Last updated on: 2023-08-29 10:06:08.

VMware vSphere ESXi (vCenter API) setup

Currently, F5 supports BIG-IP Virtual Edition version:

  • 16.1.2

On VMware vSphere ESXi (vCenter), version:

Using the following setup:

VMware Component Description
Network setup

You must create seven separate networks. For your VNFM-supported version of ESXi, you can create them however you want; using a Distributed Switch, VLANs, and Distributed Port Group, or create a Standard Virtual Switch, and assign as many uplinks as you want. The only requirement is that you create seven, separated, uniquely named networks for the required pre-existing networks.


If deploying the BIG-IQ blueprint, then you must NOT use and IP addresses on the same network the F5 VNF Manager is connected, until AFTER you deploy the BIG-IQ blueprint and the BIG-IQ HA pair is online. Once the BIG-IQ HA pair is online, those IP addresses become available.

OPTIONAL: If you want to enable SR-IOV on data path NICs, you will need to configure your networks accordingly. See Enable SR-IOV on ESXi for complete details.

Network Protocol Profile IPv4 or IPv6 Configuration

A network protocol profile contains a pool of IPv4 or IPv6 addresses for use by vApps. When you create a network protocol profile, you set up its IPv4 or IPv6 configuration. You must associate a network protocol profile for each port group.


The VLAN IDs for the PDN, PGW, and MGMT port groups must use the same VLAN IDs as the corresponding physical networks.

Deploy images

You must deploy images from the Content Library in vSphere (for ESXi 6.5/7.0). Upload the following image files to your vSphere Content Library:

To upload images to your vSphere Content Library

Do one of the following:

  • If you can access the Internet from your vSphere Content Library, then use a URL to upload the .ova file; for example, from F5 downloads page.

  • To upload an OVF or OVA template directly from your local machine (6.5 only), do the following:

    1. Download the .ova image to your local machine from F5 downloads page.

    2. Use tar to unpack your .ova file locally.

      tar -xf <path/name_of_ova_file.ova>

    3. Upload the .ovf template file and the .vmdk disk file to your Content Library. The import wizard will prompt you to upload the .ovf and .vmdk files only.

What’s Next?

Back to setup.