With the 9.x version of BigIP you can set-up the Microsoft Virtual Server to be a PXE boot server that will allow you to easily install / upgrade your BigIP.

You will want to:

  • Backup your configuration
  • Download the install CD ROM ISO from F5 Networks
  • Create your Virtual Server
  • Install the package onto your BigIP

Saving and backing up your configuration
Save yourself some pain if something goes wrong. It is one simple command from the console:

           bigpipe config save /config.ucs

Download the install CR ROM ISO from F5 Networks
Log into AskF5. On the top button bar is a downloads link. From there navigate to the software version you would like to install on your BigIP.

For more help see SOL167- Downloading software from F5 Networks

Creating you Virtual Server
This processes assumes you have installed and configured Windows Virtual Server. Once you have the Virtual Server running you will need to take the following steps:

  1. Start Virtual Server
  1. Choose create new Virtual Server and complete the following:

              Name – assign it a name 
              Memory – keep at default 
              Virtual Disk – keep as default 
              Virtual Network Adaptor – External Network 
              Now save this new Virtual Server.

  1. Once your new Virtual Server has been created you will need to configure the CD / DVD drive to point to the correct ISO image. To do this you will:
    1. Click on the CD/DVD link in your new Virtual Server
    2. Select known image files
    3. Enter the fully qualified path to the ISO image file
    4. Click the Add CD/DVD Drive>>
  1. Now you are ready to start your Virtual Server.

Install the package onto your BigIP
You will need to take a few steps to configure the PXE server.

  1. Start your virtual Server. Once the Virtual machine starts up. The following message displays:

              Select terminal type? [vt100]

              Press Enter to use vt100 emulation, or type the name of the terminal emulator you are using.

  1. After you select the terminal type, the following screen opens:

              Maintenance OS Options
              Serve   Provide network installation services
              Install Install software onto hard disk
              Reboot  Reboot to your current system
              Exit    Exit to maintenance shell

  1. Select the default, Serve.

              A list of available network interfaces displays.
              Select one for the installation server interface.

  1. After you select the interface you want to use as the installation server interface, the following prompt displays:

              Use existing DHCP server on subnet [no]?

  1. Indicate your DHCP choice:

              · If there is an existing DHCP server on your subnet that you want to use, type yes.

                            The server configuration automatically completes.

              · If you want to set up this server as the DHCP server, type no.

                            The following series of prompts displays:

                            IP network [10.1.10]?

                            IP address of server 10.1.10[n] [199]?

                            Lower range for clients 10.1.10.[n] [199]?

                            Upper range for clients 10.1.10.[n] [200]?

              · If your subnet consists only of the server and the target BIG-IP unit, or is otherwise a private subnet, 
                use the default IP addresses provided. 

If the settings displayed are correct, type yes. If they are not, type no and you are prompted to re-enter the addresses.

6. Finally, you are prompted to specify the protocol you want to use to transfer the installation files. The default protocol is HTTP; however, you can also transfer the files using NFS.

Once you accept the settings, the server configuration is complete. You are now good to go. For more information on the PXE boot process see Remote Installation: Upgrading from BIG-IP software versions 9.2.x to BIG-IP software version 9.4. It is also worth noting that with version 9.4 there are 2 other options:

  • A Windows hosted installer for more information look here on askF5
  • Using a USB device, for more information look here on ask F5