Getting Started with BIG-IP Next: Installing Instances on VMware ESXi

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 a BIG-IP Next Instance installed on VMware ESXi.

Download the bits...

Login to MyF5 and head to the downloads section. Select the BIG-IP_Next group, the Virtual Edition (VE) product line, and 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). Next, select a product container (20.0.2). Select the OVA file (BIG-IP-Next-20.0.2-2.139.10+0.0.165.ova), select the download location (USA - EAST COAST) and then click download. My selections as stated are shown below.

Install Next Instance

Connect to your ESXi server, right-click on Virtual Machines in the left-hand navigation, and click Create/Register VM.

The bits we downloaded is a OVA file, so select Deploy a virtual machine from an OVG or OVA file and click next.

Enter a name for the VM, select the OVA file we downloaded, and then click next.

I only have a single storage location so I selected datastore1, but you might have an alternative storage location. Select yours and click next.

On the deployment options, I only have a single NIC currently, but I need that to be in my VM Network so it can talk to the Central Manager. Select the appropriate VM Network for your environment and click finish.

The import and image upload will take some time to complete.

 If after import your VM powers on automatically, shut it off.

Right-click on the VM and click Edit settings.

In this dialog, to save resources for other services in my lab I downgraded my vCPUs from 8 to 2 and my memory from 16GB to 8GB and I also made sure to set the reservations for both to none (hidden under the dropdown for each). I also added two network adapters for data-plane traffic. My ESXi defaults to vmxnet3, but hit the dropdown on those adapters on your system to verify yours is vmxnet3 as well before continuing. Click save, and then power on your VM.

Set Up BIG-IP Next Instance

After the virtual machine boots up, log in to the instance with admin/admin. At the command line, type setup. (Note: this section was actually captured on VMware Fusion, but these steps are identical so I didn't recreate them for this article.)

I did not set a static IP, choosing to leave this on DHCP in my lab. I named my vlans v102 and v103 for internal/external (note: vlan name max length is 15 characters!), and assigned an address to each self. I didn't assign a static route as my lab is intentionally isolated, and I skipped the license for now, I'll do that part from Central Manager when I onboard the instances.

Grab a cup of coffee or take a bio break, the configuration can take several minutes for the API to be ready. You should see that the setup completed successfully.

And that's a wrap! Now the instance is ready to be onboarded in Central Manager!


Create a BIG-IP Next Instance Locally on VMware



Published Feb 14, 2024
Version 1.0

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