October 2018 Rev:D

Scope

This document describes the following:

  • When reporting is needed and how the report is used
  • How BIG-IQ reporting determines what to include in the report
  • Submission models – Manual and Automatic
  • How to find “missing reports”
  • Detailed Report contents

When reporting is needed and how the report is used

For subscription and ELA programs, administrator must use BIG-IQ to issue licenses to BIG-IP VE instances and keep track of usage. By the 10th day of the month, a usage report is submitted from BIG-IQ to F5 for processing from the previous calendar month.

The report contains information on the license grant and revoke operations across your infrastructure where BIG-IQ is managing the licenses.

How BIG-IQ reporting determines what to include in the report

It is important to understand how BIG-IQ determines what to include in the report because it affects what you need to send to F5 on a periodic basis.
BIG-IQ keeps track of all the licensing activities (grant of license, revoke of license) in its database as a time series of events. Each time a report is generated, BIG-IQ remembers the end date/time of the report and subsequent reports only report on transactions occurring after the last report.

Consider the following reporting activities:

BIG-IQ Reporting Window

“Report 1” will contain all transactions plus all outstanding license grants (not yet revoked) from the system’s first start up until 6/2/2018 12:12:00Z.
“Report 2” will contain all transactions plus all outstanding license grants from 6/2/2018 12:12:01Z to 7/3/2018 13:45:00Z.
When “Report 3” is generated, it will contain all transactions plus all outstanding grants from 7/3/2017 13:45:01Z to the date and time the report was generated.

The BIG-IQ reporting system thus never takes a “date range” for administrators to report on, instead, BIG-IQ keeps track of what’s been reported and what has not been reported so you don’t have to keep track of it.

To illustrate, perhaps by an extreme example, consider the following. Perhaps you were “testing” the reporting capability to see how it works and/or to debug connectivity issues to F5.

BIG-IQ Reporting Window Breakdown

In this case, the generated Reports 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 and all of those reports must be submitted for the June 2018 reporting period. Reason is report #7 only contains reporting transactions from 6/28/2018 23:21:00Z to 7/3/2018 13:45:00Z. This would leave a reporting gap between 6/2/2018 12:12:01Z (the May report to the far left of the diagram) and 6/28/2018 23:21:00Z.

It is OK to generate multiple reports during the month, but please keep each one and when the submission date arrives, send all of the reports in to prevent reporting gaps.

Submission models – Manual and Automatic

There are two ways to submit reports:

  1. Automatic – submit over the internet directly from BIG-IQ
  2. Manual – extract the report, and EMAIL the report to F5

Automatic

Automatic report submission is the least-effort method of submitting usage reporting to F5. However, it requires the following:

  • BIG-IQ must be able to resolve api.f5.com from your DNS configuration
  • BIG-IQ must be able connect to api.f5.com to post 443 (SSL).

You can test this by logging into your BIG-IQ system as “root” (SSH connection), and telneting to the service:

$ telnet api.f5.com 443
Trying 104.219.110.164...
 Connected to api.f5.com.
 Escape character is '^]'.
^C

If you see the “Trying <ip>” address message from telnet, this means DNS is working and your BIG-IQ system is able to resolve the IP address for api.f5.com.

If you see the two yellow highlighted lines, it means BIG-IQ was able to connect to api.f5.com on port 443. This usually indicates you’ll be able to submit a report to F5 automatically.

If this does not work as described and you want to submit automatically, you’ll need to enable a firewall rule (or whatever ACL'ish thing you're using) allowing your BIG-IQ to reach api.f5.com over port 443. Alternatively, BIG-IQ can be configured to use a network proxy to make a connection to api.f5.com. The proxy configuration is shown in the screen shot below:

Please note, because BIG-IQ is transferring the report over SSL, the content is encrypted in transit from your BIG-IQ to F5’s api.f5.com end-point.

To submit a report automatically, log into BIG-IQ as “admin” or a License Manager persona, click the “Devices” table, open “LICENSE MANAGEMENT” on the left navigation, then click “Licenses”. This is shown below:

BIG-IQ License Management

Next, in the type, select “Utility Billing Report”, select and move the Licenses you are using to license your BIG-IPs, and click “Generate and automatically submit report to F5”. In the lower right, click submit, and the system will attempt the transaction and indicate if it was a success or failure.

