Applies To:

Show Versions Show Versions

Manual Chapter: Integrating VMware
Manual Chapter
Table of Contents   |   << Previous Chapter   |   Next Chapter >>

About integrating VMware NSX with a BIG-IP VE

BIG-IQ Cloud provides you with the tools to manage VMware resources required to deliver highly available applications. Management tasks include discovering and creating BIG-IP devices running in the private cloud. You can use this feature to accommodate seasonal traffic fluctuations by periodically adding and subtracting devices and application servers as needed. Additionally, you can provide NSX users access to self-deployable iApps through VMware integration.

The tasks you perform to set up and configure BIG-IQ devices to manage BIG-IP system traffic in a VMware NSX version 6.1 network, use both the BIG-IQ software user interface and the VMware NSX user interface. There is also a task for which you can have greater control and flexibility using a REST API call to the NSX API. This optional task is included at the end of the task sequence.

In most production environments, data plane and control plane traffic are segregated for security reasons. To accomplish this topology, the network management for all devices is on the control plane subnet.

There are several setup tasks that you must perform before you can begin to configure the BIG-IQ VMware-NSX integration to a BIG-IP VE device.

Important: For the most current instructions for performing these steps, refer to the VMware web site
  • You must have installed a BIG-IQ system with a management network subnet. This subnet will be used for provisioning and discovering BIG-IP devices. This subnet must be configured to include DHCP services and the DHCP configuration must include a default gateway.
  • The DHCP IP pool must not include the IP address This address is reserved for special use on the BIG-IP device.
  • You must set up VMware NSX Manager and VMware vCenter to share the management network subnet that you configured for the BIG-IQ system. When the BIG-IP VE that you configure boots for the first time, it attaches to this shared network.
  • You must configure the following objects in VMware vSphere Web Client before you can perform the VMware NSX integration.
    • A data center
    • A data store for your data center
    • A cluster

Provisioning a BIG-IP VE on NSX version 6.1

BIG-IQ software's NSX integration supports provisioning of a BIG-IP VE instance to provide load-balancing services in the context of an NSX Edge.

Important: You perform the following step-sequence using the vSphere Web Client user interface. At time of release, these steps accurately describe the VMware user interface. For the most current instructions for performing these steps, refer to the VMware web site
  1. In the vSphere web client user interface, create a new NSX Edge in an undeployed state. If you specify a tenant ID when you create the Edge, BIG-IQ software will create a tenant with that ID when it creates the BIG-IP VE. Make sure that the NSX Edge you create identifies the Cluster/Resource Pool and the Datastore, but does not identify any interfaces. Otherwise, follow your standard practice for NSX Edge creation.
  2. For the just created NSX Edge, navigate to the Manage tab, and then select the Load Balancer tab. Then click the Edit button. The Edit Load balancer global configuration window displays.
  3. Select both Enable Load Balancer and Enable Service Insertion.
  4. For the Service Definition, select the name of the connector you created for NSX in a previous step.
  5. For the Service Configuration, select F5 ADC - Make a BIG-IP VE.
  6. Expand Typed Service Configuration Parameters and then determine which of these optional settings you want to specify.
    1. In the Value field next to F5-BIG-IP-VE key, type yes.
    2. If you want to specify a fully qualified host name of the node template to describe the kind of BIG-IP VE this template creates, in the Value field next to F5-BIG-IP-VE-FQ-HOST-NAME key, type that name in the value box next to Name of BIG-IP node template?.
      Tip: This step is optional. If you do not specify a host name, the template uses the default host name.
    3. Specify the name of the node template to describe the kind of BIG-IP VE this template creates; type that name in the Value field next to F5-BIG-IP-VE-OVF-NAME key.
      Tip: If you have already created a node template, than specify the name of it here. If you are creating a node template, then specify a name to go along with the URL that you specify in the next step.
    4. In the Value field next to the F5-BIG-IP-VE-OVF-URL key, type in the URL that describes the location of the OVF file that the BIG-IQ device uses to create the BIG-IP VE.
      Tip: This step is optional. You only need to specify the URL if the node template has not already been created.
      Tip: You can also specify this value using an API call.
    5. If you want to specify an admin password so that you can easily log in as administrator to this BIG-IP VE from NSX, type the password in the Value field next to the F5-BIG-IP-VE-ADMIN-PASSWORD key.
      Tip: If you choose to let the BIG-IQ system generate the password, you can view the password in the BIG-IQ device Servers panel.
      Tip: When the BIG-IP VE is initially provisioned, root login is disabled. To access the VE using root login, you must log in as admin and set the root password.
  7. Expand Service Instance Runtime Configuration, and then use the controls to specify settings for up to four virtual network interface controllers (vNICs). For each of the vNICs you specify, the IP Allocation Mode must be IP Pool.
    • The first required vNIC (vNIC0) provides the DHCP-enabled control plane network on which the BIG-IP VE boots. Choose the name specified previously that corresponds to the IP pool
    • The next required vNIC (vNIC1) you specify provides the external data network on which the BIG-IP device creates virtual servers. Choose the name specified previously that corresponds to the IP pool
    • The first optional vNIC you specify provides the internal data network on which load-balanced pool members are located. Choose the name specified previously that corresponds to the IP pool
    • The next optional vNIC you specify provides the data plane network on which the BIG-IQ device discovers and manages BIG-IP devices. Choose the name specified previously that corresponds to the IP pool
  8. Click OKto close the Edit Load balancer global configuration dialog box. VMware NSX configures the Edge Gateway based on the settings you specified.
When you finish editing an Edge with the settings described in this task, BIG-IQ software responds by creating and licensing the BIG-IP VE.

