Install BIG-IP Next Central Manager on VMware

BIG-IP Next Central Manager (CM) is the management and app orchestration platform for BIG-IP Next. Use these instructions to install a new CM virtual machine on your vSphere hypervisor, set the password, and apply a base configuration.

Task Overview

Click below to jump to the appropriate section.

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  • MyF5 login and Central Manager OVA image

  • VMware vSphere hypervisor version 7.x and credentials

  • Hypervisor Resources:

    • 8 vCPUs, 16GB RAM

    • 350GB disk

    • One network interface

  • Network Resources:

    • IP Address, subnet, and hostname

    • SMB or NFS network attached storage (NAS) and credentials

    • NTP Server

    • DNS Server

    • Gateway Router

  • Review the appropriate Release Notes


Complete the steps below to install BIG-IP Central Manager.

Download OVA

  1. Use your credentials to sign in to

  2. Click Downloads.

  3. Review the EULA and Program Terms, then click I have read and agreed to the terms of the End User License Agreement and Program Terms., then click Next.

  4. Under Group, select BIG-IP_Next.

  5. Under Product Line, select Central Manager

  6. Under Product Version, select the latest version.

  7. Under Select a product container, select the latest version.

  8. Under Select a download file, select the OVA file.

  9. Under Download locations, select the appropriate region.

  10. Click Download.

  11. Repeat these steps to download the sha256 or md5 checksum file.

  12. Verify the downloaded OVA file using the checksum: linked instructions.

  13. Move the verified OVA file to a desired location.

You are now ready to deploy the OVA to create the CM virtual machine.

Deploy OVA

  1. Log in to the VMware vSphere Client.

  2. In the left hand navigation pane, select an appropriate host or cluster for CM.

  3. Click ACTIONS > Deploy OVF Template.

  4. Locate the previously downloaded OVA file to use to install a VM:

    1. Select Local file and then click UPLOAD FILES.

    2. Select the OVA file, and click Open.

  5. Click NEXT.

  6. Type a VM name and select a location. Click NEXT.
    Important: Do not use the plus ( + ) sign in the VM name.

  7. Select a location for the compute resource and click NEXT.

  8. Verify the temmplate details and click NEXT.

  9. Select the storage for the configuration and disk files, and click NEXT.

  10. Select a Destination Network and click NEXT.

  11. Review the settings and click FINISH.

Launch console and change password

  1. In left pane, click the icon for the Hosts and Cluster menu.

  2. Navigate to the BIG-IP Next Central Manager virtual machine location.

  3. Open the VM console using the Launch Web Console or Launch Remote Console.
    The console opens.

  4. For both the central-manager login and Password, type admin.
    You are required to change your password… displays

  5. Change your password. Type:

    • Current password

    • New password

    • Retype new password
      The Welcome information displays.

Run the setup script

  1. While still on the CM console, at the $ prompt, type setup
    Welcome… and instructions display.

    Note: Message if BIG-IP Next Central Manager is already installed:

    BIG-IP Next Central Manager has already been installed.
    Running setup again will destroy all current configuration and data.
    Please run ‘/opt/cm-bundle/cm uninstall -c’ prior to running ‘setup’ if you wish to continue.

  2. Type inputs

    Example values are shown within parentheses. If there is a default value, it will be shown within square brackets and will automatically be used if no value is entered.

    Network with DHCP

    • Hostname (
      [‘’] found on the management interface.

    • Do you want to configure a static IP address (N/y) [N]:

    • Primary NTP server address ( (optional):

    • Alternate NTP server address ( (optional):

    Network with a management IP address (No DHCP)

    • Hostname (e.g.

    • Management IP Address & Network Mask []:

    • Management Network Default Gateway []:

    • Primary DNS nameserver (e.g.

    • Alternate DNS nameserver (e.g. (optional):

    • Primary NTP server address (i.e (optional):

    • Alternate NTP server address (e.g. (optional):

    • IPv4 network CIDR to use for service IPs []:

    • IPv4 network CIDR to use for pod IPs []:

      Note: About the two inputs for service and pod IPs: the system uses the two internal IP addresses for communication between invidual containers. Make sure the defaults listed do not conflict with the existing IP address space on your network. If they do, choose a different IP range for the service and pod IPs to resolve the conflict.


    Note: Due to limited CM storage capacity, it is recommended that you configure external storage for storing both your instance and CM backup files. This proactive measure ensures readiness for disaster recovery scenarios.

    • Do you want to set up an external storage mount (Y/n) [Y]:

    • Storage type (samba/nfs):


      • Address for the storage server:

      • Share path on the storage server:

      • Username for the storage server:

      • Password for the storage server:


      • Address for the storage server:

      • Share path on the storage server:

    Summary and Installation

    Sample output

    Management Network Already Configured: True
    NTP Servers:
    IPv4 network CIDR to use for service IPs:
    IPv4 network CIDR to use for pod IPs:
  • Would you like to complete configuration with these parameters (Y/n) [N]:

    Type Y to complete.

Sample output

[info] k3s node 'node/central-manager-abcd1234' is ready
  • Would you like to start the Central Manager application installation (Y/n) [Y]:

    Type Y to install.

    The BIG-IP Central Manager install is complete when this displays:

    [INFO] Setup completed succssfully.

Access CM Web GUI

  1. From a web browser, navigate to the address you configured earlier: https://<cm-ip-address-or-hostname/>.

  2. Verify that the CM GUI appears.

Proceed by creating a BIG-IP Next Instance to secure apps.