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Manual Chapter: Preparing the System for Installation
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All BIG-IP® systems include the local traffic management components. You can also obtain the following optional modules: Global Traffic Manager, Link Controller, Application Security Manager, Protocol Security Module, WebAccelerator system, and WAN Optimization Module. You can find additional information about each of these modules in the configuration guide associated with each module. You can install all of these products and modules using a single, unified installation process. The license you have determines which modules you can use.
When you finish the pre-installation tasks described in this chapter, you then complete the installation tasks, which differ depending on your starting point.
Warning: If the system you plan to upgrade has WAN Optimization Module, WebAccelerator, or Application Security Manager already provisioned or if you have a number of volumes with software installed, you might experience an upgrade failure due to insufficient space. Before you proceed, set the module provisioning to Minimal, or remove unneeded volumes and reboot the system. After installation is complete, you can set the provisioning back to its original setting.
Important: You cannot upgrade and roll forward a configuration directly to this version from versions 9.2.x or earlier. If you have a configuration from version 9.2.x or earlier, you must upgrade to version 9.3.x or 9.4.x, and then upgrade to version 10.x. If you do not need to roll forward a configuration, you can follow the upgrade instructions in Appendix A, Upgrading from Versions 9.3.x and 9.4.x and Reformatting for 10.1.x.
A basic installation consists of some prerequisite tasks that prepare you for installing the software. These prerequisite tasks are the same, regardless of whether you are installing the software on a system that is already running version 9.6.x, or an earlier versions of 10.x, or upgrading to version 10.x from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x. These tasks involve:
To install software upgrades and perform management tasks on the BIG-IP system, you must use the management interface. When you initially set up the system hardware, you probably configured an IP address, netmask, and default route for the management interface. If you did not, you can use the default settings, or you can use the LCD panel controls to specify settings appropriate to your network.
To allow remote connections, the traffic management software comes with a default root account and password and two pre-defined IP addresses. The preferred default IP address is The alternate IP address is The default netmask is
Important: Do not add a self IP address that is on the same network as the management interface. The management interface functions separately from other system functions and cannot share the same network.
You can use the LCD panel on the front of the device to specify a management IP address, a netmask for the IP address, and a default route.
Specify the management IP address using the up and down arrow buttons to change each digit, and the left and right arrow buttons to navigate between numbers in the address, and then press the check mark button.
If you plan to manage the unit from a different subnetwork, use the arrow buttons to navigate to the Default Route menu and press the check mark button.
Enter your default route using the up and down arrow keys, and press the check mark button. If you do not have a default route, use
Note: If you can establish a connection from your workstation to the management port of the BIG-IP system, you can also run the config command on the command line to run the command line-based Configuration Utility shell to configure an IP address, netmask, and default route for the management interface. The utility shell guides you through the screens for configuring the settings. For more information on establishing management connections, see Establishing a connection to the system, following.
Before you can install, configure, or manage a BIG-IP system, you must connect the unit to a management workstation or network. There are three ways to attach a management workstation or network to the traffic management system.
Using a serial console
You can connect a null modem cable to the port marked CONSOLE on the unit, and access the command line with a terminal emulator.
Using the default network to connect to the management interface
You can connect a cable to the Ethernet interface labeled Management (MGMT) to remotely access the command line or the browser-based Configuration utility.
Using a network IP address that you specify to connect to the management interface
You can configure an IP address on the Ethernet interface labeled Management (MGMT) to remotely access the command line or the browser-based Configuration utility.
You can use a terminal emulator (through a null modem cable attached to the serial port labeled CONSOLE on the unit) during the installation process, and to configure the management port. To connect through the serial port, you must have a DB9 null modem cable, and a vt100-capable terminal emulator available on a computer in close proximity to the unit you want to configure.
Set the emulator to 19200 baud and choose the correct serial device.
Turn on the hardware.
It may take a moment for the terminal emulator to connect.
At the logon prompt, type the default user name, root, and the default password, default.
All BIG-IP systems ship with a default IP address configured on the management interface. You can access the command line and the browser-based Configuration utility through the management port, and configure the unit directly using the default IP address and administrative accounts. You can use this method if you do not need to configure the management interface before you connect to the Configuration utility.
The preferred default management IP address is If this IP address is unsuitable for your network, the traffic management software uses an alternate IP address, For command line and serial console access, the default root account name is root and the password is default. The default Configuration utility logon account name is admin, with a default password of admin.
The remote administrative workstation must be on the same IP network as the BIG-IP system. In the case of the default IP address, that means the administrative workstation must be on the 192.168.x.x IP network. If the workstation is not already on the same network, you must set up an IP alias on your network for your remote workstation.
Note: If you add this alias prior to booting up the BIG-IP system, the unit detects the alias and uses the corresponding IP address.
The IP alias must be in the same network as the default IP address you want the system to use. For example, on a UNIX® workstation, you might create one of the following aliases.
If you want the unit to use the default IP address, then add an IP alias to the workstation you want to use to connect to the BIG-IP system, using the following command:
If you want to use the alternate IP address, then add an IP alias such as:
Warning: On a system running Microsoft® Windows® or Windows NT® operating system, you must use a static IP address, not DHCP. Within the network configuration, add an IP alias in the same network as the IP address in use on the unit. For information about adding a static IP address on a system running Microsoft Windows, please refer to the vendors documentation.
