the check box next to I have read and agree with the terms of this license, and click Next.
When the activation status displays as Active, you can assign a license from the pool to a BIG-IP® VE device.

Manually contacting the F5 Networks license server for a pool license

You must have a base registration key before you can get a license from F5 Networks.
You get a pool license from F5 Networks to make it available for assignment to BIG-IP® VEs in your network. If the BIG-IQ® system on which you are activating licensing is not connected to the public internet, you can get the license using this manual procedure, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server.
  1. Log in to the BIG-IQ® system with your user name and password.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  3. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  4. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  5. Click the New License button.
  6. In the License Name field, type a name to identify this license.
  7. In the Base Registration Key field, type or paste the registration key, and into the Add-on Keys field, type or paste any associated add-on keys.
  8. For the Activation Method setting, select Manual and click the Generate Dossier button.
    The BIG-IQ system refreshes and displays the dossier in the Device Dossier field.
  9. Select and copy the text displayed in the Device Dossier field.
  10. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  11. Click the Activate License link.
  12. Paste the dossier into the Enter your dossier text box and click the Next button.
    Alternatively, click the Choose File button and navigate to the location where you saved the dossier.
  13. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, select the check box next to I have read and agree with the terms of this license, and click Next.
  14. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  15. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
When the activation status displays as Active, you can assign a license from the pool to a BIG-IP® VE device.

Manually contacting the F5 Networks license server for a volume or utility license

You must have a base registration key before you can get a license from F5 Networks.

You get a volume or utility license from F5 Networks to make it available for assignment to BIG-IP® VEs in your network. If the BIG-IQ® system on which you are activating licensing is not connected to the public internet, you can get the license using this manual procedure, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server.

Volume and utility licenses contain offerings, which you must activate individually.

  1. Log in to the BIG-IQ® system with your user name and password.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  3. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  4. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  5. Click the New License button.
  6. In the License Name field, type a name to identify this license.
  7. In the Base Registration Key field, type or paste the registration key, and into the Add-on Keys field, type or paste any associated add-on keys.
  8. For the Activation Method setting, select Manual and click the Generate Dossier button.
    The BIG-IQ system refreshes and displays the dossier in the Device Dossier field.
  9. Select and copy the text displayed in the Device Dossier field.
  10. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  11. Click the Activate License link.
  12. Paste the dossier into the Enter your dossier text box and click the Next button.
    Alternatively, click the Choose File button and navigate to the location where you saved the dossier.
  13. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, select the check box next to I have read and agree with the terms of this license, and click Next.
  14. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  15. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
    The license displays in the list as Pending.
  16. Click the name of the license.
  17. Click the name of a pending offering.
  18. Copy the dossier.
  19. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  20. Click the Activate License link.
  21. Paste the dossier into the Enter your dossier text box and click the Next button.
    Alternatively, click the Choose File button and navigate to the location where you saved the dossier.
  22. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  23. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
  24. Repeat steps 17-23 for each pending offering.
When the activation status displays as Active, you can assign a license from the pool to a BIG-IP® VE device.

Assigning a license to a BIG-IP VE

Before you can assign a pool license to a BIG-IP® VE device, you must use a pool registration key to get a pool license from the F5 license server, and put it on the BIG-IQ® system. You can assign licenses to managed devices, as well as unmanaged devices (devices in your network, but not in the BIG-IP Inventory).To assign a license to an unmanaged device in your network, you must have the device's admin user name and password.

Pool licenses help you easily manage the licensing process for BIG-IP VE devices running your applications.
  1. Log in to the BIG-IQ® system with your user name and password.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  3. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  4. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  5. Click the name of the license you want to assign to a device.
  6. For utility or a volume license, click the Offering name.
  7. Click the License Devices button.
  8. In the Managed Devices setting, from the Devices list, select the device you want to license and move it to the Member Devices list.
  9. To license a device you are not managing from BIG-IQ (but that is in your network), for the Unmanaged Devices section, type the device's address, user name, and password.
  10. Click the Assign button at the bottom of the screen.

Revoking a pool license from a BIG-IP VE device

To revoke a license for an unmanaged device in your network, you must have the device's admin user name and password.
When fewer devices are required for your applications, you can revoke licenses to reassign them to other BIG-IP® VE devices, as needed.
  1. Log in to the BIG-IQ® system with your user name and password.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  3. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  4. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  5. Click the name of the license you want to revoke.
  6. For utility or a volume license, click the Offering name.
  7. Select the check box next to the device you want to remove a license from.
  8. Click the Revoke button.
  9. For an unmanaged device, you must type the admin user name and password in the popup screen.
You can now assign this license to another BIG-IP VE device.

Creating an active usage report for your licenses

After you activate a license, you can create an active license usage report for it.
Create an Active Report to see how you're currently using your licenses. Providing this report in a downloadable CSV format makes it easy for you to reformat and share the information in any way you want.
  1. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  3. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  4. Click the Report button at the top of the screen.
  5. For the Type setting, select Active Report.
  6. Select a license type from the list to narrow the results to that license type.
  7. From the Available list, click the license you want to run a report for, and click the arrow to move it to the Selected list.
  8. Click the Download button at the bottom of the screen to generate the report.

Creating a historical usage report for your licenses

You must have activated a license before you can create a historical usage report for it.
You create an Historical Report, in CSV format, so you can see how you are using your licenses. This information can help you with budget planning and reporting.
  1. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  3. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  4. Click the Report button at the top of the screen.
  5. For the Type setting, select Historical Report.
  6. Select a license type from the list to narrow the results to that license type.
  7. From the Available list, click the license you want to run a report for, and click the arrow to move it to the Selected list.
  8. In the Usage Period area, in the Starting Date and Ending Date fields, type the date range for the report. Alternatively, click the calendars and navigate to the dates.
  9. Click the Download button and select an option to open the file, or save the file.

Creating a utility license usage report and submitting it to F5 for billing

You must have assigned a utility license to a device before you can create a utility usage report for that license.
Note: If BIG-IQ cannot access api.f5.com or pass traffic through port 443, you must manually submit the report to F5, instead of submitting automatically. For information about how to manually submit the report, contact F5 Support.

Create and submit a utility license usage report to F5 Networks for billing purposes, at the frequency specified in your license agreement.

BIG-IQ reports your utility license usage to F5 in a specific way to avoid duplication. Your first report includes all license activity (grants and revocations) from the time you activate the utility pool license to the day before the first report is generated. Subsequent reports include all license activity that happened since the last report, up to the day before the current report is generated.

For example:

  • If you activated your utility pool on 1-Jan-2016 and generate a report on 1-Feb-2016, the report includes all usage between 1-Jan-2016 to 31-Jan-2016, inclusive.
  • If you generate another report on 1-Apr-2016, the report includes all usage between 1-Feb-2016 to 31-Mar-2016, inclusive.

  1. Log in to the BIG-IQ® system with your user name and password.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Device Management from the BIG-IQ menu.
  3. At the top of the screen, click Operations.
  4. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  5. Click the Report button at the top of the screen.
  6. For the Type setting, select Utility Billing Report.
  7. From the Available list, click the license you want to run a report for, and click the arrow to move it to the Selected list.
  8. For the report options, select Generate and automatically submit report to F5.
    If you want to manually submit a report, contact F5 Support.
  9. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the screen to create and submit the report to F5 Networks.
While BIG-IQ generates the report, the Submit button is not available (greyed out). When the report is successfully created and submitted to F5 Networks, it downloads to your local system and the Submit button becomes available. If the report fails to create properly, BIG-IQ displays an error message.
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