Many of our customers take advantage of F5’s evaluation programs prior to purchase. When purchase occurs, a customer may not wish to re-install, re-configure, etc. the software and/or hardware, but rather upgrade the evaluation configuration to a production license. For ARX CE, this involves replacing a time-limited evaluation product key with a perpetual production key. This article describes the procedure.

Problem Statement

Let’s start with a vignette – suppose Gary has spent hours understanding ARX CE, configuring it, migrating data, demigrating data, etc. and has a solid setup in place he’d like to take into production. Gary purchases ARX CE, obtains a license using the ARX CE licensing procedure, and is ready to convert his evaluation setup to production. Gary doesn’t want to start from scratch - he wants to re-use the configuration he’s got just right. Is this possible to do? Yes it is … read on for the specifics!

Problem Solution

ARX CE consists of three files for licensing and security:

  • - pkey : a private network key
  • - auth: a network password
  • - license.crt: a certificate containing product entitlements

Part of the procedure in obtaining your production ARX CE license involves generating a certificate request and sending it to F5 for fulfillment. This procedure also generates the pkey and auth files. Once F5 has sent you your production license.crt file, you are ready to perform the procedure.

1. For each ARX CE Agent and Gateway, you must replace the pkey and license.crt files in C:\Program Files\F5 ARX CE Agent (please note: this is the default install path – if you chose an alternate path, replace these files in that path). Note: on 64-bit systems, the default path may be C:\Program Files (x86)\F5 ARX CE Agent.

    a. Make a backup copy of pkey and license.crt

    b. Replace pkey and license.crt with the production copies. See the picture below with the target files circled in red.


2) For the ARX CE admin console, you must replace the license.crt file in the C:\Program Files\F5 ARX CE Cloud Extender\secure (this is the default path; if you chose an alternate install path, replace the files in that path). Note: on 64-bit systems, the default path may be C:\Program Files (x86)\F5 ARX CE Cloud Extender.

    a. Make a backup copy of license.crt

    b. Replace the license.crt file with the production license. See the picture below with the target file circled in red.


3) Next, you must restart the services:

    a. On each ARX CE Agent and Gateway, restart service “F5 ARX CE Agent”

    b. On each ARX CE admin system, restart service “F5 ARX Cloud Extender Webapps”

You do not need to demigrate data prior to performing the license swap. After the license swap, all files in the cloud are accessible. You should complete the procedure by ensuring files can be demigrated and migrated.

Whilst the F5 ARX CE Agent service is being restarted, demigrate operations will fail for a brief period of time.


All the hard work put in to get ARX CE the way you like it using one of our evaluation licenses does not need to be thrown away when you decide to purchase and put it into production. This tech tip describes how to replace your evaluation license with a production license, without having to re-install and re-configure ARX CE.

Author bio

JC Ferguson has been working in the storage domain for over 9 years and was instrumental in the invention and delivery of the ARX storage virtualization switch at Acopia Networks in the early years. F5 acquired Acopia Networks in 2007, and since then JC has continued his role as ARX product architect and project leader. Recently, JC focused on cloud storage and was instrumental in bringing the ARX CE product to market in February 2011. Prior to storage, JC worked at Crossbeam Systems on a high-speed application delivery device, at Cisco systems on the Resource Reservation Protocol in IOS and on Linux, and at Digital Equipment Corporation in several different product groups over a 12-year period.