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Manual Chapter: Software Download Licensing and Upgrades
Manual Chapter
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About downloading software, licensing, and upgrading the BIG-IQ system

BIG-IQ® system runs as a virtual machine in specifically-supported hypervisors or on the BIG-IQ 7000 series platform. After you set up your virtual environment or your platform, you can download the BIG-IQ software, and then license the BIG-IQ system. You initiate the license activation process with the base registration key.

The base registration key is a character string that the license server uses to verify the functionality that you are entitled to license. If the system has access to the internet, you select an option to automatically contact the F5 license server and activate the license. If the system is not connected to the internet, you can manually retrieve the activation key from a system that is connected to the internet, and transfer it to the BIG-IQ system.

Downloading a software image from F5 Networks

Downloading a software image is the first step to making it available for new installations, upgrades, or hot fixes.

  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 product version name you want to download.
  4. Read the End User Software License and click the I Accept button if you agree with the terms.
  5. Click the file name of the file you want to download.
  6. Click the name of the closest geographical location to you.
    The software image downloads to your local system
The software image is now available for you to upload to the BIG-IQ system and make it available for managed devices.

Uploading a software image to the BIG-IQ system

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

Upload a software image to make it available for new installations, upgrades, or hot fixes.

  1. Log in to BIG-IQ Device with the administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Provisioning.
  3. Hover over the Images panel, and click the + icon when it appears, and then click New Software Image.
  4. Click the Choose File button and navigate to the location to which you downloaded the image, and click it to upload it to BIG-IQ Device.
    The software image appears in the Images panel.
The software image is now available for you to deploy.

Installing BIG-IQ System software

Before you perform an initial BIG-IQ® System software installation, you must perform the following tasks:

  • Activate, or reactivate, your current license to ensure that you have a valid service check date.
  • Download the ISO file for the upgrade from https://downloads.f5.com and upload it to the BIG-IQ system's Images panel.
Use this procedure when you are ready to perform an initial BIG-IQ System software installation or upgrade to a more recent software version.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ System with your administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Configuration.
  3. On the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand Management Group or HA Peer Group by clicking the arrow next to it.
  4. Click the gear icon next to localhost, and then click Properties.
  5. Click Software Update.
  6. Click the Update button.
  7. From the Software Image list, select the new image.
  8. From the Install Location list, select the volume to which you want to install the image.
  9. For the Options setting, select one:
    • To automatically reboot the BIG-IQ System to the specified volume immediately after the software is installed, select Reboot into Target Volume.
    • To manually reboot the BIG-IQ System at another time from the System > Properties screen, select Set Default Boot Location.
  10. Click the Apply button.
BIG-IQ System installs the selected software. For upgrades, BIG-IQ System also rolls forward the UCS file.

Automatic license activation

You must have a base registration key to license the BIG-IQ® system. If you do not have a base registration key, contact the F5 Networks sales group (http://www.f5.com).
If the BIG-IQ® system is connected to the public internet, you can use this procedure to activate its license.
  1. Using a browser on which you have configured the management interface, type https://<varname><management_IP_address><varname> where <management_IP_address> is the address you specified for device management.
    This is the IP address that the BIG-IQ system uses to communicate with its managed devices.
  2. Log in to BIG-IQ System with the default user name admin and password admin.
  3. In the Base Registration Key field, type or paste the BIG-IQ registration key.
  4. In the Add-on Keys field, paste any additional license key you have.
  5. For the Activation Method setting, select Automatic, and click the Activate button.
    The License Agreement displays.
  6. To accept the License Agreement, click the Agree button.
  7. Click User Administration.
  8. In the Old Password fields, type the default admin and root passwords, and then type a new password in the Password and Confirm Password fields.
  9. Click Properties.
  10. In the Host Name field, type a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) for the system.
    The FQDN can consist of letters and numbers, as well as the characters underscore ( _ ), dash ( - ), or period ( . ).
  11. Click the Save button to save your configuration.

Manual license activation

You must have a base registration key to license the BIG-IQ® system. If you do not have a base registration key, contact the F5 Networks sales group (http://www.f5.com).
If the BIG-IQ® system is not connected to the public internet, this procedure can activate its license.
  1. Using a browser on which you have configured the management interface, type https://<varname><management_IP_address><varname> where <management_IP_address> is the address you specified for device management.
    This is the IP address that the BIG-IQ system uses to communicate with its managed devices.
  2. Log in to BIG-IQ System with the default user name admin and password admin.
  3. In the Base Registration Key field, type or paste the BIG-IQ registration key.
  4. In the Add-on Keys field, paste any additional license key you have.
  5. 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.
  6. Copy the text displayed in the Device Dossier field, and click the Click here to access F5 Licensing Server link.
    Alternatively, you can navigate to the F5 license activation portal at https://activate.f5.com/license/.
  7. Click Activate License.
    The Activate F5 Product page opens.
  8. Paste the dossier into the Enter your dossier field, and then click the Next button.
    After a pause, the license key text will display.
  9. Copy the license key.
  10. In the License Text field on the BIG-IQ Device, paste the license key text.
  11. Click User Administration.
  12. In the Old Password fields, type the default admin and root passwords, and then type a new password in the Password and Confirm Password fields.
  13. Click Properties.
  14. In the Host Name field, type a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) for the system.
    The FQDN can consist of letters and numbers, as well as the characters underscore ( _ ), dash ( - ), or period ( . ).
  15. Click the Save button to save your configuration.

