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Manual Chapter: Getting Started with BIG-IQ Virtual Edition
Manual Chapter
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What is BIG-IQ Virtual Edition?

BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) is a version of the BIG-IQ system that runs as a virtual machine in specifically-supported hypervisors. BIG-IQ VE emulates a hardware-based BIG-IQ system running a VE-compatible version of BIG-IQ software.

Note: The BIG-IQ VE product license determines the maximum allowed throughput rate. To view this rate limit, you can display the BIG-IQ VE licensing page within the BIG-IQ Configuration utility. Lab editions have no guarantee of throughput rate and are not supported for production environments.

About BIG-IQ VE compatibility with Hyper-V hypervisor products

BIG-IQ VE is compatible with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with the Hyper-V role enabled using Hyper-V Manager management software.

Important: Hypervisors other than those identified in this guide are not supported with this BIG-IQ version; any installation attempts on unsupported platforms might not be successful.

About the hypervisor guest definition requirements

The Hyper-V virtual machine guest environment for the BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE), at minimum, must include:

  • 2 x virtual CPUs (up to 9 are supported)
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 2 x virtual network adapters (minimum); more if configured with the high availability option
    Important: The number of virtual network adapters per virtual machine definition is determined by the hypervisor.
  • 1 x 100 GB IDE disk
Important: Not supplying at least the minimum virtual configuration limits will produce unexpected results.

For production licenses, F5 Networks suggests using the maximum configuration limits for the BIG-IQ VE system. Reservations can be less for lab editions. For each virtual machine, the Hyper-V virtual machine guest environment permits a maximum of 8 network adapters or 1 legacy virtual Network Adapter as a management port and 8 network adapters as dataplane ports. The Legacy Network Adapter is not supported for the dataplane. For peak performance, F5 recommends using only network adapters.

There are also some maximum configuration limits to consider for deploying a BIG-IQ VE virtual machine, such as:

  • CPU reservation can be up to 100 percent of the defined virtual machine hardware. For example, if the hypervisor has a 3 GHz core speed, the reservation of a virtual machine with 2 CPUs can be only 6 GHz or less.
  • To achieve licensing performance limits, all allocated RAM must be reserved.
  • For production environments, virtual disks should be deployed Thick (allocated up front). Thin deployments are acceptable for lab environments.
Important: There is no longer any limitation on the maximum amount of RAM supported on the hypervisor guest.
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