F5 BIG-IP vCMP Configuration

If you haven’t read step 1 here Starting out with vCMP, first take a look. This describes the features of F5 BIG-IP vCMP. With the basic system settings all set and licensed, go into the System: Resource Provisioning to provision vCMP. You can also do this step as part of the initial setup wizard. You’ll notice that when you have vCMP provisioned, the only option is dedicated, and that when you select it, no other modules can be provisioned with it; provisioning modules such as LTM will disable vCMP.

Provisioning F5 BIG-IP vCMP

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When you submit the change, your services will restart, you’ll be disconnected from the UI and it will reboot the device.

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When it finally comes back(up to 20 minutes), you’ll see that you have a new tab on the left side of the interface where you can configure vCMP.

Creating F5 BIG-IP vCMP Guest

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Open up the vCMP tab and click through the menus to familiarize yourself with the options. First, we’ll create a new guest, boot it up and provision the modules. When you create a new guest, you’ll see that there are three states you can set, configured, provisioned and deployed. Configured is basically the configuration items are written, such as CPUs/Memory, name, networks, etc. Provisioned is where the resources are allocated and virtual disks are built, deployed is turned on. To change the number of cores available for a guest, you’ll need to shut the guest down, change to provisioned or configured, and restart the guest.

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F5 BIG-IP vCMP Guest Creation

When creating the guest, another options you’ll see is the network mode. The two current modes are bridged and isolated. Bridged is where the physical management port of the device is bridged to the guest that you’ve created, while isolated means you won’t have management access to the device. When setting up a guest as isolated, you’ll need to create a self-ip in a trusted network and allow ssh or https access to the device for management purposes.

Once you create a guest you’ll be brought to the guest list page where you can see the state of your guests as they get created and boot up. Here we’re creating the 4 allowed guests on this device and watching them configure, provision & deploy. It took about 30 minutes for them to all boot up, with the SSD platforms we have in production, this is much quicker.

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F5 BIG-IP vCMP Guest Provisioning

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Once all the guests are created, we can connect and configure the guest. First, Connect to the IP address that you set for the guest when you created it. Remember, this is bridged to the hypervisor’s managment port. That means you’ll have to have it be in that same network.

Logging into a new F5 BIG-IP vCMP Guest

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F5 BIG-IP vCMP Guest Login

You’ll see that it already has the hostname set and IP address as well. Login with the default user and password, admin/admin and you’ll find everything from here on out is pretty familiar.

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The license is already activated and inherited from the hypervisor.

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Here we’re provisioning the device for LTM and ASM, and then we’ll finish up the rest of the configuration later instead of going through the wizard.

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Congratulations on setting up vCMP. The actual tasks involved are not entirely complicated. The important part is to properly prepare your network and have a good plan. Also, design a proper architecture before you set anything up!

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