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F5 BIG-IP LTM VE with VMware Workstation or VirtualBox

Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me out with the network configuration of the f5 BIG-IP VE on either Vmware Workstation or VirtualBox. I was able to get it up and running. However there are 3 virtual interfaces that come with it. I'm not sure what virtual interface in either VMware or VBox is associated to what interface on the f5 ltm. The three are Adapter 1 Bridged, Adapter 2, Internal Network, Adapter 3 bridged. I guess what I am asking is which is the front side, which is the backside and which is management?

If there's anyone with any experience in getting one of these running I would appreciate the help. I am just trying to set up a little virtual lab for educational use. I work with them but it is all remote work. Having one always accessible as a lab would be a great educational tool.

Thanks!

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Comment made 16-Feb-2016 by Mendrika 53
I need help, I got a .ova file "BIGIP-11.3.0.39.0-scsi.ova" when I run it, it says that login is incorrect (I put the default login/pwd: root/default). Could anyone help? The configuration is the same as bellow. Thanks.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER

These are my lab notes/cheatsheet for how to do this. FAIR DISCLAIMER = LTM-VE is NOT officially supported on Oracle VirtualBox. But it does work if you set up the NICs correctly. This example is for 2 NICs, you can always add the 3rd and 4th Vbox NIC if needed.

How to Install LTM-VE (BIG-IP Virtual Edition ) on Oracle’s VirtualBox

Introduction

The F5 BIG-IP TMOS versions 10.2.2 and higher include support for the Xen hypervisor, version 5.6. Oracle VirtualBox also provides support for this Hypervisor. While running BIG-IP on VBox is not currently officially supported by F5 Networks, it does work and can be used in non-production environments like test/dev/qa/training/support, ( and your LAPTOP! ) and for POC/POV conceptual work where load and performance testing are not required. All performance and load testing workloads should always be done with actual big-ip hardware appliances. This guide is meant to be an overview of the general process of setting up a working system that will pass traffic thru a VBox VM instance of the BIG-IP virtual appliance.

Prerequisites

  1. Windows computer/laptop system, with the appropriate OS/RAM/Disk systems to run Oracle VirtualBox 4.2 or later.

  2. Make sure you have a VirtualBox Host-Only Network Adapter in the Windows Network Control Panel. It should be enabled and set for DHCP.

  3. 1 or more NICs in the VBox system. You must have at least 2 vNICs defined. The first one is assigned for MGMT using the VBox Host-Only adapter ( this is a requirement ! ). The second NIC is the actual physical adapter, used in Bridged Mode for F5 client/server load balancing production traffic. This will not work on a single NIC, and you cannot load balance traffic on the MGMT interface of a BIG-IP. The MGMT and production interfaces MUST be on different IP subnets.

  4. Network or VLan for the servers. The IP subnet can be 192.168.1.0/24 to make installation tasks easier, but not required.

  5. BIG-IP Version 10.2.2 or later VM files, from http://downloads.f5.com. The later BIG-IP Versions 11.x are recommended.

  6. License key for the big-ip – see License section on obtaining a free eval key

  7. Optional – VBox templates to create a couple Weblogic VMs, to test load balancing and actual client > F5 > server traffic.

  8. Optional – Real VNC or Tight VNC console client software.

  9. Optional – Putty SSH client software.

  10. Optional – WinSCP file copy software.

  11. Optional – Browser plug-in tools like Firebug, HTTPwatch, Fiddler, Fiddler2, etc.

  12. Optional – Wireshark network packet capture and analysis tool.

Verify VBox Host-Only Network is installed and configured

On Windows, verify that the Host-Only Network adapter is enabled, and DHCP is running. Under the VBox console, File>Preferences, Network Tab:

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Download the LTM-VE virtual image file(s)

Download the image from https://support.f5.com/downloads page. You must have an F5 support account, which is FREE to register.

Use the VM OVA file for the Citrix-XenServer v5.6+ hypervisor. This image will work with both Oracle VirtualBox and Oracle VM Server ( OVM 3.x ). Optionally download the associated MD5 checksum file to verify the downloaded image file.