After you configure an IP alias on the administrative workstation in the same IP network as the BIG-IP system and you turn the system on, the BIG-IP software sends Address Resolution Protocol responses (ARPs) on the management interface to see if the preferred IP address is in use. If the address is appropriate for the network and is currently available, the BIG-IP software assigns it to the management interface. You can immediately use it to connect to the unit and start the Configuration utility.
If the alternate network is present on the LAN,, or if the node address is in use, then the BIG-IP software assigns the alternate IP address to the management interface instead.
This version of the BIG-IP system software uses the volumes disk-formatting scheme. A specific section of a hard drive is called a volume. Also called logical volume management (LVM), this feature supports all platforms and modules available for the BIG-IP system. The volume holds a complete version of the BIG-IP software. You can create additional volumes to hold additional software versions, and you can delete existing volumes you no longer need.
To install the software, you boot to a volume that you do not want to upgrade, to serve as the source. You cannot install to the active volume.
LVM labels, disk names, partition and volume indexes, and file system labels are used internally by the disk management system. At any given time, only one volume may be the active partition. The active volume or partition contains the software that runs when you start up or reboot the system. For information on setting the active volume or partition, see Setting the active volume.
Important: The procedures described in this section assume that the system is using the volumes disk-formatting scheme. If your system is using partitions (the formatting scheme used in software prior to version 10.x), you cannot use the procedures in this section. Instead, you must use 9.x procedures to manage the partitions. Refer to the appropriate 9.x documentation for those procedures. If the BIG-IP system is not already formatted for volumes, you can use the image2disk utility to format the system drive as you install the software. For information about formatting the system drives, see Starting the installation.
You might need to create a new volume to hold a software installation. Or you might have a software installation that you no longer need. You can use the Software Management screens to create and delete volumes.
Warning: Do not use the Software Management screens to create or delete partitions. Doing so can result in an unstable condition. If you accidentally deleted HD1.1 on a partitioned system and the system has become unusable, you can reboot the system, or run the bigstart restart command on the command line to return the system to an operational state. If you need to reformat a system drive, you can use the image2disk utility. For more information, see Formatting the drive with the image2disk utility.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click Software Management.
The Software Management screen opens.
On the menu bar, click Volume Management.
The Volume Management screen opens.
Click the Create button
The Create Volume screen opens.
In the Volume Set box, type the name of the volume.
Click Finished.
The progress alert displays, letting you know that the operation might take several minutes.
Click OK to create the new volume.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click Software Management.
The Software Management screen opens.
On the menu bar, click Volume Management.
The Volume Management screen opens.
Click Delete.
The Confirm Delete screen opens.
Click Delete to delete the volume.
One volume always serves as the active volume. The active volume contains the software that runs when you start up or reboot the system. You can use the Software Management screens to specify the active volume. When you install, you boot into the volume to serve as the installation source.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click Software Management.
The Software Management screen opens.
On the menu bar, click Boot Locations.
The Boot Locations screen opens.
Click the link representing the volume to make active.
The properties screen opens for that volume.
Click Activate.
The system presents a confirmation dialog box, letting you know that the action will boot into that location.
Click OK to boot into the location you specified.
Note: If there is an active installation occurring on the volume, the system waits until the installation operation completes before rebooting.
After you configure the management interface, as described in Configuring the management interface, you can access the browser-based Configuration utility through the management port, and activate the license.
To install new versions of BIG-IP system software, you must have an active and updated license. An active and updated license contains a valid service check date for the system software release you plan to install and run. During installation and initialization, the system verifies the software release check date in the software against the service check date in the license file on your system.
To activate the license for the system, you must have a base registration key. The base registration key is a 27-character string that lets the license server know which F5 products you are entitled to license. The base registration key is preinstalled on your system.
If the system is not yet licensed, the Configuration utility prompts you to enter the base registration key. You enter keys for additional modules using settings in the Add-On Registration Key List area of the License screen. If you do not already have a base registration key, you can obtain one from the sales group (
Type the following URL in the browser, where <IP address> is the address you configured for the management port (MGMT):
At the password prompt, type the default user name, admin, and the default password, admin, and click Log in.
The Configuration utility opens. If this is the first time you have run the Configuration utility, the system presents the Licensing screen of the Setup utility. If this is not the first time you have run the Configuration utility, the system presents the Welcome screen.
To begin the licensing process, click Activate (or Re-activate, if you are reactivating the license).
The Activate License screen opens.
Note: You can update the license at any time by using the options that are available using the License options of the System section of the Main tab of the navigation pane.
Although the license you receive from F5 Networks determines what additional software modules the BIG-IP system can support, you must allocate CPU, memory, and disk space to make any modules visible and to ensure that they can function as they should in your configuration. This process of assigning CPU, memory, and disk space is called provisioning. For information on how to provision the software modules after you finish installing the software, see Provisioning TMOS modules.
