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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 product services (for example, BIG-IP® LTM®, BIG-IP APM®, and so forth), and is organized in a license pool. Each license pool contains a specific type of license. From BIG-IQ®Centralized Management, you can easily manage licenses in those pools for numerous devices. That means you don't have to log in to each individual BIG-IP VE device to activate, revoke, or reassign a license.

After you activate a pool license's registration key from BIG-IQ, you can assign the license to a managed, or unmanaged, BIG-IP VE device. If you assign a license from a license pool to a BIG-IP device and later decide you don't need that device licensed, you can revoke the license and assign it to another BIG-IP VE device. This process is similar to a library, where you loan (assign) a license to a BIG-IP device when it is required, and check the license back into the license pool on BIG-IQ (revoke it from the device) so it is available to assign to another BIG-IP VE. This flexible licensing model helps keep track of the licenses, and manage your operating costs.

Types of license pools

There are four types of license pools. You can assign, revoke, and reassign licenses from these pools as needed.

License Pool Type Description
Purchased Pool Prepaid pool of a specific number of concurrent license grants for a single BIG-IP® service, such as LTM. For example, a purchased pool of 25 licenses for BIG-IP® LTM® allows you to license up to 25 concurrent BIG-IP VE systems for LTM.
Utility Pool Designed for service providers, utility pools contain licenses for BIG-IP services you grant for a specific unit of measure (hourly, daily, monthly, or yearly). This means you can pay for licenses as needed with no limit to the number of licenses you can grant. From BIG-IQ®Centralized Management, you can automatically submit a license usage report. F5 uses that report to calculate billing based on the licensed services, duration of the license grant, and the unit-of-measure pricing. To purchase a utility pool license, you must have a master service agreement.
Volume Pool Prepaid subscription (1 and 3 year terms) for a fixed number of concurrent license grants for multiple BIG-IP services. To purchase a volume pool, you must have a master service agreement.
Registration Key Pool A pool of single standalone BIG-IP VE registration keys for one or more BIG-IP services. Because you are managing these registration keys from BIG-IQ Centralized Management (instead of directly from the BIG-IP device), you can revoke and reassign a license to BIG-IP VE systems without having to contact F5 to allow the license to be moved.

Options for activating a pool license registration key

Activating a registration key is the first step to getting a BIG-IP® VE pool license onto F5® BIG-IQ® Centralized Management so you can start managing it. You can activate a registration key in these ways:

  • Automatic - Use this procedure if BIG-IQ is connected to the public internet.
  • Manual - Use this procedure if BIG-IQ is not connected to the public internet. If you are manually activating a volume or utility license, you must activate each offering individually.
  • CCN - Use this procedure if 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.

Activate a purchased, volume, utility, or standalone registration key pool on a BIG-IQ connected to the internet (automatic method)

You get your base registration key from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email.

You can use this procedure to automatically contact the F5 license server for activation if F5® BIG-IQ® Centralized Management system is:

  • Connected to the public internet.
  • Able to access the activate.f5.com site.
  • Existing firewalls allow port 443 to pass through.

You activate a registration key for a purchased, volume, or utility pool license to get a BIG-IP license and make it available for assignment to BIG-IP® VEs in your network. When you activate a volume or pool license using this method, the BIG-IQ® Centralized Management system activates the associated offerings automatically.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Licenses .
  3. Click the Add License button.
  4. In the License Name field, type a name to identify this license.
  5. 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.
  6. For the Activation Method setting, select Automatic.
  7. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, click the Accept 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.

Activate a purchased registration key pool license on a BIG-IQ not connected to the internet (manual method)

You get your base registration key from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email.
Activate a registration key to get a BIG-IP pool license and make it available for assignment to BIG-IP® VEs in your network. If BIG-IQ® Centralized Management system is not connected to the public internet, you can use this procedure for activation, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Licenses .
  3. Click the Add License button.
  4. In the License Name field, type a name to identify this license.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Select and copy the text displayed in the Device Dossier field.
  8. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  9. Click the Activate License link.
  10. 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.
  11. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, click the Accept button at the bottom of the screen.
  12. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  13. 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.

Activate a volume or utility pool license on a BIG-IQ not connected to the internet (manual method)

You get your base registration key from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email.

You activate a registration key to get a pool license to make it available for assignment to BIG-IP® VEs in your network. If the BIG-IQ® Centralized Management you're activating a license on is not connected to the public internet, you can activate the registration key using this manual procedure, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server.

Volume and utility pool licenses contain offerings. Offerings are specific to the services based on F5 Networks' Good, Better, Best licensing structure. If you are manually contacting the F5 Networks license server to activate those registration keys, you must activate each associated offering individually.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT.
  3. Click the Add License button.
  4. In the License Name field, type a name to identify this license.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Select and copy the text displayed in the Device Dossier field.
  8. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  9. Click the Activate License link.
  10. 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.
  11. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, click the Accept button at the bottom of the screen.
  12. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  13. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
    The license displays in the list as Pending.
  14. Click the name of the license.
  15. Click the name of a pending offering.
  16. Copy the dossier.
  17. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  18. Click the Activate License link.
  19. 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.
  20. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  21. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
  22. 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.

Create a registration key pool for standalone BIG-IP VE licenses

You create a registration key pool for standalone licenses to help you manage a group of standalone BIG-IP® VE registration keys.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ Centralized Management with your admin user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  3. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Licenses .
  4. Click the New RegKey Pool button.
  5. In the Name field, type a name to identify this pool.
  6. In the Description field, type an optional description for this pool.
The new standalone license key pool displays in the Licenses list.
You can now add registration keys to this pool.

Activate a standalone registration key on a BIG-IQ connected to the internet (automatic method)

You must have your base registration key before you can activate it. You get this from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email. After you create a standalone registration key pool, you can add and activate registration keys for that pool.

You can automatically contact the F5 license server for activation if the F5® BIG-IQ® Centralized Management system meets these criteria:

  • Is connected to the public internet.
  • Is able to access the activate.f5.com site.
  • Its existing firewalls allow port 443 to pass through.

You add and activate standalone registration keys to a registration key pool to make them available for assignment to BIG-IP® VE devices from BIG-IQ Centralized Management. This gives you the flexibility to assign and revoke licenses as needed for your managed devices, without requiring you to contact F5.

Note: You cannot re-activate (or import) registration keys from currently-active BIG-IP VE licenses. For devices in your network already licensed, contact F5 Support for assistance in transferring them to BIG-IQ for license management.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ Centralized Management with your admin user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  3. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Licenses .
  4. Click on the name of the registration key pool you want to activate a license for.
  5. Click the Add RegKey Pool button.
  6. In the Registration Key field, type or paste the registration key, and into the Add-on Keys field, type or paste an associated add-on keys.
  7. For the Activation Method setting, select Automatic.
  8. Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.
  9. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, click the Accept 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.

Activate a standalone registration key on a BIG-IQ not connected to the internet (manual method)

You must have your base registration key before you can activate it. You get this from F5 Networks, typically in the form of an email. After you create a standalone registration key pool, you can add and activate registration keys for that pool.

You add and activate standalone registration keys to a registration key pool to make them available for assignment to BIG-IP® VE devices from F5® BIG-IQ® Centralized Management. This gives you the flexibility to assign and revoke licenses as needed for your managed devices, without requiring you to contact F5. If your BIG-IQ system is not connected to the public internet, you can activate the registration key using this manual procedure, rather than automatically contacting the F5 license server.

Note: You cannot re-activate (or import) registration keys from currently-active BIG-IP VE licenses. For devices in your network already licensed, contact F5 Support for assistance in transferring them to BIG-IQ for license management.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ Centralized Management with your admin user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  3. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Licenses .
  4. Click the Add RegKey Pool button.
  5. In the Registration Key field, type or paste the registration key, and into the Add-on Keys field, type or paste an associated add-on keys.
  6. For the Activation Method setting, select Manual.
  7. Select and copy the dossier.
  8. Click the Access F5 manual activation web portal link.
    The F5 Product Licensing site opens.
  9. 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.
  10. Click the Activate License link.
  11. Review the EULA, and if you agree with the terms, click the Accept button at the bottom of the screen.
  12. Select the license and copy and paste it into the License Text field on BIG-IQ.
  13. 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.

Assign, revoke, and change a license or license pool

Once you have activated a license on F5® BIG-IQ®Centralized Management, you can assign and revoke those licenses for your managed and unmanaged BIG-IP® VE devices in your network.

Note: Unmanaged devices are devices that are located in your network, but that are not in the BIG-IQ Centralized Management system's BIG-IP Inventory list.

Assign a utility or volume pool license to a BIG-IP VE device

After you have activated a utility or volume pool license's registration key, you can assign it to a BIG-IP® VE device.