About the upgrade process for BIG-IQ systems configured in a high availability (HA) configuration

When a new version of the BIG-IQ software is available, you can upgrade. The upgrade process involves installing the new version of the software, booting into that new version, and making any other changes that might be required.

Note: BIG-IQ® Security version 4.6.0 supports upgrades only from version 4.4.0 and higher. This restriction does not apply for other BIG-IQ functionality.

When the BIG-IQ system is in a high availability (HA), you must also perform the following procedures:

  1. Delete peer BIG-IQ systems in a HA configuration.
  2. Upgrade each BIG-IQ system.
  3. Re-establish the HA configuration.

Separating an HA configuration running version 4.3 software

The upgrade process disconnects the high availability (HA) redundant system configuration during upgrade and reinstates the configuration again as the upgrade is completed. This procedure separates an HA configuration running version 4.3 software.
  1. Separate the HA configuration by removing the standby device from the device group.
    1. Log in to the active BIG-IQ device and at the top-right corner of the BIG-IQ Security screen, select System and Overview.
      The Localhost screen opens.
    2. On the left, click High Availability.
      The screen displays the configuration for the Peer device (the standby node).
    3. Click the Delete button at the top-right corner of the Localhost screen.
      A pop-up screen appears to confirm that you want to remove the standby device from the device group.
    4. Click the Remove button to confirm.
    5. Watch the HA-status indicator at the top-left corner of the screen. When the HA configuration is separated, the indicator changes from Active (Primary) to Standalone.
    The status indicator at the top-left of the screen now reports Standalone on both BIG-IQ devices.
  2. Use a secure copy method to copy the image (ISO) to the /shared/images directory on both devices formerly in the HA configuration.
    You can use SCP, FTP, SFTP or any other means of securely transferring ISOs between hosts.
    scp <big-iq-iso-name> root@<big-iq-standby-node-url>:/shared/images/.
Both devices are now standalone and have the same ISO file on them.

Separating an HA configuration running version 4.4 software

The upgrade process disconnects the HA redundant system configuration during upgrade and reinstates the configuration again as the upgrade is completed. This procedure separates an HA configuration running version 4.4 software.
  1. Separate the HA configuration by removing the standby device from the management group.
    1. Log in to the active BIG-IQ device, and from the BIG-IQ option list at upper left, select System.
    2. In the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand Management Group.
    3. Select the standby device.
    4. Hover over the gear icon, click it and select Properties.
      The Localhost screen opens.
    5. In the expanded screen, click Remove.
    The status indicator at the top-left of the screen now reports Standalone on both BIG-IQ devices.
  2. Use a secure copy method to copy the image (ISO) to the /shared/images directory on both devices formerly in the HA configuration.
    You can use SCP, FTP, SFTP or any other means of securely transferring ISOs between hosts.
    scp <big-iq-iso-name> root@<big-iq-standby-node-url>:/shared/images/.
Both devices are now standalone and have the same ISO file on them.

Separating an HA configuration running version 4.5 software

The upgrade process disconnects the HA redundant system configuration during upgrade and reinstates the configuration again as the upgrade is completed. This procedure separates an HA configuration running version 4.5 software.
  1. Separate the HA configuration by removing the standby device from the management group.
    1. Log in to the active BIG-IQ device, and from the BIG-IQ option list at upper left, select System and click Configuration.
    2. In the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand HA Peer Group.
    3. For the standby device, hover over the gear icon, click it, and select Properties.
      The Properties screen for that device opens.
    4. Near the top right of the Properties screen, click Remove.
      A dialog box opens prompting you to confirm that you want to remove the device from this group.
    5. Click Delete in the dialog box to confirm the removal.
    The status indicator at the top-left of the screen now reports Standalone on both BIG-IQ devices.
  2. Use a secure copy method to copy the image (ISO) to the /shared/images directory on both devices formerly in the HA configuration.
    You can use SCP, FTP, SFTP or any other means of securely transferring ISOs between hosts.
    scp <big-iq-iso-name> root@<big-iq-standby-node-url>:/shared/images/.
Both devices are now standalone and have the same ISO file on them.

