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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.

Overview: BIG-IQ system

The BIG-IQ™ system is a centralized tool that streamlines the management of devices in your network. The functionality offered is dependent on your software license.

Administrators use BIG-IQ Cloud to provide cloud tenants self-service access to shared computing resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services. Cloud resources can be private or public, depending on the customer's requirements. Each tenant has restricted and dedicated access to cloud resources based on a specific user account or tenant role, ensuring that tenants have access only to their own resources. Cloud resources are easily expanded and reallocated as needed, providing flexible resource balancing.

Firewall managers use BIG-IQ Security to manage security firewalls for multiple devices from one central location. Firewall management includes discovering, editing, and deploying firewall configurations, as well as consolidating shared firewall objects. Once a firewall device is designated for central management, it is no longer managed locally unless there is an exceptional need.

Additional resources and documentation for BIG-IQ Cloud

You can access all of the following BIG-IQ system documentation from the AskF5 Knowledge Base located at

Document Description
BIG-IQ Systems: Getting Started Guides BIG-IQ Virtual Edition (VE) runs as a guest in a virtual environment using supported hypervisors. Each of these guides is specific to one of the hypervisor environments supported for the BIG-IQ system. The guides provide you with the basic concepts and tasks required to set up your virtual environment and perform initial configuration tasks required to start using the BIG-IQ system.
BIG-IQ Systems: Cloud Management This guide contains information to help you manage cloud resources, applications, and tenants.
Release notes Release notes contain information about the current software release, including a list of associated documentation, a summary of new features, enhancements, fixes, known issues, and available workarounds.
Solutions and Tech Notes Solutions are responses and resolutions to known issues. Tech Notes provide additional configuration instructions and how-to information.

About BIG-IQ VE compatibility with vCloud Director hypervisor products

BIG-IQ™ Virtual Edition (VE) is compatible with vCloud Director 1.5 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 vCloud Director 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 vCloud Director 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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