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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 VMware hypervisor products

BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) is compatible with VMware ESX 4.0 and 4.1, and VMware ESXi 4.0, 4.1 update 1, and 5.0 hosts.

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

  • 2 x virtual CPUs
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 1 x VMXNET3 virtual network adapter or Flexible virtual network adapter (for management)
  • 1 x virtual VMXNET3 virtual network adapter (three are configured in the default deployment for dataplane network access)
  • 1 x 100 GB SCSI disk, by default
  • 1 x 50 GB SCSI optional secondary disk, which might be required as a datastore for specific BIG-IP modules. For information about datastore requirements, refer to the BIG-IP module's documentation.
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 VMware virtual machine guest environment permits a maximum of 10 virtual network adapters (either 10 VMXNET3 with 1 management + 9 dataplane or 1 Flexible management + 9 VMXNET3 dataplane).

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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