How to upgrade F5 BIG-IP

Initial Steps

  1. Determine the version you are upgrading from and too. Here is an excellent guide for determining if you will experience a smooth upgrade: Upgrade Path
  2. Download the iso File of the version you are upgrading from Support.F5.com.
  3. Learn of any new bugs that could cause issues with current configuration before updating.

Image updates are located here on the BIG-IP: System > Software Management > Image > Import

Hotfix updates are located here on the BIG-IP: System > Software Management > Hotfix List > Import > Browse > Locate > Image File

Upgrading

  1. Create archives on both active and standby devices.
  2. Download both archives to your local machine as a precaution.
  3. Re-activate license before upgrading. Note: do not re-activate license while the unit is active — it will restart processes and disrupt traffic processing. Wait to re-activate the license on the second unit until it has been failed over.
  4. Upload software images to both devices. If your change process allows for it, feel free to upload and install the image. It won’t affect traffic processing on the F5 and will reduce your time to completion during the actual change window.
  5. Force standby device offline to ensure no failover occurs.
  6. Install upgrade on standby device.
  7. If you have access to the management console (such as on a virtual edition F5) or if you have a serial console server in the data center plugged into the F5, you can run the command, watch the shutdown and reboot processes. Once the login prompt appears, enter your local root credentials and use the following commands to monitor logs: tail -f /var/log/ltm. You’ll gain extra visibility and it’s comforting to see at what step in the upgrade process you are, rather than, staring at a circle spinning on the GUI.
  8. Once you are able to access the GUI; give the F5 a few more minutes to finish up the boot processes.
  9. Look at the system statistics. Check for CPU usage and Memory. It is normal for these to spike at initial boot. Watch for 3-5 minutes, compare the graphs with that over the past 24 hours, remember that your standby unit will show low utilization over the past 24 hours and you will see this increase as you fail over once you’re ready to proceed with the second unit. See if you notice any drastic changes that are not going away after about 5 minutes before moving on.
  10. Take the unit we just upgraded out of Force Offline status. Verify that your Local Traffic configuration items (nodes, pool members, pools, VIPs) pass their health checks and maybe connect to a couple of high-priority VIPs via the F5’s CLI before failing over the active unit. Take note of the currently active unit’s connection counts in the F5 statistics, fail over and check the newly active unit’s connection statistics to make sure traffic is being processed no the newly active device. You can also check your floating traffic group in the device management section.
  11. Cover your bases by having the load balanced applications checked out and validated independently by the app owner or business stakeholders. Ask them to sign off that the applications are still functioning correctly before moving on to the next device.
  12. Repeat this same process with secondary device.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *