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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Software Upgrades
Manual Chapter
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How do I manage software for BIG-IP devices?

A key feature of BIG-IQ® is the ability to manage software images for multiple remote devices from one location. You can deploy software without having to log in to each individual BIG-IP® device.

There are three steps to managing software images for devices:

  1. Download the software image from F5 Networks.
  2. Upload the software image to BIG-IQ.
  3. Install the software image on a device in the BIG-IP Device inventory in one of the following two ways:
    • Managed Device Upgrade - use this process for installing a software image on managed BIG-IP devices running version 11.5.0 or later.
    • Legacy Device Upgrade - use this process for installing a software image on BIG-IP devices running versions 10.2.4 to 11.4.1.
Note: Before you can manage a legacy device running versions 10.2.0 - 11.4.1, you must upgrade the device to version 11.5.0 or later.

Downloading a software image from F5 Networks

Downloading a software image from F5 Networks is the first step to making it available to install on a managed device.

  1. Log in to the F5 Downloads site, https://downloads.f5.com, and click the Find a Download button.
  2. Click the name of the product line.
  3. Click the version of the product you want to download.
  4. Read the End User License Agreement, and click the I Accept button if you agree with the terms.
  5. Click the name of the file you want to download.
  6. Click the name of the closest geographical location to you.
    The screen refreshes to display the progress of your download.
After you download the software image, you can upload it to BIG-IQ®.

Uploading a software image to BIG-IQ

Before you can upload a software image to BIG-IQ®, you must download it from the https://downloads.f5.com site.

You upload a software image to make it available to deploy to managed BIG-IP® devices.

Important: To make sure the software image successfully uploads, don't log out of BIG-IQ or close the browser window until the software image name appears in the Software Image list.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT > Software Images .
  3. Click the Upload Image button.
  4. Click the Choose File button and go to the location to which you downloaded the image, and click the Open button to upload it to BIG-IQ.
  5. Click the Upload button.
    The screen refreshes to display the progress of the upload.
When BIG-IQ uploads the software, it verifies the image. This verification process can take several minutes. When BIG-IQ is finished uploading and verifying the image, the software image displays as Verified and is available for installation on a device.

Install a software image onto a managed device

Before you can install a software image onto a device, you must download it from the F5 Downloads site, https://downloads.f5.com, and upload it to the BIG-IQ® system. To apply a hotfix, you must have the base software image (as well as the hotfix) uploaded to, and verified by, BIG-IQ.

Note: You can deploy software images only to BIG-IP® devices running version 11.5.0 or later. Refer to the Upgrading a legacy device section for specific instructions about upgrading devices running version 10.2.0 - 11.4.1.

Install software images to your managed devices so the versions are up to date, and in sync. This helps you manage your network traffic more efficiently. When you install software images from BIG-IQ, you have the option to capture certain configuration details before the upgrade and compare them after you upgrade. You can also stage the software installation for deploying later, or pause after the software image is copied to the device and before the device reboots. While the software installs on the BIG-IP devices, you can continue doing other tasks on the BIG-IQ system.

Tip: Install a software image during a maintenance window when you are not directing traffic to the target BIG-IP device.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left click SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT > Software Installations .
  3. Click the Managed Device Install button towards the top of the screen.
  4. From the Software Image list, select the image you want to install.
  5. In the Name field, type a name to identify this installation.
  6. For the Options setting, you can enable one or more of the following options:
    • To create pre- and post- installation assessments so you can confirm that your upgrade is on track, select the check box next to:

      Pause for pre and post installation assessment.

    • To copy the image to this device, but wait until later to install it, select the check box next to:

      Pause after the software image is copied has been copied to devices.

    • To wait to reboot this device until after the software installation, select the check box next to:

      Pause for reboot confirmation.