This section describes the optional tasks that you may perform to prepare the system for software installation. You need to perform these tasks if they are applicable to your configuration. The optional tasks are:
If you have a BIG-IP system that is already configured with elements such as profiles and monitors, self IP addresses, VLANs, and so on, you can preserve that configuration when you install or upgrade. This is called rolling forward a configuration. When you install, the system uses the previously archived user configuration set (UCS) file in the /var/local/ucs directory on the source installation location to update the configuration on the installation destination. You should copy the UCS archive to a secure, remote location as a recovery strategy in case the upgrade does not perform as you expect.
Important: Make sure the license on the source installation location is valid before you archive a configuration. This helps prevent accidental installation of an invalid license over a valid one when you roll forward a UCS archive.
Note: The hostname in the UCS archive must match the host name of the system to which you are installing for roll-forward to complete successfully.
Before you archive the current configuration, you should make sure the existing configuration contains no unnecessary elements, such as nonworking virtual servers or users who should no longer have access to the system. Once you remove all unnecessary elements, make sure to save your configuration. The system does not roll forward unsaved configurations.
In the browser-based Configuration utility, each change of a page saves the configuration. So to ensure that the system saves all of your configuration settings, in the navigation pane, expand Overview, and click Welcome. This takes you to the Welcome screen and saves the configuration.
Note: In order to roll-forward a pre-9.4.3 configuration, you must manually create the config.ucs archive before starting the installation. To save the configuration, run the command b config save /config.ucs at the command line, and then remember to copy the archive to a secure, remote location.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand System, and click Archives.
The Archive List screen opens.
On the upper right portion of the screen, click the Create button.
The New Archive screen opens.
For the Name setting, type a name for the archive.
The system adds a .ucs extension.
If you want to encrypt the archive, enable encryption, and specify whether you want to include private keys in the archive.
You should always maintain the UCS archive remotely as a recovery strategy in case the upgrade does not perform as you expect.
BIG-IP system software has a feature called the single configuration file (SCF). A single configuration file (SCF) is a flat, text file that contains a series of bigpipe commands, and the attributes and values of those commands, that reflect the entire configuration of one BIG-IP system. Specifically, the SCF contains the local traffic management and operating system configuration of the BIG-IP system.
An SCF is useful when you want to transfer a configuration from one BIG-IP system to another. Typically, this involves using the bigpipe export command to create an SCF of one systems configuration, and then using the bigpipe import command to install the configuration on another system. In this way, you can propagate the exact configuration of one BIG-IP system to other BIG-IP systems. For details on creating and using a single configuration file, see the import and export command descriptions in the Bigpipe Utility Reference Guide.
The SCF file is not the same as the user configuration set (UCS) archive. A UCS archive is a compressed file that contains all the configuration files (*.conf) that make up a single systems configuration. You use the SCF strictly to manually transfer configuration information to new or different BIG-IP hardware. You create a UCS for archival purposes, and to preserve a configuration for software upgrade. The system uses the archived UCS on the active volume or partition to roll forward configurations during software installation operations. You can find more information on the UCS archive in the TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems.
There have been many changes to configuration formats since the version 9.3.x and 9.4.x releases, and the configuration roll-forward process handles most of those format changes to the UCS for you. However, because the installation process rolls forward the archived UCS, not the SCF, the process does not apply the formatting changes to the SCF.
If you have an SCF that contains older syntax formatting (that is, syntax from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x), loading one of your existing SCF files might raise a syntax error. In that case, you can upgrade and then create a new SCF, or you can modify the old SCF directly before you manually transfer the configuration to a 10.x system. Creating an upgraded SCF is the recommended upgrade path. For more information, search for "SCF file" in the AskF5SM Knowledge Base, at
Now you can apply the upgraded SCF to other BIG-IP systems. F5 Networks also recommends that you archive the configuration to a UCS archive, and copy the UCS archive to a secure, remote location. For information on archiving the configuration, see Archiving a configuration.
You can use the cpcfg utility to copy the running configuration from one installation location to another. This is a quick way to update an offline location to the latest configuration, and is useful when applying hotfixes, where the configuration and license are not applied to the target.
The operation replaces the configuration on the target. The destination for the copy operation must represent an installation location that is not currently active, and that contains a configuration older than the source.
If you do not specify a source, the operation uses the configuration from the active installation location. For example, to copy the active configuration from HD1.3 to HD1.1, if you are logged on to HD1.3, you run the following command:
For the failover process to complete successfully, each unit in the redundant system must be the same type of hardware, and must be running the same software version.
For a redundant system configuration, log on and install the software first on the standby unit. Once the installation on the standby unit is satisfactory, fail over and complete the upgrade on the active unit.
Also on a redundant system, you might want to turn off connection mirroring. During the reboot after installation finishes, the system necessarily drops mirrored connections.
Each unit in a redundant system configuration must have a configured Peer Management Address. Each system uses the Peer Management Address, the management IP address of its peer unit in a redundant system configuration, for failover. The Peer Management Address appears on the Network Failover screen, available from the High Availability item on the navigation pane.
Note: For information about working with redundant system configurations, synchronizing configurations, and mirroring connections, see the TMOS® Management Guide for BIG-IP® Systems.
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