Using the API to define an NSX runtime deployment specification

VMware NSX uses a Runtime Deployment to specify parameters for BIG-IP virtual devices provisioned using a BIG-IQ software connection. Node templates simplify the task of specifying the parameters for the Runtime Deployment. This task uses the Create node template API to create a node template. The BIG-IQ system and NSX integration uses this template when it provisions new BIG-IP virtual devices.

Important: Using an API call to perform this task is optional. If you want to use the NSX user interface to specify the node template, you can do that. However, if you want to create the template in advance or see a list of existing templates before you define a new one, you can use a REST compliant HTTP request to execute an API call. To facilitate the process of submitting REST API calls, F5 includes an API management tool called Presentation Manager. This task steps you through its use.
  1. Use a web browser to access and log in to the BIG-IQ device. https://<BIG-IQ IP address>
  2. Use the Presentation Manager API tool to access the Create node template URL. https://<BIG-IQ IP address>/mgmt/cm/cloud/connectors/vmware-nsx/presentation The Presentation Manager interface opens for the Create node template API.
  3. Click Table of Contents. A lengthy list of API endpoints is displayed.
  4. From the list of API endpoints, locate the connector just created in the previous task. The connector will look something like this: /mgmt/cm/cloud/connectors/vmware-nsx/<connectorId>/nodes
  5. In the upper right corner, click the plus sign, and then scroll to the very bottom of the page and click the Advanced button. A small field, titled JSON Input opens.
  6. In the JSON Input field, type the values for three property IDs needed to register the node template as a deployment specification.
    • The OvfUrl entry identifies the URL specified previously for the OVF file that the BIG-IQ device uses to create the BIG-IP VE.
    • The BIG-IP entry set to true indicates that the template specifies provisioning details for a BIG-IP device.
    • The NodeTemplateName entry identifies the name you want NSX users to specify when requesting deployment of this type of BIG-IP VE.
    { "state": "TEMPLATE", "properties":[ { "id": "BIG-IP", "provider": "true" }, { "id": "NodeTemplateName", "value": "BIGIP-" }, { "id": "OvfUrl", "provider": "http://server/ovfs/BIGIP-" } ] }
  7. Click Save. Presentation Manager submits the REST API call with the JSON body you specified.
The API call registers the deployment specification received from the NSX API with the BIG-IQ software's NSX Partner Service. The REST API response includes the property ID ImageId. This value identifies the just-created deployment specification that confirms that the connection between the BIG-IQ system and the NSX device is established.
Table of Contents   |   << Previous Chapter   |   Next Chapter >>

Was this resource helpful in solving your issue?

NOTE: Please do not provide personal information.

Additional Comments (optional)