    • For DNS sync group upgrades, select the check box next to:

      Install devices one by one,

      Note: Because the upgrades occur sequentially when you choose this option, when the installation finishes for the last device, all of the devices in the sync group are at the same software version, and the sync group can be brought back online.
  7. Click the Add/Remove Devices button to select devices to install this software on.
  8. If you are upgrading devices that belong to a DNS sync group, decide how you are going to choose devices for upgrade:
    • To use the sync group name, select Group/Cluster, and then select DNS Sync Group.
    • To use the host names for individual devices, select Device.
  9. From the Available list, select the device(s) you want to upgrade and move it to the Selected list.
    Important: If you select a device that belongs to a DNS sync group, you must also select all of the other members of the group, to continue the upgrade.
  10. When you're done adding devices to the Selected list, click the Apply button.
  11. To set the location for where BIG-IQ installs this software image:
    1. Click the Set Default Volume button.
    2. Select Volume Name.
    3. In the Volume Name field, type the name of the volume on which you want to install this image.
    4. Click the Apply button.
  12. Click the Run button to start the installation immediately.
    Alternatively, you can click the Save & Close button to save this job to deploy later.
  13. If you selected the option to run a pre and post installation assessment, BIG-IQ pauses so that you can:
    1. Click the Run Pre-assessment button.
    2. Select the configurations that you want BIG-IQ to review before upgrading.
    3. Click the OK button.
    4. Click the Continue button to run the assessment immediately, and start the installation.
  14. If you selected the option to pause before rebooting the BIG-IP device after installation, click the Continue button to reboot.
  15. To run a post-installation assessment, click the Run Post-assessment button.
  16. To compare the pre-upgrade assessment and the post-upgrade assessment, click the Compare Assessments button.

Upgrade the BIG-IP framework

To properly communicate, BIG-IQ® Centralized Management and managed BIG-IP® devices must be running a compatible version of its framework. If the frameworks are incompatible, BIG-IQ displays a yellow triangle next to the device in the BIG-IP Device inventory.

When you upgrade a BIG-IP device running version 11.5.x to another 11.5.x version, or to an 11.6.x version (for example, from version 11.5.3 to 11.5.4, or from version 11.5.3 to version 11.6.1), you must upgrade the REST framework so BIG-IQ can manage the device.

When you upgrade BIG-IQ from version 5.x to 5.3, you must also upgrade the REST framework for all BIG-IP devices (currently in the BIG-IP Device inventory) running a version prior to 12.0.0.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. Select the check box next to a device, click the More button, and select Upgrade Framework.
    A popup screen opens.
  3. Into the fields, type the required credentials, and click the Continue button.
    A REST Framework upgrade in progress message displays.
After the framework is updated, you can successfully manage this device.
Repeat these steps for each device.

Upgrade a legacy device (version 10.2.0 - 11.4.1)

Before you can upgrade a device, you must first download the software image from the F5 Downloads site, https://downloads.f5.com to the BIG-IQ® system. You need the root user name and password for the device to upgrade it.

A BIG-IP® device running versions 10.2.0 - 11.4.1 is considered a legacy device. You must upgrade a legacy device to version 11.5.0 or later before you can add it to the BIG-IP Device Inventory and start managing it from BIG-IQ.

If you were managing a device running versions 10.2.0 - 11.4.1 from a previous version of BIG-IQ, and upgraded to version 5.0, the device displays as impaired with a yellow triangle next to it in the BIG-IP Devices Inventory. To manage the legacy device, you must upgrade it to version 11.5.0 or later.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT > Legacy Upgrades .
  3. Click the Legacy Device Install button near the top of the screen.
  4. From the Software Image List, select the image you want to install on this legacy device.
  5. In the Device IP Address field, type the IP address for the legacy device that you want to upgrade.
  6. In the Admin User Name and Admin Password fields, type the administrator's user name and password for this device.
  7. In the Root User Name and Root Password fields, type the user name and password for the root user for this device.
  8. Click the Install button at the bottom of the screen to start the upgrade.
When the upgrade to version 11.5.0 or later is complete, you can discover the device from BIG-IQ.
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