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Manual Chapter: Enterprise Manager Platform Guide: Introducing the Management Appliance Platform
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Introducing the Management Appliance Platform

Working with the Management Appliance platform

The Management Appliance platform is a powerful system capable of managing F5 devices for any size of enterprise.

Enterprise Manager 500
This platform can manage all the capabilities of F5 Networks enterprise management software. The 500 platform (Figure 1.1 ) provides the power of two SFP GBICs and four (10/100/1000) interfaces, with SSL processing available as an additional add-on through the software license.

For detailed specifications of each platform, see Reviewing hardware specifications, on page 6-1 .



Figure 1.1 This is an external view of the Enterprise Manager 500

Getting started

There are several basic tasks you must complete to get the Management Appliance platform installed and set up.

The Management Appliance comes with the hardware that you need for installation. However, you must also provide standard peripheral hardware, such as a serial terminal, if you want to administer the Management Appliance directly.

Components provided with the Management Appliance

When you unpack the Management Appliance, you should make sure that the following components, shown in Figure 1.2 , are included:

  • One power cable
  • Four rack-mounting screws
  • Software recovery CD

If you purchased a hardware-based redundant system, you also received one fail-over cable to connect the two Management Appliance units together (network-based redundant systems do not require a fail-over cable).



Figure 1.2 Components included with the Management Appliance

Peripheral hardware that you provide

For each Management Appliance in the system, you need to provide the following peripheral hardware:

  • If you plan to use direct administrative access to the Management Appliance, you need standard input/output hardware. This requires a serial terminal and a null modem cable.
  • If you want to use the default Management Appliance configuration, you must have an administrative workstation on the same IP network as the Management Appliance.
  • You also need network hubs, switches, or concentrators to connect to the Management Appliance network interfaces. The devices you select must be compatible with the network interface cards installed in the Management Appliance. The devices can support 10/100 Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet.
    • Ethernet requires either a 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps hub or switch.
    • Gigabit Ethernet requires a compatible Gigabit Ethernet switch.
  • You can use a USB drive compatible with the system for installing upgrades and for system recovery. You can perform an upgrade or system recovery with almost any non-CDRW USB drive. Even though most USB CD-ROMS should work, we cannot guarantee compatibility with all makes and models.

If you plan on doing remote administration from your own PC workstation as most users do, we recommend that you have your workstation already in place on the same subnet to which the management interface is connected.

Familiarizing yourself with the Management Appliance

Before you begin to install the Management Appliance, you may want to quickly review the following figures that illustrate the controls and ports on both the front and the back of an Management Appliance.

Using the Management Appliance hardware

You need to be familiar with both the front and back layout of a Management Appliance. On the front of the unit, you can turn the unit off and on, or you can reset the unit. You can also view the indicator lights for hard disk access.

The interfaces on every Management Appliance are labeled, so it should be clear what each port is.

Figure 1.3 illustrates the front of the Enterprise Manager 500 platform.



  1. Management interface
  1. Console port
  1. Hard-wired fail-over port
  1. 10/100/1000 interfaces
  1. USB port
  1. SFP Gbics
  1. Status LEDs
  1. LCD control buttons

Figure 1.3 Front view of the Enterprise Manager 500 Management Appliance

If you have physical access to the unit, you can use the front-panel LEDs to assess the condition of the unit. For details about the behavior of the LEDs, see Understanding LED behavior, on page 4-1 .

Figure 1.4 , following, illustrates the back of a Management Appliance. Note that all ports are labeled.

  1. Unused bay
  1. Power input panel
  1. Access panel

Figure 1.4 Back view of the 2U Management Appliance

About this guide

This guide describes the features of the Enterprise Manager 500 Management Appliance platform. This guide contains the following information about this platform.

  • Installing the hardware
    You can learn how to install the hardware in a rack.
  • Understanding the ports and interfaces
    You can understand the intended use of the ports and interfaces on each platform.
  • Using the LCD panel
    You can learn how to read and use the LCD panel.
  • Understanding LED behavior
    You can learn how to decipher what conditions are signaled by the LEDs.
  • Understanding the environmental guidelines
    This chapter includes detailed environmental guidelines for each platform.
  • Learning the hardware specifications
    This chapter provides details about the hardware specifications for each platform.

