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Release Note: Remote Installation: Upgrading from BIG-IP software versions 9.0.5 through 9.2.5 to BIG-IP software version 9.3
Release Note

Updated Date: 05/13/2007

Summary:

This technical note documents the process of upgrading to BIG-IP software version 9.3 from BIG-IP software versions 9.0.5 through 9.2.5, using the remote upgrade procedure. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.

Contents:

- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- About the BIG-IP version 9.3 remote upgrade
- Installing the upgrade


Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

The minimum system requirements for this release are:

  • 512 MB RAM (if installed as a stand-alone Local Traffic Manager or Global Traffic Manager product)
  • 768 MB RAM (if installed as a combination of BIG-IP systems, such as a Local Traffic Manager/Global Traffic Manager installation, or as a Link Controller installation)
  • 512 MB CompactFlash® media drive

The supported browsers for the browser-based Configuration utility are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, version 6.x
  • Mozilla® Firefox®, version 1.5x

Note that we recommend that you leave the browser cache options at the default settings.

Important: Popup blockers and other browser add-ons or plug-ins may affect the usability of the browser-based Configuration utility. If you experience issues with navigation, we recommend that you disable these types of browser plug-ins and add-ons.

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Supported platforms

This installation method is supported only on the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 1000 (D39)
  • BIG-IP 1500 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 2400 (D44)
  • BIG-IP 3400 (C62)
  • BIG-IP 4100 (D46) (for standalone Application Security Manager installations)
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)
  • BIG-IP 8400 (D84)

Warning: If you plan to upgrade a system licensed for Link Controller, Global Traffic Manager, or a combination Local Traffic Manager and Global Traffic Manager system, the BIG-IP unit you intend to upgrade must have a minimum of 768 MB of RAM. Originally, the BIG-IP 1000 (D39) and BIG-IP 2400 (D44) platforms were shipped with 512 MB of memory only.

If you are unsure which platform you have, look at the sticker on the back of the chassis to find the platform number.

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About the BIG-IP version 9.3 remote upgrade

This technical note describes how to remotely upgrade the BIG-IP software to version 9.3. You need to perform a remote upgrade if you do not have direct access to the system. The remote upgrade provides the ability to serve the installation files from a different network using HTTP. We recommend using the local upgrade if you have a direct connection to the unit you want to upgrade.

Important: You can only apply this upgrade to BIG-IP version 9.x systems.

Important: A valid service contract is required to complete this upgrade.

Warning: You must reactivate the license on the BIG-IP system you intend to upgrade before you begin the upgrade.

Important: You cannot upgrade to version 9.3 from versions 9.0 through 9.0.4. You must first upgrade to 9.0.5, or a later 9.x release.

Important: You should perform the installation on the standby unit in a redundant system. If you are satisfied with the results, initiate failover and apply the upgrade to the other unit in the redundant system.

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Installing the upgrade

If the BIG-IP system is currently running version 9.x, you can upgrade directly to version 9.3, using the following procedure.

The process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 9.3 requires completing the following steps:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Saving and backing up existing BIG-IP system configuration data

Before you upgrade to this version of the software, you need to save your current configuration data. Backing up your configuration prevents loss of data if, for any reason, the upgrade is not successful.

Collect and archive the existing configuration files, by typing the following command. Note that to have the installer automatically load the configuration file during startup, you must name the file config.ucs and store it in the / partition.
bigpipe config save /config.ucs

Important: If you are upgrading a system that is using zone files with named, you must manually back up all necessary zone files and save them to a remote location. After the upgrade is complete, you can place them on the 9.x system. There is a new location on the version 9.x system for these files: /var/named/config/namedb.

Important: It is critical that you back up the archived configuration files to a secure remote location. In the event installation fails, you might need to use the remotely stored file in order to restore your configuration data. For more information about UCS archive files, see SOL4423: Overview of UCS archives.