As an example, this link is for the Version 11.4 image set: https://downloads.f5.com/esd/serveDownload.jsp?path=/big-ip/big-ip_v11.x/11.4.0/english/virtual-edition/&sw=BIG-IP&pro=big-ip_v11.x&ver=11.4.0&container=Virtual-Edition&file=BIGIP-11.4.0.2384.0-ide.ova

Create a new VM for Vbox

Uncompress the .ZIP file, and using the Vbox Console, create a new VM called LTM-VE. Using the VBox Console, click File > Import Appliance, then Open appliance, and select the .OVA file that you unzipped in the previous step:

LTM-VE VBox System Settings

Set the virtual machine system parameters for 4GB RAM, 2 CPUs. Note, you need 6GB RAM to use any of the additional BIG-IP Add-on Modules, like GTM, APM, etc. 4GB is the bare minimum.

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LTM-VE VBox Network Settings

Configure the LTM-VE network settings as follows:

Adapter 1 = PCnet-FASTIII – Vbox Host Only

Adapter 2 = Para-virtualized – Bridged, Intel E1000

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VBox Serial Settings

Also set the following parameter on your VM: Enable a serial port on COM1

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VBox Optional Settings - Remove/Disable the Audio, Add a USB port.

Power on the LTM-VE VM

After booting, log into the BIG-IP console with user/pass of root/default. Type “ifconfig eth0” to see the IP address of the MGMT port, assigned by the VBox DHCP server:

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Connect to the Web Console of the LTM-VE VM

Open a browser with HTTPS to the web console, using the IP address of the eth0: https://192.168.56.102 in this example. The web console log in is: admin/admin

BIG-IP Licensing

You need to contact your F5 sales representative and obtain a free 30-day eval key for your virtual machine. There are permanent license keys available that work, but F5 does not officially support the Oracle VBox platform. The LTM-VE LAB key is $99, that's what I use.

After licensing and one final reboot, your BIG-IP VM should be up and running. You can now create a new vlan, self-ip, pools, monitors, and virtual servers just like a real big-ip. Often, the interfaces will show up as “uninitialized” in the web console, but that can be ignored, they will pass traffic once VLANs are configured.

You will end up with a running LTM-VE VM, and a load balancing a couple Weblogic servers ( or such):

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Good Luck!!

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Comments on this Answer
Comment made 13-Feb-2014 by boneyard 4561
cool, thanks for posting, hopefully this will remain working in future versions.
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Comment made 02-Jun-2014 by uni 862
I came unstuck with the import: Failed to import appliance ~/BIGIP-11.5.1.0.0.110.ALL-ide.ova. Internal inconsistency looking up disk image BIGIP-11.5.1.0.0.110-ide.cert. Can anyone offer a solution to this?
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Comment made 12-Aug-2014 by Kevin Iddles 0
Its only supported on ESXi/vSphere. However there is a workaround. Install ESXi into Workstation (yes you can do this) then once you have that setup, import the OVA into ESXi. Once you have that, simply navigate the ESX datastore and copy the directory out to your workstation VM directory. You should then be able to open the VM. I now keep an ESX VM just for this, as its not just F5 having this issue. Of course its all unsupported but you wouldn't be doing this if it was :)
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Comment made 17-Feb-2016 by Mendrika 53
Could you send me the .ova you used because I did the same configuration on Virtual Box but I can't it refuses my login (user: root, pwd: default).
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER

Can't really speak for VirtualBox, but in WorkStation the first interface is always the management port. The others are (usually) in order after that, but I've found that to not always be true. Your best bet if they aren't in order, after accessing via management, is to create the VLANs with no interfaces, assign self-IPs to the VLANs, and then add an interface to a VLAN while pinging it from another box.

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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER

Thanks you for the post first of all!

Now, I am confused as usual while segregating VLANs on my Virtual F5 Appliance (VMware Workstation). How can I have Internal / External and Management interfaces in different subnet in order to setup a small educational lab?

I have bridged one of the interfaces and it became a management interface, and I got the GUI access.

How can I setup Internal / External VLANs?

Any help will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Darshan

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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER

Hello,

I followed the steps but i am getting this error:

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine LTM-VE.

Nonexistent host networking interface, name '' (VERR_INTERNAL_ERROR).

Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005) Component: Console Interface: IConsole {8ab7c520-2442-4b66-8d74-4ff1e195d2b6}

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Comments on this Answer
Comment made 22-Dec-2015 by What Lies Beneath 6527
Sounds like you didn't enable the COM1 serial port.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER

I am getting an error while importing the OVA image: BIGIP-11.5.1.0.0.110.ALL-ide.ova.

