Release notes

These release notes provide product information about the F5 VNF Manager.

User documentation

You can find the user documentation on:

Platform support

F5 VNF Manager version 1.1.x and later requires the following supported platforms:

Platform name Platform ID System Requirements
F5 VNF Manager Version 1.1.x
  • vCPUs: 4 minimum, 8 recommended
  • RAM: 8GB minimum, 16GB recommended
  • Root Disk Storage: 160GB minimum
  • 64-bit host with RHEL/CentOS 7.4
  • Private network dedicated for communicating with other VNFM components, including cluster members
BIG-IP VE Version Virtual Edition BIG-IP Virtual Edition Release Notes
BIG-IQ Version 6.0.1 BIG-IQ 6.0.1 Release Notes
CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud-1503 GenericCloud-1503 Release Notes

F5 VNF Manager version 1.1.x and later supports the following cloud environments:

Platform name Platform ID System Requirements
Red Hat OpenStack Newton Version 10 Environment Requirements

Open source components

F5 VNF Manager is built with the following open-source components.

Component Description

Nginx is a high-performing Web server. In F5 VNF Manager, it serves two purposes:

  • A proxy for the F5 VNFM REST service and F5 VNFM Console
  • A file server to host F5 VNFM-specific resources, agent packages, and blueprint resources.

File server

The file server served by Nginx, while tied to Nginx by default, is not logically bound to it. Although currently it is accessed directly in several occurrences (via disk rather than via network), we will be working towards having it completely decoupled from the management environment so that it can be deployed anywhere. The file server served by Nginx, is available at https://{manager_ip}:53333/resources, which is mapped to the /opt/manager/resources/ directory. You must authenticate in order to access the file server. To access subdirectories that include tenant names in their path, you must have privileges on that tenant. These subdirectories include:

  • blueprints
  • uploaded-blueprints
  • deployments
  • tenant-resources

The directories that are stored in snapshots include:

  • blueprints
  • uploaded-blueprints
  • deployments
  • tenant-resources
  • plugins
  • global-resources

Note: The tenant-resources and global-resources directories are not used by F5 VNF Manager; therefore, users can create these directories for storing custom resources.

Gunicorn and Flask Gunicorn is a Web server gateway interface HTTP server. Flask is a Web framework. Together, Gunicorn and Flask provide the F5 VNFM REST service. The REST service is written using Flask, and Gunicorn is the server. Nginx, is the proxy to that server. The F5 VNFM’s REST service is the integrator of all parts of the F5 VNFM environment.

PostgreSQL is an object-relational database that can handle workloads ranging from small single-machine applications to large Internet-facing applications. In F5 VNF Manager, PostgreSQL serves two purposes:

  • Provides the main database that stores the application’s model (for example, blueprints, deployments, runtime properties)
  • Provides indexing, and logs’ and events’ storage
Logstash Logstash is a data handler. It can push/pull messages using several inputs, and apply filters and output to different outputs. Logstash is used by F5 VNFM to pull log and event messages from RabbitMQ and index them in PostGresSQL.

RabbitMQ is a queue-based messaging platform. RabbitMQ is used by F5 VNFM as a message queue for different purposes:

  • Queueing deployment tasks
  • Queueing logs and events
  • Queueing metrics
Riemann Riemann is an event stream processor used primarily for monitoring. Riemann is used within F5 VNFM as a policy-based decision maker. Note: The use of Riemann as a policy engine in F5 VNFM is an experimental feature and, as such, is not guaranteed to be forward-compatible.

Pika is a pure-Python implementation of the AMQP 0-9-1 protocol. The VNF management worker and the host agents are using pika to communicate with RabbitMQ.

Management worker (or agent)

Both the Workflow Executor and the Task Broker that appear in the diagram are part of the F5 VNFM Management Worker.

  • The Workflow Executor receives workflow execution requests, creates the tasks specified by the workflow, submits the tasks for execution by host agents and the Task Broker, and manages workflow state.
  • The Task Broker executes API calls to IaaS providers to create deployment resources, and executes other tasks specified in central_deployment_agent plugins.

Note: All agents (the management worker, and agents deployed on application hosts) are using the same implementation.


InfluxDB is a time-series database.

