Microsoft Hyper-V: BIG-IP VE Setup

To deploy BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE) on Hyper-V, you will perform these tasks.

Step Details
1 Choose the license you want to buy, the BIG-IP VE modules you want, and the throughput you need. See K14810: Overview of BIG-IP VE license and throughput limits on the AskF5 Knowledge Base for details.
2 Confirm that you are running a hypervisor version that is compatible with a BIG-IP VE release. See BIG-IP Virtual Edition Supported Platforms for details.
3 Verify that the host hardware meets the recommended requirements.
4 Download a BIG-IP VE image and deploy it.
5 If you are running a multi-NIC configuration without DHCP, manually assign an IP address for the BIG-IP Config Utility.

After you complete these tasks, you can log in to the BIG-IP VE system and run the Setup utility to perform basic network configuration.

About single NIC and multi-NIC configurations

A typical BIG-IP VE configuration might include four NICs: one for management, one for internal, one for external, and one for high availability.

However, if you want to create a VM for a quick test, you can create a configuration with just one NIC. In this case, BIG-IP VE creates basic networking objects for you.

When BIG-IP VE first boots, it determines the number of active NICs. If BIG-IP VE detects one NIC, then:

  • Networking objects (vNIC 1.0, a VLAN named Internal, and an associated self IP address) are created automatically for you.
  • The port for the Configuration utility is moved from 443 to 8443.
  • High availability (failover) is not supported, but config sync is.
  • VLANs must have untagged interfaces.

If BIG-IP VE detects multiple NICs, then you create the networking objects. The port for the Configuration utility remains 443.

You can change the number of NICs after first boot and move from single to multi-NIC and vice versa.

Note

If there is no DHCP server in your environment and no IP address automatically assigned, then the networking objects will not be created and the port will not be moved.

Prerequisites for BIG-IP Virtual Edition

Host CPU requirements

The host hardware CPU must meet the following requirements.

  • The CPU must have 64-bit architecture.
  • The CPU must have virtualization support (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) enabled.
  • The CPU must support a one-to-one, thread-to-defined virtual CPU ratio, or on single-threading architectures, support at least one core per defined virtual CPU.
  • If your CPU supports the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction (AES-NI), SSL encryption processing on BIG-IP VE will be faster. Contact your CPU vendor for details about which CPUs provide AES-NI support.

Host memory requirements

Number of cores Memory required
1 2 Gb
2 4 Gb
4 8 Gb
8 16 Gb

Virtual machine memory requirements

The guest should have a minimum of 4 GB of RAM for the initial 2 virtual CPUs. For each additional CPU, you should add an additional 2 GB of RAM.

If you license additional modules, you should add memory.

Provisioned memory Supported modules Details
4 GB or fewer Two modules maximum. AAM can be provisioned as standalone only.
4-8 GB Three modules maximum. BIG-IP DNS does not count toward the module limit. Exception: Application Acceleration Manager (AAM) cannot be provisioned with any other module; AAM is standalone only.
8 GB Three modules maximum. BIG-IP DNS does not count toward the module-combination limit.
12 GB or more All modules. N/A

Important

To achieve licensing performance limits, all allocated memory must be reserved.

Virtual machine storage requirements

The amount of storage you need depends on the BIG-IP modules you want to use, and whether or not you intend to upgrade.

Provisioned storage Supported modules Details
9 GB (LTM_1SLOT) Local Traffic Manager (LTM) module only; no space for LTM upgrades. You can increase storage if you need to upgrade LTM or provision additional modules.
40 GB (LTM) LTM module only; space for installing LTM upgrades. You can increase storage if you decide to provision additional modules. You can also install another instance of LTM on a separate partition.
60 GB (ALL_1SLOT) All modules except Secure Web Gateway (SWG); no space for installing upgrades. The Application Acceleration Manager (AAM) module requires 20 GB of additional storage dedicated to AAM. If you are not using AAM, you can remove the datastore disk before starting the VM.
82 GB (ALL) All modules except SWG and space for installing upgrades. The Application Acceleration Manager (AAM) module requires 20 GB of additional storage dedicated to AAM. If you are not using AAM, you can remove the datastore disk before starting the VM.

