Are you considering Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solutions for your data center?

Are you wondering how your current F5 BIG-IP solutions can be translated into NFV environment?

What NFV platform can be used with F5 NFV solutions in your data center?

Good News!  F5 has certified its BIG-IP NFV solutions with Cisco Cloud Services Platform (CSP) 2100.

Cisco CSP 2100 is an open x86 Linux Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) software and hardware platform is ideal for colocation and data center network functions virtualization (NFV).

F5 has a broad portfolio of VNFs available on BIG-IP include Virtual Firewall (vFW), Virtual Application Delivery Controllers (vADC), Virtual Policy Manager (vPEM), Virtual DNS (vDNS) and other BIG-IP products.

F5 VNF + Cisco CSP 2100: together provides a joint solution that allows network administrators quickly and easily deploy F5 VNFs through a simple, built-in, native web user interface (WebUI), command-line interface (CLI), or REST API.

BIG-IP VE Key Features in CSP 2100

  • 10G throughput with SR-IOV
  • PCIE or SR-IOV passthrough
  • Intel X710 NIC - Quad 10G port supported
  • All BIG-IP modules can run in CSP 2100

Minimum Requirements:

  • BIG-IP release 12.1.2
  • CSP version

Follow the steps below to onboard F5 BIG-IP VE in Cisco CSP 2100

(1) Download F5 BIG-IP VE (release 12.1.2 of later) qcow image:

(2) Log into Cisco CSP 2100:

(3) Go to "Configuration" -> "Repository" -> "Select":

(4) Locate the F5 BIG-IP VE qcow image, the click "Upload":

(5) To create a F5 BIG-IP virtual function, go to "Configuration" -> "Services" -> "Create"

(6) A wizard will pop up

(6a) Enter the name of the F5 BIG-IP VE virtual function

(6b) Enter the Target host name, name of the CSP 2100 where the BIG-IP VE will be hosted

(6c) Select the BIG-IP VE image, which should be available from the image list

(6d) VNIC1 - BIG-IP management IP configuration:

VLAN Type: Access

Network Name: same 1G interface being used by CSP 2100 as management 

(6e) VNIC2 - BIG-IP data port #1

VLAN Type: Passthrough SRIOV

VLAN: External VLAN number

VLAN Tagged: True (Tag at the CSP 2100 level)

Network Name: 1st 10G interfae of the CSP 2100

(6f) VNIC3 - BIG-IP data port #2

VLAN Type: Passthrough SRIOV

VLAN: Internal VLAN number

VLAN Tagged: True (Tag at the CSP 2100 level)

Network Name: 2nd 10G interfae of the CSP 2100

(6g) Click Save to complete all VNIC configurations

(7) Resource Configuration: BIG-IP VE recommends

4 CPU cores

8G of RAM

16G of disk space

(8) Use default values for rest of the fields, then click "Deploy"

F5 BIG-IP VE virtual function deployment in Cisco CSP 2100 is completed, you can monitor the BIG-IP VE boot up progress by clicking "Console"

After BIG-IP VE finishes the installation process, you can follow the same steps in bringing up BIG-IP, like assigning management IP and configure NTP servers.

Log into BIG-IP VE and configure licensing and resource provisioning for your VNF requirements.

Make sure the BIG-IP interface mapping to CSP 2100 VNIC is correct by verifying the MAC address assigment.  Consult with CSP 2100 guide in obtaining CSP 2100 VF VNIC MAC address info.  To check BIG-IP MAC address, go to "Network" -> "Interfaces"

Configure VLAN consistent with the CSP 2100 VLAN tag configuration, make sure VLANs are untagged at the BIG-IP level

After BIG-IP VE connectivity is established in the network, rest of the configurations, such as self IP, default gateway, virtual servers are consistent with any BIG-IP VE configurations.

For the complete BIG-IP VE onboarding CSP 2100 video, it is available under F5CiscoAlliance YouTube Channel:

Take a moment and read the F5 BIG-IP VE and CSP 2100 Solution Overview:

To learn more about the F5 and Cisco partnership and joint solutions, visit

For more information about Cisco CSP 2100, visit