  • A proprietary metrics consumer is used to pull metrics from RabbitMQ and submit them to InfluxDB.
  • InfluxDB is used by F5 VNFM to store metrics that are primarily submitted by the application’s hosts.


Feature Name Description
Install/Uninstall Installs the target deployment, lifecycle operations, and starts all instances. Uninstalls target deployment, frees resources allocated during install, performs uninstall lifecycle operations, stops/deletes deployments and additional blueprints created during install.
Scale out Adds and installs BIG-IP Virtual Editions (VEs) and VNF instances on demand as your network needs resources based on configurable parameters.
Scale in Removes and uninstalls BIG-IP Virtual Editions on demand as your network reduces its need for resources based on configurable parameters.
Heal VEs and layers Creates a new copy of any BIG-IP VEs, layers, and related objects on demand as your network reports dysfunctional instances.
Purge VEs and layers Uninstalls and removes dysfunctional VEs, VNF layer instance(s), and related objects, which you start manually after heal layer workflow runs and problem investigation is complete.
Upgrade Initiates the upgrade process and sets new software reference data. Disables VEs with lower revision numbers. Scaled and healed VEs are installed using the new software reference data.
Update NSD Updates AS3 declaration pushed to the VE as a part of NSD definition.
High Availability (HA) Provides high availability using a cluster of three F5 VNF Managers.
REST API Provides all VNFM functionality using a REST-based API.

What’s new

The following table describes new functionality added in VNF Manager version 1.1.1:

Item Description
Gi LAN and Gi-Firewall Inputs files This version of F5 VNF Manager REQUIRES new inputs files for the Gi LAN and Gi-Firewall solutions, as input parameters have changed.
Availability Zone In the Gi-LAN and Gi Firewall inputs files, you can now set an OpenStack availability zone on which the VNFs will be installed. This enables your VNF to utilize various feature sets divided across multiple availability zones. You can set both OpenStack availability zones by name or OpenStack UID to the availability zone on which the BIG-IP VNFs are installed, defining different options for the DAG (sw_ref_dag) nodes, the VNF (sw_ref_vnf) nodes, and the Nagios (sw_ref_nagios) nodes. OpenStack Admin users can find all availability zones in the OpenStack dashboard, Admin -> System -> Host Aggregates blade. Assign the Availability Zone on the Details blade when launching an instance.

Known issues

Platform name Description
F5 VNF Manager Version 1.1.x
  • Intermittently, an incorrect BIG-IP hostname is sent to the BIG-IQ license manager, causing a mismatched BIG-IP instance with their VE representation in VNFM. This issue affects only how the reporting plugin displays BIG-IP VE usage data within a layer, but does not affect any billing information.
  • Openstack v10 (Newton) has an issue with privileges and connecting devices residing outside the Openstack environment with those residing inside the Openstack environment, including F5 VNF Managers. To work around this issue, you must add the VNF Manager to the admin project.
  • Nagios install fails and the agent loses connection to the VNF Manager.
BIG-IP Virtual Edition Issues lists
BIG-IQ 6.0.1 Issues lists
CentOS-7-GenericCloud-1503 Issues list
Red Hat OpenStack Newton Version 10 Issues lists

Fixed issues

The following table lists the issues that were fixed in the designated version release:

Platform name Fixed in version Description
F5 VNF Manager 1.1.1
  • When running the Scaling workflow on a layer, the Heal workflow no longer executes immediately after the new slave is created.
BIG-IP Virtual Edition Issues lists
BIG-IQ 6.0.1 Issues lists
CentOS-7-x86_64 GenericCloud-1503 Issues list
Red Hat OpenStack Newton Version 10.0 Issues lists

Installation overview

To install F5 VNF Manager, use the link provided in the email, and use the key provided in the email as customer identification, when obtaining customer support. Additionally, you will need the following F5 product license keys:

Platform name Product license
BIG-IP Virtual Edition F5-BIG-MSP-LOADV12-LIC
CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud-1503 NA

Upgrade overview

You can upgrade HA clusters two possible ways:

  • Upgrade on new hosts (recommended method).

  • In-place upgrade (prevents ability to rollback).


    This method works only if you leave the IP, AMQP credentials and certificates unchanged.

What’s Next?

Set up VNFM