Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming (BIG-IP TS) is an iControl LX Extension delivered as a TMOS-independent RPM file. Installing the BIG-IP TS Extension on BIG-IP enables you to declaratively aggregate, normalize, and forward statistics and events from the BIG-IP to a consumer application. You can do all of this by POSTing a single TS JSON declaration to BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming’s declarative REST API endpoint.

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming is:

BUT… it is:

  • not created to include a graphical interface (GUI)

Where can I download F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming is available on GitHub and is F5-supported.

When is F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming a good fit and when it is not?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming is a good fit where:

  • You require a simple method to send stats/events to external analytics consumers

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming may not be a good fit where:

  • Declarative interface is not desirable
  • Organization is unwilling or unable to deploy iControl Extension RPM on BIG-IP

Which TMOS versions does F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming support?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming supports TMOS 13.x and later.

How do I get started with F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming?

See the Quick Start to jump right into using BIG-IP TS.

What is a “F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming Declaration”?

  • F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming uses a declarative model, meaning you provide a JSON declaration rather than a set of imperative commands.
  • F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming is well-defined according to the rules of the JSON Schema, and validates declarations according to the JSON Schema.

What is the delivery cadence for F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming releases are intended to be delivered on a 6-week basis.

What if I upgrade my BIG-IP system, how to I migrate my F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming configuration?

When you upgrade your BIG-IP system, you simply install F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming on the upgraded BIG-IP system and re-deploy your declaration. For example, you installed BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming on your BIG-IP running version 13.1 and deployed a declaration. You decide to upgrade your BIG-IP system to 14.1. Once the upgrade to 14.1 is complete, you must install BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming on the BIG-IP. After you install BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming, you send the same declaration you used pre-upgrade to the 13.1 BIG-IP system. Your upgraded BIG-IP will then have the same configuration as the previous version.

What happens on the front-end and back-end of F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming?

  • Front-end: F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming exposes a declarative iControl LX REST API on the front-end: /mgmt/shared/telemetry/declare.
  • Back-end: F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming uses iControl REST APIs on the back-end to communicate with BIG-IP. F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming can use 3rd party REST APIs to communicate with 3rd party systems, enabling integration opportunities.

How do I report issues, feature requests, and get help with F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming?

  • You can use GitHub Issues to submit feature requests or problems with F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming.

Does F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming collect any usage data?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming gathers non-identifiable usage data for the purposes of improving the product as outlined in the end user license agreement for BIG-IP. To opt out of data collection, disable BIG-IP system’s phone home feature as described in K15000.

How do F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming event listeners handle character encoding and illegal characters?

F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming does not currently enforce validation of the data that an event listener receives. It simply attempts to convert the raw input it receives into a JSON-formatted string for forwarding.

For complete information and examples, see Character Encoding information.

What is F5’s Automation Toolchain API Contract?

The API Contract for the F5 Automation Toolchain (BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming, BIG-IP AS3, and BIG-IP Declarative Onboarding) is our assurance that we will not make arbitrary breaking changes to our API. We take this commitment seriously. We semantically version our declarative API schemas (“xx.yy.zz”) and do not make breaking changes within a minor (“yy”) or patch (“zz”) releases. For example, early declarations using AS3 schema “3.0.0” are accepted by all subsequent minor releases including “3.16.0.”

As of January 2020, no breaking changes have been made to BIG-IP AS3, BIG-IP Declarative Onboarding, or F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming since inception. None are anticipated at this time. A breaking change, if any, will be noted by a change to the major release number (“xx”). For example, the BIG-IP AS3 schema version would become “4.0.0.”

Can I use F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming on F5 devices with multiple hosts, such as the Viprion platform?

Beginning with TS v1.10.0, you can use F5 BIG-IP Telemetry Streaming on F5 devices with multiple hosts, such as the Viprion platform and vCMP systems. In versions prior to v1.10, devices with multiple hosts were not supported.

Why am I seeing a decrease in some pool level metrics?

The BIG-IP system tracks pool level metrics by aggregating node metrics. If a node is deleted, you will see a decrease in some pool metrics, such as the bits in and out.