Getting Started with BIG-IP Next: Installing Central Manager on VMware Fusion

Introductions have been made, fundamentals have been shared, and NOW it's time to make stuff happen! In this article, I'll show you how to get BIG-IP Next Central Manager installed on VMware Fusion.

Note: Fusion is not a supported installation target, but if you're working on discovery and/or using it for lab purposes, it'll work just fine.

Download the bits...

Login to MyF5 and head to the downloads section. Select the Central Manager product line, your choice of the product version (20.0 in my case for this article, the rest of the values in parentheses follow suit, but you might choose different versions/locations), then select a product container (20.0.2). Select the OVA file (BIG-IP-Next-CentralManager-20.0.02-0.0.68.ova), select the download location (USA - EAST COAST) and then click download. My selections as stated are shown below.

Install Central Manager

Launch VMware Fusion, and make sure you have 8 VCPUs, 16GB RAM, and 350GB of disk handy for the installation! Right-click on the VIRTUAL MACHINES icon and click new.

On the select the installation method screen, select import an existing virtual machine and then click continue.


Next, select choose file and select the bits you downloaded, then click continue. In my case, I already had the file in my recent items.

Name your virtual machine and then click save. I named mine Next-CM1 (so I can add a Next-CM2 for HA when it becomes available.)

This will kick off the initial import and setup as shown below.

At this point, you can click finish if everything looks good to you. I always like to validate network before first launch, so I clicked customize settings.

In the settings options, click network adapter.

In the network settings, you can select how you want to connect. I want Central Manager to be reachable from other machines on my network (including the BIG-IP Next instances I'll install!) so I am bridging vi Wi-Fi or Ethernet, whichever is connected, to my local network instead of a private network on my machine.

After that, close out the settings window and then start up your new virtual machine!

Set up Central Manager

Once the virtual machine boots up, login with admin/admin. You'll be prompted to update the password.

Enter the setup command, and work through the list of questions. I named mine cm.test.local (forgot my cm1!) and stuck with a DHCP address. I kept the defaults on the remaining questions save for external storage. This is local discovery on a laptop for me, so I don't need that. You likely don't either if using VMware Fusion, but it's there if you do. After the summary is presented, you can select yes and move on.

After a short pause, you'll be prompted to start the installation. Select yes.

Take a bio break and grab some coffee! It'll take several minutes to complete the install.

Once complete, I logged out and back in at the Fusion vm console just to make sure my password update was successful. Grab the IP address (if you didn't set one statically) from the console view, launch your favorite web browser and enter said IP into the locator bar and hit enter. Then enter admin, admin and click sign in. Note that even though you are re-using admin, it's a different account in the web interface than at the command line via console or ssh.

Here you are required again to change the password. Do that and then click save.

With an updated password, you are now ready to login to Central Manager! Submit your credentials and click sign in.


Congrats! Now you can begin exploring/using Central Manager.


Create BIG-IP Next Central Manager on VMware


Published Feb 02, 2024
Version 1.0

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