Additional information

In addition to this guide, there are other sources of the documentation you can use in order to work with the Enterprise Manager system. The information is organized into the guides and documents described below. The following printed documentation is included with the Enterprise Manager system.

  • Enterprise Manager Quick Start Instructions
    This pamphlet provides you with the basic configuration steps required to get the Enterprise Manager system up and running in the network.

The following resources are available on the F5 Technical Support Web site,


  • Enterprise Manager Administrator Guide
    The Enterprise Manager Administrator Guide introduces the concepts of managed devices, software image management, configuration archiving, and custom alerting. For example, you can learn how to add a variety of devices to the device list, create device groups, and deploy software upgrades to different groups of devices.
  • Release notes
    Release notes for the Enterprise Manager are available in HTML format on the F5 Networks Technical Support web site, The release note contains the latest information for the current version, including a list of new features and enhancements, a list of fixes, and a list of known issues.
  • Installation, Licensing, and Upgrades for BIG-IP Systems
    This guide provides detailed information about installing upgrades to the BIG-IP system. It also provides information about licensing the BIG-IP system software and connecting the system to a management workstation or network. In most cases, the basic settings described in this guide also apply to an Enterprise Manager system.

The Enterprise Manager system uses the same operating system and a similar hardware platform as a BIG-IP system. Therefore, you can refer to the BIG-IP system documentation to configure the basic settings for an Enterprise Manager system.

Stylistic conventions

To help you easily identify and understand important information, our documentation uses the stylistic conventions described below.

Using the solution examples

All examples in this documentation use only private class IP addresses. When you set up the solutions we describe, you must use valid IP addresses suitable to your own network in place of our sample addresses.

Identifying new terms

To help you identify sections where a term is defined, the term itself is shown in bold italic text. For example, a managed device is an F5 Networks device that is managed by Enterprise Manager.

Identifying references to objects, names, and commands

We apply bold text to a variety of items to help you easily pick them out of a block of text. These items include web addresses, IP addresses, utility names, and portions of commands, such as variables and keywords. For example, with the bigpipe interface show command, you can display the current status and the settings for all installed interfaces.

Identifying references to other documents

We use italic text to denote a reference to another document. In references where we provide the name of a book as well as a specific chapter or section in the book, we show the book name in bold, italic text, and the chapter/section name in italic text to help quickly differentiate the two. For example, see Chapter 2, Connecting a Management Workstation or Network, in Installation, Licensing, and Upgrades for BIG-IP Systems.

Identifying command syntax

We show complete commands in bold Courier text. Note that we do not include the corresponding screen prompt, unless the command is shown in a figure that depicts an entire command line screen. For example, the following command displays the current status and the settings for all installed interfaces:

bigpipe interface show


b interface show

Table 1.1 explains additional special conventions used in command line syntax.

Table 1.1 Command line syntax conventions
Item in text
Indicates that the command continues on the following line, and that users should type the entire command without typing a line break.
< >
Identifies a user-defined parameter. For example, if the command has <your name>, type in your name, but do not include the brackets.
Separates parts of a command.
[ ]
Indicates that syntax inside the brackets is optional.
Indicates that you can type a series of items.
Means is defined as. Indicates that an argument is followed by the description of the elements that you can use for the argument.

Finding help and technical support resources

You can find additional technical documentation and product information in the following locations:


  • Online help for Enterprise Manager features
    Enterprise Manager has online help for each screen. On the navigation pane, click the help tab to see context-sensitive user assistance.
  • Welcome screen in the Configuration utility
    The Welcome screen in the Configuration utility contains links to many useful web sites and resources, including:
    • The F5 Networks Technical Support web site
    • The F5 Solution Center
    • The F5 DevCentral web site
    • SNMP MIBs and SSH clients
  • F5 Networks Technical Support web site
    The F5 Networks Technical Support web site,, provides the latest documentation for the product, including:
    • Release notes for the Enterprise Management, current and past
    • Updates for guides (in PDF form)
    • Technical notes
    • Answers to frequently asked questions
    • The AskF5 natural language question and answer engine.
    • To access this site, you need to register at

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