Lab 2: The Basics (Networking, Pools and Virtual Servers)

In this lab we will access the Management GUI. We will then create the VLANs and assign self IP addresses to our VLAN. As mentioned during our lecture portion, BIG-IPs may be put in-line or one-armed depending on your customer’s requirements and topology.

Creating VLANs

You will need create two untagged VLANs, one client-side VLAN (client_vlan and one server-side VLAN (server_vlan) for the devices in your network.

  1. From the sidebar select Network >> VLANs then select Create


    1. Under General Properties:

      1. Name: client_vlan
    2. The name is for management purposes only, you could name them after your children or pets

      1. Tag: <leave blank>
        1. Entering a tag is only required for “Tagged” (802.1q interfaces. “Untagged” interfaces will automatically get a tag which is used for internal L2 segmentation of traffic.
    3. Under Resources in the Interfaces section:

      1. Interface: 1.1

      2. Tagging: Untagged

      3. Select the Add button. Leave all other items at the default setting.


When you have completed your VLAN configuration, hit the Finished button

Create another untagged VLAN named server_vlan on interface 1.2.

Assigning a Self IP addresses to your VLANs

Go to Network >> Self IPs, select Create.

  1. Create a new self IP, for the server_vlan and client_vlan VLANs.

    1. In Network >> Self IPs >> New Self IP, under Configuration enter:

                             **Server-Side                     Client-side**
      **Name**:               server_ip                        client_ip
      **IP Address**:            
      **VLAN**:              server_vlan                       client_vlan
      **Port** **Lockdown**:  Allow None                        Allow None

      The default “Allow None” means the Self IP would respond only to ICMP.

    2. The “Allow Defaults” selection opens the following on the self IP of the VLAN

      1. TCP: ssh, domain, snmp, https
      2. TCP: 4353, 6699 (for F5 protocols, such as HA and iQuery)
      3. UDP: 520, cap, domain, f5-iquery, snmp
      4. PROTOCOL: ospf


    Even with “Allow None” chosen, traffic destined for a virtual server or object on the F5 (e.g. NAT) are able to pass through without issue as any object created on the F5 is by default allowed to pass through.

When you have completed your self-IP configuration, hit the image3 button. You should have something similar to the following


Assigning the Default Gateway

  1. Go to Network > Routes and then Add.

    1. Here is where we assign our default gateway (and other static routes as desired)


    2. Under Properties

      1. Name: default_gateway
      2. Destination:
      3. Netmask:
      4. Resource: Use Gateway…
      5. Gateway Address:
      6. When you have completed defining your default gateway, hit the image6 button
  2. Verify your network configuration

    1. Ping your client-side self IP ( to verify connectivity
    2. Use an SSH utility, such as puTTY, to access your BIG-IP management port at
      1. User: root Password: default
      2. Ping your default gateway,
      3. Ping a web server at

Creating Pools

In this lab we will build a pool and virtual server to support our web site and verify our configurations by accessing our web servers through the BIG-IP. Verification will be performed visually and through various statistical interfaces.

  1. From the sidebar, select Local Traffic >> Pools then select Create. Here we will create our new pool


    1. Under Configuration:

      1. Name: www_pool
        1. The name is for management purposes only, no spaces can be used
      2. Description: <optional>
      3. Health Monitor: http
    2. Under Members:

      1. Load Balancing Method: <leave at the default Round Robin>

      2. Priority Group Activation: <leave at default>

      3. New Members:

        Address Service Port 80 80 80
      4. As you enter each IP address and port combination, hit the Add button


When you have completed your pool configuration, hit the Finished button

Creating Virtual Servers

Now let’s build our virtual server

  1. Under Local Traffic >> Virtual Servers, click the “+” icon


    1. Under General Properties

      1. Name: www_vs

      2. Description: <optional>

      3. Type: Standard

      4. Source/Address: <leave blank>


        The default is, all source IP address are allowed

      5. Destination Address/Mask:


        The default mask is /32

      6. Service Port: 80 or HTTP

    2. Under Configurations

      1. The web servers do not use the BIG-IP LTM as the default gateway. This means return traffic will route around the BIG-IP LTM and the TCP handshake will fail. To prevent this we can configure SNAT Automap on the Virtual Server. This will translate the client IP to the self IP of the egress VLAN and ensure the response returns to the BIG-IP.

      2. Source Address Translation: Auto Map


    3. Under Resources

      1. iRules: none
      2. Default Pool: From the drop down menu, select the pool (www_pool) which you created earlier
      3. Default Persistence Profile: None
      4. Fallback Persistence Profile: None

When you have completed your virtual server configuration, hit the Finished button

You have now created a Virtual Server (Note: Items in blue are links)

  1. Now let’s see if our virtual server works!

    1. Open the browser to the Virtual Server you just created

    2. Refresh the browser screen several times (use “<ctrl>” F5)


    • Go to your BIG-IP and view the statistics for the www_vs virtual server and the www_pool pool and its associated members

    • Go to Statistics > Module Statistics > Local Traffic

      • Choose Virtual Servers from drop down


    • Go to Local Traffic >> Virtual Servers >> Statistics

    • Go to Local Traffic >> Pools >> Statistics

      • Did each pool member receive the same number of connections?
      • Did each pool member receive approximately the same number of bytes?
      • Note the Source and Destination address when you go to directly and through the virtual server
  • Let’s archive our configuration in case we have to fall back later.

    • Go to System >> Archives and select Create.

      • Name your archive lab2_the_basics_net_pool_vs