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Release Note: Windows Hosted Installation: Upgrading the BIG-IP software
Release Note

Updated Date: 06/10/2008


This technical note documents the process of upgrading to BIG-IP® software using the Windows host installation procedure. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.


- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- About the installation
- Minimum system requirements for the Windows host
- Installing the software
- Contacting F5 Networks

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

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:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, version 6.x
  • Mozilla® Firefox®, version 1.5x and version 2.0x

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.

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Supported platforms

This installation method is supported only on the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 520 and 540 (D35), for more information, see 520/540 Platform: Installing the BIG-IP software.
  • BIG-IP 1000 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 1500 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 1600 (C102)
  • BIG-IP 2400 (D44)
  • BIG-IP 3400 (C62)
  • BIG-IP 3410 (C100)
  • BIG-IP 3600 (C103)
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)
  • BIG-IP 6900 (D68)
  • BIG-IP 8400 (D84)
  • BIG-IP 8800 (D88)

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 installation

This technical note describes how to use a Microsoft® Windows® host to install the BIG-IP software on the unit you want to upgrade. You can perform a Windows hosted installation if you have direct access from the Windows host to the management interface on the BIG-IP system. If there is a firewall running on the windows server (or between the windows server and the BIG-IP system), the firewall must allow the ports required by the installer and ICMP requests. It should also be noted that the BIG-IP system must be able to communicate back to the windows machine. Two-way network connectivity is required.

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 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: 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.

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Minimum system requirements for the Windows host

The Windows host you intend to use to perform the Windows hosted installation procedure must meet certain requirements. The requirements for the Windows host are:

  • Windows® XP software.
  • CD-ROM drive
  • One interface enabled for communicating with the BIG-IP system upon which you intend to install the software. Any additional interfaces must be disabled.
  • On the Windows Firewall, you must create exceptions for TCP port 8010, TCP port 50007, TCP port 8080, TCP port 22, and ICMP traffic. You must also create an exception for UDP port 514. For information about allowing these ports on the firewall, please see the documentation provided by the firewall vendor.

Warning: The Windows host cannot be running any version of Windows® Server.

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Installing the software

The process of upgrading requires completing the following steps:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Saving and backing up existing 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 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.

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Downloading the installation CD-ROM ISO image from F5 Networks

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.

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Creating a CD of the installation CD-ROM ISO image

After you save the existing configuration and download the local installation package, you must create a CD of the installation CD-ROM ISO image. After you create the CD, you can put it in the CD drive of the Windows host you intend to use for the installation.

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Placing the CD in the Windows host and starting the installation

Now that you have created a CD of the installation software, you are ready to install the software. Use the following procedure.

  1. Place the CD in the drive of the Windows host.
  2. Click Start to open the Start menu.
  3. Click Run and then click the Browse button.
    Navigate to the CD mounted in the CD drive.
  4. In the root of the CD, double-click big-ip_setup.exe to select the installation script.
  5. Click Ok to start the installation script.
  6. The installer prompts you for the following information:
    • IP address of the BIG-IP system on which you want to install the software. The IP address you type should be the IP address configured for the management interface.
    • The SSH root password for the system. This is the password you configured for the root account.
    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.
  7. The installer prompts you for the following information.
    • When you are prompted to select an installation image, select the installation image to use.
    • After you select the installation image, 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.
    • 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.

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Contacting F5 Networks

  Phone: (206) 272-6888
Fax: (206) 272-6802

For additional information, please visit

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