Updated Date: 07/20/2010
This technical note documents the process of upgrading to BIG-IP® software using the remote upgrade procedure. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.
The minimum system requirements for this release are:
Note: The 520/540 platform must meet certain requirements in order to support this version of the BIG-IP software. For more information, including memory requirements, see 520/540 Platform: Installing the BIG-IP software.
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 only 512 MB of memory.
The supported browsers for the BIG-IP Configuration utility are:
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 might 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.
This installation method is supported only on the following platforms:
If you are unsure which platform you have, look at the sticker on the back of the chassis to find the platform number.
This technical note describes how to remotely upgrade the BIG-IP software. 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.
Warning: Version 4.5.x or 4.6.x installation. You cannot upgrade directly to this version from BIG-IP version 4.x. You must first upgrade to version 9.2.x, or an earlier version of 9.3.x or 9.4.x.. For details about these installation methods, see the release notes for the associated release.
Warning: Version 9.0.x or 9.1.x installation. You cannot upgrade directly to this version from BIG-IP versions 9.0.x through 9.1.x. You must first upgrade to version 9.2.x, or an earlier version of 9.3.x or 9.4.x. For details about these installation methods, see the release notes for the associated release.
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 installation. This is because the license check date in the software is verified against the service check date in the license file. For more information, see SOL7727: License activation may be required prior to software upgrade.
Warning: Once you reactivate the license, make sure to save your configuration. The system does not roll forward unsaved portions of configurations. You can save your configuration by running the command b config save /config.ucs.
Warning: Once you save your configuration, copy the config.ucs file to a secure, remote location. The installation process overwrites the locally maintained UCS file, so you should maintain the UCS file remotely as a recovery strategy in case the upgrade does not perform as you expect. For more information, see SOL2250: Overview of UCS archives.
Warning: You must turn off mirroring before you attempt to upgrade. Mirroring between units with differing versions of the BIG-IP software is not supported.
Important: You are prompted to install the software on multiple boot images if the unit supports the multiple boot option. The BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 1600 (C102), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), BIG-IP 3410 (C100), BIG-IP 3600 (C103), BIG-IP 3900 (C106), BIG-IP 6400 (D63), BIG-IP 6800 (D68), BIG-IP 6900 (D104), BIG-IP 8400 (D84), BIG-IP 8800 (D88), and BIG-IP 8900 (D106) platforms support this functionality.
Important: This installer is capable of automatically generating UCS files at install-time. Installations of 9.4.2 and later generate UCS files, if there is not one already present in the root directory, as /config.ucs. In order to roll-forward a pre-9.4.2 configuration, you must manually create the /config.ucs file before starting the installation.
Important: You must perform the installation from the management interface (Management) on the BIG-IP system.
Important: You should perform the installation first 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.
Important: Each unit in a redundant system must be running the same version of the software.
Important: We recommend that you run the MD5 checksum on any ISO image or IM upgrade file you download. For information about MD5 checksums, see the section Verifying the MD5 checksum of the installation file in the appropriate installation release note.
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.
Note: We recommend installing Global Traffic Manager or Link Controller on the hard drives of BIG-IP systems. Although installation on some CompactFlash® drives is supported in most cases, it is not recommended.
The process of upgrading requires completing the following steps:
The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.
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 upgraded 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 this process fails, you might need to use the remotely-stored file in order to restore your previous configuration data. For more information about UCS files, see Solution ID: SOL4423 Overview of UCS archives.
Before you begin the installation process, download the installation CD-ROM ISO image from the F5 Networks downloads site. 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.
Note: If you are installing to a 2400 platform, see Installing to the 2400 platform for instructions for copying the installation image to the system.
After you save the existing configuration and download the installation CD-ROM, you need to copy the remote-install-<version_number>.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).
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:
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:
Select terminal type? [vt100]
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
Use existing DHCP server on subnet [no]?
IP network [10.1.10]? IP address of server 10.1.10[n] ? Lower range for clients 10.1.10.[n] ? Upper range for clients 10.1.10.[n] ?
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.
Now that you have copied the installation package to the target system, you are ready to install the software. On the BIG-IP system, use the im command to run the installation script. Note that in previous versions you had to extract the script. That step is no longer necessary. The im command extracts the script and begins 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 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 Configuration utility and license the system as soon as the installation process is complete.
If you are installing to the 2400 platform, use this procedure to install the software.
scp root@<bigip_management_ip>:/<location> /<remote_upgrade>.im /var/ramfs/<remote_upgrade>.im
Before you can configure the system, you must license the 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 registration key should have been provided for this version of the software. 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.
For additional information, please visit http://www.f5.com