NOTE: If the automatic submission failed, you’ll need to manually extract, download and email the report to F5. Currently, there is no way to retry sending an already-created report.

Manual

Manual report submission is needed when your BIG-IQ cannot submit a report automatically. For manual submission, you’ll extract the report from BIG-IQ, then email it to F5 to SalesLicensingPrograms (at) f5.com.

Starting at the same place in the BIG-IQ UI, you’ll click Report, then pick type as “Utility Billing Report”, move the licenses you are using as part of the program to the Selected column/box, choose “Generate and manually submit report to F5”. Please ignore the message asking you to call F5 support unless you’ve encountered a product problem doing this workflow. Finally, click Download, then attach the report to an EMAIL and send to vesubscriptions (at) f5.com.

BIG-IQ Generating and Manually Submitting Billing Reports

Automated Reports

Currently, BIG-IQ does not have a scheduling mechanism. You can automate your monthly reports by leveraging a sample script on GitHub and then using your “crontab” scheduler (or equivalent) to create by the 10th day of the calendar month. Ensure that you have chosen the Generate and automatically submit report to F5 Reporting Option.

How to find “missing reports”

In the event you get a notice from F5 for a “missing report” for a time period during the reporting period, you can find the reports directly on your BIG-IQ system.

The reports are written to /var/config/rest/license-reports – simply log into BIG-IQ as “root” and SCP (secure copy) the reports from BIG-IQ to your system, then attach and send the reports to F5 manually to SalesLicensingPrograms (at) f5.com.

Please note: If you are using BIG-IQ in an HA cluster, the contents of /var/config/rest/license- reports is not replicated between the active and standby BIG-IQ systems. If there was a failover event during the month, you may need to look the contents of /var/config/rest/license-reports in both systems to locate the missing report(s).

Report Contents

The report is JSON format – the table below describes each field and following the table is a sample JSON report.

Elements Description
product Identifies the F5 product submitting the report
version Indicates the version of the F5 product sending the report
reportType Indicates the type of reporting being sent
poolType Indicates the type of license pool
regkey BIG-IQ system regkey
poolRegkey Service catalog regkey
poolName Name of your pool
periodStarted Report coverage starting date & time
periodEnded Report coverage ending date & time
For Each Device:  
id Unique BIG-IP id, if device is licensed as 'managed' or 'unmanaged'
address IP address of BIG-IP
hostname Name of BIG-IP, if device is licensed as 'managed' or 'unmanaged'
type How device was licensed: managed, unmanaged, unreachable
sku Service catalog assigned to device
uom Unit-of-measure (yearly for subscription and ELA)
granted Date/time of license grant
revoked Date/time of license revocation (if still licensed, this is omitted)

Sample Report

  {
    "product":  "big-iq",
    "version":  "5.0.0.0.0.3007",
    "reportType": "pool usage",
    "poolType": "CLPv2",
    "regKey": "U8917-466961-104-8159544-3215874",
    "poolRegkey": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxxx",
    "poolName": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxxx",
    "periodStarted": "2016-06-03T17:20:07Z",
    "periodEnded":  "2016-06-04T12:24:14Z",
    "records":  [
      {
        "id": "f80f00e0-000f-4f4f-8012f-1fee0f6ff500",
        "address":  "10.128.10.10",
        "hostname": "BIG-IP-001.sassy.molassy",
        "type": "MANAGED",
        "sku":  "F5-BIG-MSP-LTM-200M",
        "uom":  "hourly",
        "granted":  "2016-06-02T21:41:09Z"
      },
      {
        "id": "a3225f5f-8ffb-40ff-90ff-9547d00f755f",
        "address":  "10.128.10.20",
        "hostname": "BIG-IP-002.sassy.molassy",
        "type": "MANAGED",
        "sku":  "F5-BIG-MSP-LTM-200M",
        "uom":  "hourly",
        "granted":  "2016-06-02T21:44:10Z",
        "revoked":  "2016-06-03T21:45:07Z"
      }
    ]
  }

Support Need additional help or have questions?

Need additional help or have questions? Contact your SE for any additional questions or email SalesLicensingPrograms (at) f5.com. As always, let us know what else we can write about regarding licensing and how we can help you manage your BIG-IP environments.  Happy adminining.