Medium 'C:\Users\xxxx\VirtualBox VMs\vm\BIGIP-11.5.1.0.0.110-disk1.vmdk' is already attached to port 1, device 0 of controller 'IDE Controller' of this virtual machine.

Código Resultado: VBOX_E_OBJECT_IN_USE (0x80BB000C) Componente: ApplianceWrap Interfaz: IAppliance {8398f026-4add-4474-5bc3-2f9f2140b23e}

Any Ideas?

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Comments on this Answer
Comment made 08-Jan-2016 by venkat teki 1
Hi, i am also running into same issue. Could you find the solution to your problem?
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Comment made 08-Jan-2016 by Josue Garcia 1
I found the solution by manually configuring the VM as described above, then I have attached the BIGIP-11.5.1.0.0.110-disk1.vmdk which is within the ova
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Comment made 09-Jan-2016 by venkat teki 1
OK. So, disk2.vmdk is not required at all?
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Comment made 30-Jun-2016 by agh1890 0
I tired to set up up and can get the VM up and running however if I reboot the VM I end up in a state where the F5 boot goes to resize the disks and directories and boots again over and over again. Has anyone else run into this. I see the same behavior on 11.x and 12.x code with the latest virtual box
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Comment made 1 month ago by wojtek001 0

Installing BIGIP-12.1.2.0.0.249.ALL-ide.ova on Virtual box version 5.1.14

  • Decompress .ova file.

  • Open .ovf file from decompressed folder.

  • Change this:

(starts around line 380)

  <Item>

<rasd:Address>1</rasd:Address>

<rasd:Description>IDE Controller</rasd:Description>

    <rasd:ElementName>ideController1</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:InstanceID>3</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:ResourceType>5</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

  <Item>

    <rasd:Address>0</rasd:Address>

    <rasd:Description>IDE Controller</rasd:Description>

    <rasd:ElementName>ideController0</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:InstanceID>4</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:ResourceType>5</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

  <Item>

    <rasd:AddressOnParent>0</rasd:AddressOnParent>

    <rasd:ElementName>disk1</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:HostResource>ovf:/disk/vmdisk1</rasd:HostResource>

    <rasd:InstanceID>5</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:Parent>4</rasd:Parent>

    <rasd:ResourceType>17</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

  <Item>

    <rasd:AddressOnParent>0</rasd:AddressOnParent>

    <rasd:ElementName>disk2</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:HostResource>ovf:/disk/vmdisk2</rasd:HostResource>

    <rasd:InstanceID>6</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:Parent>3</rasd:Parent>

    <rasd:ResourceType>17</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

To that:

  <Item>

    <rasd:Address>0</rasd:Address>

    <rasd:Description>IDE Controller</rasd:Description>

    <rasd:ElementName>ideController1</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:InstanceID>3</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:ResourceType>5</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

  <Item>

    <rasd:Address>1</rasd:Address>

    <rasd:Description>IDE Controller</rasd:Description>

    <rasd:ElementName>ideController0</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:InstanceID>4</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:ResourceType>5</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

  <Item>

    <rasd:AddressOnParent>0</rasd:AddressOnParent>

    <rasd:ElementName>disk1</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:HostResource>ovf:/disk/vmdisk1</rasd:HostResource>

    <rasd:InstanceID>5</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:Parent>4</rasd:Parent>

    <rasd:ResourceType>17</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

  <Item>

    <rasd:AddressOnParent>1</rasd:AddressOnParent>

    <rasd:ElementName>disk2</rasd:ElementName>

    <rasd:HostResource>ovf:/disk/vmdisk2</rasd:HostResource>

    <rasd:InstanceID>6</rasd:InstanceID>

    <rasd:Parent>3</rasd:Parent>

    <rasd:ResourceType>17</rasd:ResourceType>

  </Item>

The only differences are addresses for items 1,2 and 4.

  • Due to changes in addresses SHA checksums are no longer valid. To get rid of error message delete .mf file from folder with decompressed files.
  • Go to Files->Import Appliance and point VirtualBox to .ovf file from decompressed folder. Then import machine.
  • Change settings as explained in original post.
  • One additional setting change is required: In VM settings->Storage: for BIGIP- -disk1 Change attribute Hard Disk: form Secondary Master to Primary Master
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER

Hi Trongo, Is this completed now.??

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