F5 BIGIP Software upgrade procedure

Here is a procedure on how to upgrade the software on an F5 BIGIP cluster tier.

  1. Download last ISO version for F5 BIGIP LTM
  2. Upload the ISO to the standby unit
  3. Install the ISO to a free partition on the standby unit
  4. Change boot location to the new partition and device automatically reboots.

After 6 to 7 minutes the device booted with the new software version. From now on you won’t be able to sync your configs between the devices anymore because of the different software versions it’s only possible within the same release. F5 doesn’t recommend to run cluster with different software versions.

Now initiate the failover on the active unit! Do that maybe at low traffic period! Normally there should be no side effect and the failover is not visible to clients because of the mirroring the sessions.

In case of problems with the new software version you should be able to switch back to the other cluster member with the old software version at any time.

  1. When you verify that everything is working after the failover you can start the other device now
  2. Upload ISO file
  3. Install ISO file
  4. Change boot location

The same procedure you use to install hotfixes on the BigIP.

F5 Load Balancer

My company decided to buy two F5 Big IP Local Traffic Manager 8950 for our web cluster systems with a maximum balanced capacity of 20 gigabit. We also got the F5 Local Traffic Manager as Virtual Edition for our test enviroment and to integrate it into the test network.

In the beginning the F5 looked very complicated but after some time now playing around with it and setting up things, it got easier and easier. I only need to have a deeper look at the iRules because this feature allows you can to really do everything with the F5 load balancer.

So for now I can’t really write more about it but I will soon ┬ápost some updates.

Next week I have the integration of the F5 Big-IP into the production network of my company and will start setting up the first new linux web cluster but only with a layer 4 balancing.


Here a nice picture of the new F5 BigIP boxes in the data center from my company:

For the new web cluster for my company we set-up layer 4 balanced web server pools and layer 7 balanced pools.

The layer 7 balancing was necessary because there where different server pools with applications that needed to run under the same domain and where routed on the expected http/https request. I will post the iRule for everybody soon.

Here two interesting ressources to get information:

Ask F5

F5 Devcentral