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BIG-IP VE on Google Cloud Platform

Hot off Cloud Month, let’s look at how to deploy BIG-IP Virtual Edition on the Google Cloud Platform.

This is a simple single-NIC, single IP deployment, which means that both management traffic and data traffic are going through the same NIC and are accessible with the same IP address.

gve1

Before you can create this deployment, you need a license from F5. You can also get a trial license here. Also, we’re using BIG-IP VE version 13.0.0 HF2 EHF3 for this example.

Alright, let’s get started.

Open the console, go to Cloud Launcher and search for F5.

veg2

Pick the version you want.

veg3

Now click Launch on Compute Engine.

veg4

I’m going to change the name so the VM is easier to find… For everything else, I’ll leave the defaults.

veg5

And then down under firewall, if these ports aren’t already open on your network, you can open 22, which you need so you can use SSH to connect to the instance, and 8443, so you can use the BIG-IP Configuration utility—the web tool that you use to manage the BIG-IP.

veg6

Now click Deploy. It takes just a few minutes to deploy.

And Deployed.

veg7

When you’re done, you can connect straight from the Google console. This screen cap shows SSH but if you use the browser window, you need to change the Linux username to admin in order to connect.

linux

Once done, you’ll get that command line.

c line

If you choose the gcloud command line option and then run in the gcloud shell, you need to put [email protected] in front of the instance name in order to connect.

veg73

gshell

We like using putty so first we need to go get the external IP address of the instance. So I look at the instance and copy the external IP.

veg75

Then we go into Metadata > SSH keys to confirm that the keys are there. (Added earlier), Whichever keys you want to use to connect, you should put them here.

veg76

BIG-IP VE grabs these keys every minute or so, so any of the non-expired keys in this list can access the instance. If you remove keys from this list, they’ll be removed from BIG-IP and will no longer have access. You do have the option to edit the VM instance and block project-wide keys if you’d like.

veg77

Because my keys are already in this list I can open Putty now, and then specify my keys in order to connect.

veg78

veg79

The reason that we’re using ssh to connect is that you need to set an admin password that’s used to connect to the BIG-IP Config utility.

So I’m going to set the admin password here… (and again, you can do these same steps, no matter how you connect to the instance)

p new pw

tmsh Command is: modify auth modify auth password admin

And then: save sys config to save the change.

Now we can connect and log in to the BIG-IP Config utility by using https, the external IP and port 8443. Now type admin and the password we just set.

veg81

Then we can proceed with licensing and provisioning BIG-IP VE.

A few other notes:

  • If you’re used to creating a self IP and VLAN, you don’t need to do that. In this single NIC deployment, those things are taken care of for you.
  • If you want to start sending traffic, just set up your pool and virtual server the way you normally would. Just make sure if your app is using port 443, for example, that you add that firewall rule to your network or your instance.
  • And finally, you most likely want to make your external IP address one that is static, and you can do that in the UI by choosing Networking, then External IP addresses, then Type).
  • If you need any help, here’s the Google Cloud Platform/BIG-IP VE Setup Guide and/or watch the full video.

ps


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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

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