To assign a license to an unmanaged device in your network, you must have the device's admin user name and password.

You assign a pool license to a BIG-IP VE device to authorize the device to run F5 services that support your applications
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Assignments .
  3. Click the name of the license you want to assign to a device.
  4. For utility or a volume license, click the Offering name.
  5. Click the License Devices button.
  6. For a managed devices, from the Devices list, select the device you want to license and move it to the Member Devices list.
  7. For unmanaged devices (devices in your network, but you are not managing from BIG-IQ), type the device's address, user name, and password in the Unmanaged Devices section.
  8. Click the Assign button at the bottom of the screen.

Revoke a utility or volume pool license from a BIG-IP VE device

Before you can revoke a utility or volume pool 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. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Assignments .
  3. Select the check box next to the device you want to remove a license from.
  4. For an unmanaged device, you must type the admin user name and password in the popup screen.
  5. Click the Revoke button at the bottom of the screen.
This license is now available for re-assignment to another BIG-IP VE device.

Change a pool license for a BIG-IP VE device

You must have activated and assigned a pool license to a BIG-IP® VE device before you can change the license.
F5®BIG-IQ® Centralized Management makes it easy to change a license offering on a BIG-IP VE as traffic increases, requirements for different services come up, or if you need to change the unit of measure for billing purposes for a utility pool license.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Assignments .
  3. Select the check box next to the the name of the device you want to change a license for.
  4. Towards the top of the screen, click the Change License button.
  5. If this is an unmanaged device, into the Username and Password fields, type the BIG-IP system's administrator's user name and password.
    Unmanaged devices are devices that are located in your network, but are not in the BIG-IQ system's BIG-IP Inventory list. These fields do not display if this is a managed device.
  6. In the New Assignment area, from the License Type list, select the type of license pool you want to select another license from.
  7. From License list, select the license you want to assign to this device.
  8. If you selected a Volume or Utility pool for the License Type, select the Offering and Unit of Measure as well.
  9. Click the Assign button at the bottom of the screen.

Pool license usage reports

Pool license usage reports give you insight into how you're using your pool licenses. You can run this report for both currently-assigned and previously-assigned pool licenses. These reports can help you budget for future license purchases. If you're using a utility license, a utility usage report provides F5 Networks the information it needs to accurately bill for your license usage.

Create an active usage report to see how the BIG-IP VE devices are currently licensed

You can create a usage report for licenses you have assigned to BIG-IP® VE devices.
Create an Active Usage report to see details about how the BIG-IP devices are currently licensed. This report is available in a downloadable CSV format to make it easy for you to reformat and share the information in any way you want.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Assignments .
  3. Click the Report button at the top of the screen.
  4. For the Type setting, select Active Report.
  5. Select a license type from the list to narrow the results to that license type.
  6. 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.
  7. Click the Download button at the bottom of the screen to generate the report.

Create a historical usage report to see how the BIG-IP VE devices were licensed during a specific time period

You can create an historical usage report only for licenses that you have assigned to BIG-IP® VE devices.
You create an Historical Report to see how you've been using your licenses during a specific time period. This can help you plan and budget for future resources. This report is available in a downloadable CSV format to make it easy for you to reformat and share the information in any way you want.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Assignments .
  3. Click the Report button at the top of the screen.
  4. For the Type setting, select Historical Report.
  5. Select a license type from the list to narrow the results to that license type.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Click the Download button and select an option to open the file, or save the file.

Create a utility pool license usage report and submit it to F5 Networks 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 F5®BIG-IQ® Centralized Management cannot access api.f5.com or pass traffic through port 443, you must manually submit the report to F5 Networks, instead of submitting automatically. For information about how to manually submit the report, contact F5 Support.

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

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. Reports that follow 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 and 31-Jan-2016, inclusive.
  • If you generate another report on 1-Apr-2016, the report includes all usage between 1-Feb-2016 and 31-Mar-2016, inclusive.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click LICENSE MANAGEMENT > Assignments .
  3. Click the Report button at the top of the screen.
  4. For the Type setting, select Utility Billing Report.
  5. 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.
  6. For the report options, select Generate and automatically submit report to F5.
    If you want to manually submit a report, contact F5 Support.
  7. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the screen to create and submit the report to F5 Networks.
While BIG-IQ Centralized Management 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, the system displays an error message.
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