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Manual Chapter: Deploying BIG-IQ Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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About VE Community Xen deployment

To deploy the BIG-IQ® Virtual Edition (VE) system on Community Xen, you perform these tasks:

  • Verify the host machine requirements.
  • Deploy a BIG-IQ® system as a virtual machine.
  • Deploy a BIG-IP® system.
  • After you have deployed the virtual machines, log in to the BIG-IQ VE system and run the Setup utility. Using the Setup utility, you perform basic network configuration tasks, such as assigning VLANs to interfaces.
  • Configure secure communication between the BIG-IQ system and the BIG-IP device.

Host machine requirements and recommendations

To successfully deploy and run the BIG-IQ® VE system, the host system must satisfy minimum requirements.

The host system must include these elements:

  • CentOS, Debian, Fedora, RHEL, or Ubuntu with the Community Xen package. The Virtual Edition and Supported Hypervisors Matrix, published on the AskF5™ web site, http://support.f5.com identifies the Linux versions that are supported.

Deploying the BIG-IQ VE virtual machine

The primary task in deploying BIG-IQ® VE on the open source Community Xen environment is creating and executing a configuration file that sets up most of what you need to get up and running.

Important: Do not modify the configuration of the Community Xen guest environment with settings less powerful than the ones recommended in this document. This includes the settings for the CPU, RAM, and network adapters. Doing so might produce unexpected results.
  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page (https://downloads.f5.com).
  2. Download the BIG-IQ Cloud 1.X Virtual Edition file package.
    There are two options to choose from.
    Option Description
    Large: the file name ends in .LARGE - qcow2.zip The large option creates a 500GB disk footprint at installation. This choice supports larger log files required for data analytics.
    Normal: the file name ends in .qcow2.zip The standard option creates a 95GB disk footprint at installation. This choice should be the normal working BIG-IQ installation unless data analytics functionality is required.
  3. Extract the file from the Zip archive and save it where your qcow2 files reside on the Community Xen server.
  4. Use VNC to access the Community Xen server, and then convert the qcow2 image to the raw format necessary for Community Xen. You can use the following syntax to convert the image.
    # qemu-img convert <qcow_file_name>.qcow2 <raw_file_name>.raw
  5. Generate a MAC address for the network interface card associated with the management interface.
    Important: Be sure that the MAC address you create starts with the prefix 00:16:3e:.
    To create this address, you can use a tool such as MAC Address Generator (http://www.miniwebtool.com/mac-address-generator/).
  6. Use an editor to create a BIG-IQ VM definition file that specifies the required parameters for your VM.
    # vi /etc/xen/<config_file_name>
    Important: The sample configuration file provided here serves only as an example of the kinds of parameters you need to specify for your virtual machine. The actual file that you create will likely contain different parameters and settings.
                        name = <config_file_name>
                        maxmem = 4096
                        memory = 4096
                        vcpus = 2
                        builder = "hvm"
                        boot = "c"
                        pae = 1
                        acpi = 1
                        apic = 1
                        hpet = 1
                        localtime = 0
                        on_poweroff = "destroy"
                        on_reboot = "restart"
                        on_crash = "restart"
                        sdl = 0
                        vnc = 1
                        vncunused = 1
                        keymap = "en-us"
                        disk = [ "file:/mnt/xen-bender/bigip/<raw_file_name.raw>,hda,w" ]
                        vif = [ "mac=00:16:<mgmt_interface_mac>,bridge=mgmtbr,script=vif-bridge",
                        "mac=00:16:3e:<external_interface_mac>,bridge=ext_bridge,script=vif-bridge",
                        "mac=00:16:3e:<internal_interface_mac>,bridge=int_bridge,script=vif-bridge",]
                        parallel = "none"
                        serial = "pty"
                        #pci = [ '05:10.0', '05:10.1' ]
                        
    Important: The last line of the example configuration file contains an optional entry that specifies the IDs for PCI external and internal network interface cards (NIC). This optional entry is required for SR-IOV support. Naturally, if you use this entry, you omit the external and internal bridges specified in the vif section.
    Once you have perfected and saved your configuration file, you are ready to create the BIG-IQ VM,
  7. Run the configuration file using an open source tool such as xm.
    xm create /etc/xen/<config_file_name>
    The console should indicate a successful start up by displaying something similar to this: Started domain <config_file_name>(id=444).
  8. Allow some time for the boot-up process; then, you should be able to connect to the BIG-IQ console.
    # xm console <config_file_name>

Powering on the virtual machine

You must power on the virtual machine before you can begin assigning IP addresses.

    Assigning a management IP address to a virtual machine

    The virtual machine needs an IP address assigned to its virtual management port.
    Tip: The default configuration for new deployments and installations is for DHCP to acquire the management port IP address.
    1. At the password prompt, type default.
    2. Type config and press Enter.
      The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.
    3. Click OK.
    4. If you want DHCP to automatically assign an address for the management port, select Yes. Otherwise, select No and follow the instructions for manually assigning an IP address and netmask for the management port.
    Tip: F5 Networks® highly recommends that you specify a default route for the virtual management port, but it is not required for operation of the virtual machine.
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