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Downloading the installation CD-ROM ISO image from F5 Networks

After you save the existing configuration, download the installation CD-ROM ISO image from http://tech.f5.com. For details about downloading the ISO image, see SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

Note: Before you continue, we recommend downloading the associated MD5 checksum file and performing the MD5 checksum operation to ensure that the file downloaded correctly. For more information about running the MD5 checksum, see Verifying the MD5 checksum of the installation file .

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Copying the remote upgrade package to the remote BIG-IP system from the CD-ROM

After you save the existing 9.x configuration and download the installation CD-ROM, you need to copy the remote-install-9.3.0.178.5.im file from the root of the CD-ROM to the /var/tmp directory on the BIG-IP system that you want to upgrade. The following example shows how you use the scp command to copy the file to a remote BIG-IP system, where <remote-upgrade>.im is the name of the remote upgrade IM you copied from the CD-ROM, and the <bigipsystem> is the BIG-IP system to which you want to copy the IM file.

scp <remote-upgrade>.im root@<bigipsystem>:/var/tmp

After you copy the remote upgrade IM file to the BIG-IP system you want to upgrade, use the CD-ROM to create an installation server (this process is described in the following section).

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Designating and configuring a remote host to be an installation server

Before you run the remote upgrade, you must designate and configure a remote host to be an installation server. The installation server must meet all the following criteria:

  • Contain a CD-ROM drive.
  • Support a CD-ROM boot.
  • Reside on the same network as the one to which the BIG-IP system management interface is connected.

Note: You must connect the installation server to the same network to which the management port on the BIG-IP unit is connected.

Note: If you are installing the software on a BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), BIG-IP 6400 (D63), BIG-IP 6800 (D68), or BIG-IP 8400 (D84) platform by directly connecting the unit to the installation server, you must use an Ethernet cross-over cable to directly connect to the management interface. If you are installing the software on a BIG-IP 1000 (D39), BIG-IP 2400 (D44), BIG-IP 5100 or 5110 (D51) by directly connecting to the installation server, you can use a standard Ethernet cable to directly connect to the management interface.

Once you have designated a host, complete the following steps.

  1. Insert the CD into the drive on the installation server and reboot the host system from the CD-ROM drive.
    The following message displays:
    Select terminal type? [vt100]
  2. Press the Enter key to use vt100 emulation, or type the name of the terminal emulator you are using.
    After you select the terminal type, the following screen opens:
    Maintenance OS Options
    Serve   Provide network installation services
    Install Install software onto hard disk
    Reboot  Reboot to your current system
    Exit    Exit to maintenance shell
  3. Select the default, Serve.
    A list of available network interfaces displays.
  4. Select one for the installation server interface.
    After you select the interface you want to use as the installation server interface, the following prompt displays:
    Use existing DHCP server on subnet [no]?
  5. Indicate your DHCP choice:
    • If there is an existing DHCP server on your subnet that you want to use, type yes.
      The server configuration automatically completes.
    • If you want to set up this server as the DHCP server, type no.
      The following series of prompts displays:
      IP network [10.1.10]?
      IP address of server 10.1.10[n] [199]?
      Lower range for clients 10.1.10.[n] [199]?
      Upper range for clients 10.1.10.[n] [200]?
      • If your subnet consists only of the server and the target BIG-IP unit, or is otherwise a private subnet, use the default IP addresses provided.
      • If other units share the subnet and there is a possibility of conflict, substitute the appropriate unique IP addresses and ranges. When you have finished entering the addresses, they are displayed and you are prompted to accept or reject them.

        Note: When you specify the IP address of the server, you need to enter only the last octet. When completing the lower and upper ranges for the clients, type the network numbers where the clients are situated.

        If the settings displayed are correct, type yes. If they are not, type no and you are prompted to re-enter the addresses.

  6. Finally, you are prompted to specify the protocol you want to use to transfer the installation files. The default protocol is HTTP. For a remote upgrade, you must choose HTTP.

    Once you accept the settings, the server configuration is complete.
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Extracting the installation files and running the installation script

Now that you have copied the remote upgrade package to the target system and configured an installation server, you are ready to install the 9.3 software. On the BIG-IP system, use the im command to extract the installation files from the IM package. After you extract the installation packages, you can run the installation script.

  1. Navigate to the /var/tmp directory using the following command:
    cd /var/tmp
  2. To extract the remote-install script from the IM package, type the following command:
    im remote-install-9.3.0.178.5.im
  3. To run the remote-install script and complete the remote upgrade installation, type the following command:
    /sbin/remote-install

    The installation script prompts you for the following information:
    Terminal type? [vt100]

    Press the Enter key to continue, or specify the terminal type you are using. We recommend that you use vt100.

    The system posts a number of messages, and then installation starts. Once installation starts, you can use the arrow and Tab keys to navigate the presented options. You can select an option from a menu using the Enter key or the highlighted character key, and you can toggle select boxes on or off using the spacebar.

  4. Respond to the installation script prompts for the following information:

    • You can specify a syslog server if you want a log of the installation process. You can use the installation system or specify an alternate location. Type the IP address of the syslog server you want to use, or continue without typing an IP address if you do not want to specify a syslog server.
    • After the syslog screen, you are prompted for an installation server URL or path. Type the URL of the installation server.
      The format for the URL is http://<installserver>/cdserver
    • You are then prompted for the installation location. An installation location is a portion of a drive with adequate space required for an installation. If the hardware supports multiple installation locations, you can create more than one installation by installing the software on each location. At boot time, you can select which installation you want to boot. To install on multiple installation locations, follow the on-screen instructions.
    • Next, you have the option to roll forward any supported configurations (config.ucs files) found on the system. If you are installing this software on a system that contains a 9.x version of BIG-IP software, you should have already saved a UCS in the procedure Saving and backing up existing BIG-IP system configuration data.
  5. After responding to each prompt, review the installation options you have selected. Select Yes on the final BIG-IP system installation screen to begin installing.

After the installation is complete, the BIG-IP system reboots and you lose connectivity to the BIG-IP system.

Warning: You must license the version 9.3 software before you can configure the system. If the entitlement check was successful, you can log on to the system. If it was not successful, you can log on to the browser-based Configuration utility and license the system as soon as the installation process is complete.

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Licensing the software using the browser-based Configuration utility

Before you can configure the system, you must license the version 9.3 software. To activate the license for the system, you must have a base registration key. The registration key is a 27-character string that lets the license server know which F5 products you are entitled to license. It is important to note that during the remote upgrade, the entitlement check contacts the F5 License Server and creates a license for the system.

During the remote upgrade entitlement check, a 9.3 registration key should have been provided. The browser-based Configuration utility displays this registration key in the Base Registration Key box on the Licensing screen. You simply need to activate the license. Certain systems may require you to enter keys for additional modules in the Add-On Registration Key List box.

To activate the license using the browser-based Configuration utility
  1. Open a web browser on a work station attached to the network on which you configured the management port.
  2. Type the following URL in the browser, where <IP address> is the address you configured for the management port (MGMT):
    https://<IP address>/
  3. At the password prompt, type the default user name admin and the default password admin, and click OK.
    The Licensing screen of the browser-based Configuration utility opens.
  4. To begin the licensing process, click the Activate button.
    Follow the on-screen prompts to license the system. For additional information, click the Help tab.
  5. Once you have activated the license, you can configure the BIG-IP system. For information about configuring the BIG-IP system, see User documentation for this release .

Note: If you create a stand-alone Global Traffic Manager installation or a Local Traffic Manager/Global Traffic Manager installation, after licensing the Global Traffic Manager, the system requests that you perform a software reboot. This statement is intended to indicate that you should restart the system (such as through the command bigstart restart before moving the system into a production environment.

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