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Release Note: Remote Installation: Upgrading from BIG-IP software versions 9.2.x to BIG-IP software version 9.4
Release Note

Updated Date: 09/21/2010


This technical note documents the process of upgrading to BIG-IP software version 9.4 from BIG-IP software version 9.2.x, using the remote upgrade procedure. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.


- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- About the BIG-IP version 9.4 remote upgrade
- Installing the upgrade

Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

The minimum system requirements for this release are:

  • Intel® Pentium® III 933Mhz processor
  • 512 MB disk drive or CompactFlash® card
  • 512 MB RAM

The supported browsers for the Configuration utility are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer TM, version 6.x and later
  • Netscape® Navigator TM, version 7.1, and other browsers built on the same engine, such as Mozilla TM, Firefox TM, and Camino TM.
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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 only
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)
  • BIG-IP 8400 (D84)
  • BIG-IP 8800 (D88)

Warning:  If you plan to upgrade a system licensed for Link Controller (LC), Global Traffic Manager (GTM), 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 9.4 remote upgrade

This technical note describes how to remotely upgrade the BIG-IP software to version 9.4. 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 9.2.x systems.

Warning: Version 4.5.x or 4.6.x installation. You cannot upgrade directly from BIG-IP version 4.x to 9.4. You must first upgrade to a 9.2.x version. For details about this installation method, refer to the release notes for one of the 9.2.x releases.

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

Important: Each unit in a redundant system must be running the same version of the software.

Important: If you are upgrading from 9.2.x, and you have a Global Traffic Manager unit that belongs to a sync group, you must remove the unit from the sync group before you install the software or apply the upgrade. Failure to do so may cause irrevocable damage to the units in the sync group that are running older versions of the software. Once you have upgraded all units to the same version, you can then re-create the sync group. For details on removing a unit from a sync group, see the product documentation. Once you have removed the unit from the sync group, you can proceed with the installation or upgrade. Note that this is for upgrades from 9.2.x only.

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Installing the upgrade

If the BIG-IP system is currently running version 9.2.x, you can upgrade directly to version 9.4, using the following procedure.

The process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 9.4 requires that you:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Saving and backing up existing 9.2.x BIG-IP configuration data

Before you upgrade to BIG-IP version 9.4, you need to save your version 9.2.x configuration data. Backing up your configuration prevents loss of data if, for any reason, the version 9.4 upgrade is not successful.

Collect and archive the version 9.2.x configuration files, by typing the following command.
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 9.4 system. There is a new location on the 9.2.x system for these files: /var/named/config/namedb.

Important:  It is critical that you back up the archived configuration files to a remote location. In the event this process fails, you may need to use the remotely-stored file in order to restore your 9.2.x configuration data.

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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 For details about downloading the installation software, see SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

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

After you save the existing 9.2.x configuration and download the installation CD ROM, you need to copy the 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-upgradee>.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-upgradee>.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 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 Enter 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.
    Select one for the installation server interface.
  4. 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 machines 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 enter the IP address of the server, you need to enter only the last octet. When completing the lower and upper ranges for the clients, enter the network number(s) 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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Running the installation script to install the new software

Now that you have copied the remote upgrade package to the target system and configured an installation server, you are ready to install the 9.4 software. Use the following procedure.

To install the new software

  1. Change directories to the /var/tmp directory using the following command:
    cd /var/tmp
  2. Extract the remote-install script from the IM package using the following command:
  3. To run the remote-install script and complete the remote upgrade installation, type the following command:

    Terminal type? [vt100]
    Press Enter to continue, or type the terminal type you are using. We recommend that you use vt100.
  4. A number of messages scroll by and then the installation starts. Once the installation starts, you can use the arrow and Tab keys to navigate the options. You can use the Enter key or highlighted letter key to select an option from a menu, or the Spacebar to toggle select boxes on or off.
  5. The installer prompts you for the following information.

    • You can specify a syslog server if you want a log of the installation process. You can use the installation server or specify an alternate server. 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
    • After you choose the installation server, you are then prompted for the slot on which you want to install the software. A slot is a portion of a drive with adequate space required for an installation. If the hardware supports multiple slots, you can create more than one installation by installing the software on each slot. At boot time, you can select the installation that you want to boot. To install on multiple slots, follow the on-screen instructions.
    • You then have the option to roll forward the supported configurations (config.ucs files) found on the system. If you are installing this software on a system that contains a 9.2.x version of BIG-IP software, you should have already saved a UCS in with the procedure Saving and backing up existing 9.2.x BIG-IP configuration data.
    • After you have completed the prompts for the installer, review the installation options you have selected. Select Yes on the final BIG-IP installation screen to begin the installation. 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 9.4 software before you can configure the system. If the entitlement check was successful, you can log in to the system. If it was not successful, you can log in to the Configuration utility and license the system as soon as the installation process is complete.

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Licensing the traffic management software using the Configuration utility

Before you can configure the system, you must license the version 9.4 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 9.4 registration key should have been provided. The 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 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 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.
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