For production environments, virtual disks should be deployed Thick (allocated up front). Thin deployments are acceptable for lab environments.

Note

To change the disk size after deploying the BIG-IP system, see Increase disk space for BIG-IP VE.

Virtual machine network interfaces

When you deploy BIG-IP VE, a specific number of virtual network interfaces (vNICs) are available.

For Hyper-V, three virtual NICs are required, at a minimum. More NICs are required if the high availability option is configured.

Each virtual machine can have a maximum of 8 virtual NICs. If you have a legacy virtual NIC, you can use it for management access and still have 8 NICs for dataplane. (The legacy NIC is not supported for the dataplane.) For peak performance, F5 does not recommend using legacy NICs.

Deploy BIG-IP VE in Hyper-V

To deploy BIG-IP VE, download an image from F5 and deploy it in your environment.

Important: Do not change the configuration (CPU, RAM, and network adapters) of the Hyper-V guest environment with settings less powerful than those recommended and described here.

  1. In a browser, open the F5 Downloads page and log in.

  2. On the Downloads Overview page, click Find a Download.

  3. Under Product Line, click the link similar to BIG-IP v.x/Virtual Edition.

  4. Click the link similar to x.x.x_Virtual-Edition.

  5. If the End User Software License is displayed, read it and then click I Accept.

  6. Download the BIG-IP VE file package ending with vhd.zip.

  7. Extract the file from the Zip archive and save it where your VHD files reside on the Hyper-V server.

  8. Start Hyper-V Manager, log in to the Hyper-V server, and from the Actions pane, click New -> Virtual Machine.

  9. In the Name field, type a name for the BIG-IP VE virtual machine and click Next.

  10. In the Memory field, type 4096 and click Next.

    Tip: To increase performance, you can specify a value up to 8192.

  11. For the Connection setting, select Management and click Next.

  12. Map the source network HA to the name of a high-availability network in your inventory.

  13. Select the Use an existing virtual hard disk check box, browse to the location where you saved your VHD file, select the file, open it, and click Next.

  14. In the Summary page, review the settings and click Finish.

    The New Virtual Machine Wizard closes, and the new BIG-IP VE shows in the Virtual Machines list.

  15. From the Virtual Machines list, select the new BIG-IP VE.

    The name of the BIG-IP VE appears in the bottom half of the Actions pane.

  16. In the lower half of the Actions pane, click Settings.

    The Settings window for the selected BIG-IP VE opens.

  17. In the Hardware list, select Processor, and then change the Number of logical processors to 2, and increase the Virtual machine reserve (percentage) to 100.

  18. Click Add Hardware, select Network Adapter and click Add. Repeat this for a total of three adapters (or four for a high-availability configuration).

    1. Click the second network adapter, and then from the Network list select External.
    2. Click the third network adapter, and then from the Network list select Internal.
    3. If the BIG-IP VE will be used in a high-availability configuration, click the fourth network adapter, and then from the Network list select HA.
  19. In the Management area, click Automatic Stop Action and select Shut down the guest operating system.

    This setting ensures that the BIG-IP VE virtual machine restarts with all previously configured virtual hardware and at the current system time.

  20. Click OK to save your changes and close the Settings window.

Use BIG-IP configuration utility tool to set management IP address

If your network has DHCP, an IP address is automatically assigned to BIG-IP VE during deployment. You can use this address to access the BIG-IP VE Configuration utility or tmsh command-line utility.

If no IP address was assigned, you can assign one by using the BIG-IP Configuration utility tool.

  1. Connect to the virtual machine by using the hypervisor’s console.

  2. At the login prompt, type root.

  3. At the password prompt, type default.

  4. Type config and press Enter.

    The F5 Management Port Setup screen opens.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Select No and follow the instructions for manually assigning an IP address and netmask for the management port.

    You can use a hypervisor generic statement, such as tmsh show sys management-ip to confirm that the management IP address was set properly.

    You can now log into the BIG-IP VE Config utility, and license and provision BIG-IP VE.

See Also