BIG-IP Upgrades Part 4 - Performing the Software Installation

On a Big-IP in the Standby state (if there are more than one Big-IP in the device group), perform the following:

  • Log in to the Configuration Utility as a user with administrator privileges.
  • Upload the necessary ISO files (two images if a Hotfix is being applied):
    • Via the Configuration Utility, navigate to System/Software Management and click the Import button.
    • Alternatively. ISO files can be uploaded directly via Secure Copy (SCP) transfer directly to /shared/images/ and will automatically appear in the Configuration Utility when complete. For more information, refer to K175: Transferring files to or from an F5 system.
    • If you are not already running the configuration to be upgraded, boot into a software volume containing the configuration to be copied to another volume.
  • In the Configuration utility, click System.
  • Click Software Management.
  • Click the Hotfix List tab. If no Hotfix is being applied, click the Images tab. (Note that even if a Hotfix ISO file is installed, two installation will happen in the background; the first will install the Final [larger] ISO and the second will install the Hotfix ISO. In the GUI, you will see two progress bars move from 0-100%).
  • Check the image name you want to install.
  • Click the Install button. The Install window opens.
  • Select an available disk from the Select Disk drop-down menu.
  • From the Volume Set Name menu, select an empty volume set from the Volume Set Name drop-down menu or type a new volume set name.
    Note: You can use any combination of lowercase alphanumeric characters (a-z, 0-9) and the hyphen (-) character for the volume set name. The volume set name can be 1 to 32 characters in length, but cannot be only one 0 (zero) character (for example HD1.0 or MD1.0). For example, if the HD1 disk is active and you type siterequest into the volume set name, the system will create a volume set named HD1.siterequest and install the specified software to the new volume set. HD1.3 is typical (which conforms to the old v9 limitation).
  • Click Install. If the string you type does not match an existing volume set, the system creates the volume set and installs the software.
  • In the Installed Images section, the Install Status column first shows the base image installation progress and then the Hotfix installation progress.

Once the installation process is complete:

  • Navigate to System > Software Management > Boot Locations and click the boot location containing the desired software version.
  • Click the Activate button to automatically reboot the system to the specified boot location.

The upgrade can take up to 30 or more minutes depending on the size of the configuration. If the installation fails, running the command

tmsh load sys config 
may show an error which will aid troubleshooting.

Once the standby unit is upgraded:

  • Verify expected objects appear in the shared and non-shared portions of the configuration. For example, check that Local Traffic > Pools and Network > Vlans has the expected objects present.
  • Verify pool health status matches an Active unit's pool status.
  • Check the most recent logs (/var/log/ltm for example) for obvious signs of issues like repeating messages. Comparing logs to the active unit or to the logs prior to the upgrade can be helpful. In addition or alternatively, you can generate a qkview and review it in the iHealth Diagnostics section for currently known issues.
  • Force the Active unit to Standby (the upgraded system should take the Active role).
  • Test client traffic to the upgraded system's traffic objects (for example, virtual servers) to confirm the upgraded unit is processing traffic correctly.

Once the health of the upgraded unit is confirmed, repeat all the above upgrade steps on the peer Big-IP which is now in the Standby state and running the lower Big-IP version. Once all upgrades are complete, create a new set of UCS archives to retain backups of the new Big-IP version's configuration.

Updated Jun 06, 2023
Version 3.0

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