Upgrading BIG-IQ system (system interface)

After you have disconnected the HA redundant system configuration, you need to upgrade BIG-IQ® through the system user interface.
  1. This step applies to BIG-IQ devices running version 4.3 software; skip this step if your devices are running version 4.4 or 4.5 software, or if you use are using BIG-IQ Security which does not support upgrading from version 4.3. For version 4.3, repeat these substeps on both devices to upgrade the image on each.
    Note: BIG-IQ Security only supports upgrading from version 4.4 or 4.5 to version 4.6. Upgrading BIG-IQ Security from version 4.3 is not supported.
    1. Log in to the active BIG-IQ device and at the top-right corner of the screen, select System and Overview.
      The Localhost screen opens.
    2. Select Software Update from the options on the left.
      Information about the current software displays in the viewing area.
    3. From the Software Image list, select the image to use for the update. This is the image you downloaded.
    4. From the Install Location list, select the location to use for the update.
    5. For the Option setting, select both options.
    6. Click the Apply button in the lower-right corner of the panel.
      A pop-up screen prompts you to confirm that you want to reboot the device.
    7. Click the OK button in the pop-up screen.
      The BIG-IQ system loads the new software and reboots.
  2. This step applies to devices running version 4.4 software; skip this step if your devices are running version 4.3 or 4.5 software. For version 4.4, repeat these substeps on both devices to upgrade the image on each.
    1. On the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand Management Group.
    2. Hover over the gear icon, then click it and select Properties.
    3. Click Software Update.
    4. Click Update.
    5. From the Software Image list, select the image to use for the update. This is the image you downloaded.
    6. From the Install Location list, select the location to use for the update.
    7. For the Options setting, click Reboot After Live Install.
  3. This step applies to devices running version 4.5 software; skip this step if your devices are running version 4.3 or 4.4 software. For version 4.5, repeat these substeps on both devices to upgrade the image on each.
    1. Log in to the active BIG-IQ System as administrator, and click Configuration.
    2. On the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand HA Peer Group.
    3. Hover over the localhost device, click the gear icon, and select Properties.
    4. Click Software Update.
    5. Click Update.
    6. From the Software Image list, select the image to use for the update. This is the image you downloaded.
    7. From the Install Location list, select the location to use for the update.
    8. For the Options setting, click Reboot After Live Install.
  4. For both devices, verify that the image is booted on the correct volume using the command tmsh show sys software.
  5. On the BIG-IQ System user interface, re-establish the HA redundant system configuration.
    When re-establishing the HA configuration, the source device copies its common configuration data to the target device. The source device is the device where you start the process of re-instating the HA configuration. Select a source device whose configuration data is the most up-to-date.
    1. On the device you have selected to be the Primary/Active device, navigate to the BIG-IQ Systems panel, and hover over the gear icon for the HA Peer Group.
    2. Click Add Device.
      The New Device screen opens.
    3. Enter the HA Communication Address of the peer device, and administrator credentials for the secondary BIG-IQ device.
    4. For Network Security configurations, select Active-Standby as the High Availability Mode.
    5. Click the Add button.
    6. Affirm the confirmation to start the re-instatement process.
  6. On the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand the HA Peer Group and monitor the status changes for the newly-added device.
    1. Monitor the status updates in the new device entry under the management group.
    2. Monitor the device/cluster status indicator at the top left of the screen.
      When the indicator changes to Active (Primary) the reinstatement of the redundant system configuration has completed successfully.
  7. Visually examine the configuration of both devices to verify that they are synchronized.
Each device has been upgraded and reinstated into a redundant system configuration. The upgrade is complete.
After the upgrade, to prevent potential BIG-IQ system user interface issues, clear the cache in the web browser you use to access the BIG-IQ system.

About the upgrade process for a standalone BIG-IQ system

When a new version of the BIG-IQ software is available, you can upgrade. The upgrade process involves installing the new version of the software, booting into that new version, and making any other changes that might be required.

Note: For BIG-IQ® Security version 4.6.0 supports upgrades only from version 4.3.0 and higher. This restriction does not apply for other BIG-IQ functionality.

Upgrading the software for a standalone BIG-IQ system

Before you perform an upgrade for the BIG-IQ® system software, you must perform the following tasks:

  • Reactivate your current license to ensure that you have a valid service check date.
  • Download the ISO file for the upgrade from https://downloads.f5.com and upload it to the BIG-IQ system's Images panel.
  • Create a backup of the user configuration set (UCS), locate it in the /var/local/ucs directory on the source installation location, and copy the UCS file to another system for safe keeping.
Use this procedure when you are ready to perform an initial BIG-IQ System software installation or upgrade to a more recent software version.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ System with your administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Configuration.
  3. On the BIG-IQ Systems panel, expand Management Group or HA Peer Group by clicking the arrow next to it.
  4. Click the gear icon next to localhost, and then click Properties.
  5. Click Software Update.
  6. Click the Update button.
  7. From the Software Image list, select the new image.
  8. From the Install Location list, select the volume to which you want to install the image.
  9. For the Options setting, select one:
    • To automatically reboot the BIG-IQ System to the specified volume immediately after the software is installed, select Reboot into Target Volume.
    • To manually reboot the BIG-IQ System at another time from the System > Properties screen, select Set Default Boot Location.
  10. Click the Apply button.
BIG-IQ System installs the selected software. For upgrades, BIG-IQ System also rolls forward the UCS file.
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