Create Baremetal Site


This document provides instructions on how to create an F5® Distributed Cloud Services single-node or multi-node site on custom hardware, with a site software image file. For more information, see F5 Distributed Cloud Site.


  • A Distributed Cloud Services Account. If you do not have an account, see Create an Account.
  • A Distributed Cloud Services node software image file. To download the software image file, see Images.
  • Resources required per node:
    • Minimum 4 vCPUs and 14 GB RAM.
    • 45 GB is the minimum amount required for storage. However, to deploy an F5 Distributed Cloud App Stack Site, F5 recommends 100 GB for storage.

By proceeding with the installation, download and/or access and use, as applicable, of the Distributed Cloud Services software, and/or Distributed Cloud Services platform, you acknowledge that you have read, understand, and agree to be bound by this agreement.


The USB allowlist is enabled by default. If you change a USB device, such as a keyboard after registration, the device no longer functions.

Minimum Hardware Requirements

The Distributed Cloud Services Node software is designed to work on most commodity hardware.

Use the following minimum requirements to help you choose your commodity hardware for Distributed Cloud Services Node deployments:

MemoryNetworkingUSBHDMIDisk Space
Minimum: 14 GBMinimum: 1x 1000Mb/s (Intel-based)Minimum: 1 USB 2.0/3.0 for Imaging the hostMinimum: 1 HDMI for imaging the system. Only required if the hardware provided is not Distributed Cloud Services packaged.Minimum: 64 GB
Recommended: 16 GBDistributed Cloud Services provides multiple network interface controller (NIC) support. You can use multiple NICs for a Customer Edge site.Varies with peripheral connections (camera, etc.)Recommended: 128 GB

As you plan for your hardware setup, consider the following information:

  • Current architecture supported is x86. Arm is currently on the roadmap.
  • Memory, storage, and CPU requirements vary based on application usage on the system/host.
  • Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) support is a mandatory requirement. Refer to Intel DPDK for more information.
  • USB requirements for the host vary on the number of peripheral device connections.

Supported Hardware

  • All the hardware listed below has been tested and supported by Distributed Cloud Services. Known caveats are listed in the respective sections.

  • Distributed Cloud Services nodes can only be deployed on hardware with Intel-based Ethernet cards with DPDK support. See Intel DPDK.

  • Refer to product-specific data sheets for more information.

  • Using the minimum hardware requirements listed above, you can attempt to install a Distributed Cloud Services Node, but official support is limited.

Note: The Distributed Cloud Services Node software is certified to run on the hardware specified in the following sections. If you want to certify Distributed Cloud Services Node software for your specific hardware setup, email

Edge Hardware

VendorModelProcessorMemoryNetworkingStorageUSBHDMIGraphicsInput Voltage
IntelNUC7i7DNKE1.9 GHz Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor32 GB DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM 2400 MHz1x Intel 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet1 TB SSD SATA III4x USB 3.02x HDMI 2.0Dual HDMI 2.0a, 4-lane eDP 1.412-24 VDC
IntelNUC8i3BEHIntel® Core™ i3-8109U Processor (4M Cache, up to 3.60 GHz)32 GB DDR4-2400 1.2V SO-DIMM1x Intel 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet1 TB M.2 SSD SATA5x USB 3.1 Gen 2
3x USB 2.0
1x HDMI 2.0aIntel Iris™ Plus Graphics 655 or Intel UHD Graphics 62012-19 V DC
Fitlet2E3950Intel Atom™ Processor x7 Series E3950 1.6GHz to 2GHz1x SO-DIMM 204-pin DDR3L Non-ECC DDR3L-1866 (1.35V) Up to 16GB2x GbE LAN ports (RJ-45), LAN1: Intel I211 GbE controller, LAN2: Intel I211 GbE controller1x M.2 M-Key 2242/2260* on board *M.2 2280 optional on some facet cards2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0HDMI 1.4 3840x2160 @30HzIntel® HD Graphics 505 Dual display mode supportedUnregulated 7 – 20VDC* input

Note: Fitlet2 interface naming is reversed. Eth2 = eth0 (WAN/Site Local Interface) and Eth1 = (LAN/Site Local Inside Interface).

Server Hardware

VendorModelProcessorMemoryNetworkingStorageUSBRAIDHDDInput Voltage
KingstarSYS-1029U-TN10RTIntel XeonDDR4-2666 32GB x 12 (384GB+)Intel XXV710 (10/25G)SSD NVMe (1TB, 4TB)
DellPowerEdge R640Intel Xeon Gold 6230N(20 Core/2.3GHZ/27.5MB Cache/HT)x2384GB:32GB*12 - DIMMIntel X710 10G SFP + x2 Port + Intel i350 1G Base-T x2 Port Add-on: Intel X710 10G SFP+x2 Port PCIe NIC x1 or Intel XL710 40G QSFP+ x2 Port PCIe NIC x2960GB (mixed use SDD/Dell AG Drive) x3 (6GBPS SATA/2.5inch/HotPlug)2 x USB 3.0PERC H740P SAS RAID controller960GB (mixed use SSD/Dell AG Drive) x3 (6Gbps SATA/2.5inch/HotPlug)1100W 48VDC
DellPowerEdge R650xsIntel Xeon Gold 6336Y (24Core/2.4GHz/36MB Cache/HT)384GB(12 x 32GB DDR4 RDIMM,3200MT/s, Dual Rank)Intel E810-XXV Quad Port 10/25GbE SFP28 OCP NIC 3.0;960GB SSD SATA Read Intensive 6Gbps 512 2.5 inches Hot-Plug AG Drive, 1 DWPD x31 x iDRAC Direct (Micro-AB USB)
2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0
PERC H755 SAS960GB SSD SATA Read Intensive 6Gbps 512 2.5 inches Hot-Plug AG Drive, 1 DWPD x3800W, 100-240VAC/240VDC
DellPowerEdge R660Intel Xeon Silver 4416+(20Core/2.0GHz/37.5MB Cache/HT)768GB(12 x 64GB DDR5 RDIMM,4800MT/s, Dual Rank)Intel X710-T4L Quad Port 10GbE BASE-T, OCP NIC 3.0;
Intel X710-T2L Dual Port 10GbE BASE-T Adaptor, Low Profile PCIe
960GB SSD SATA Read Intensive 6Gbps 512 2.5 inches Hot-Plug AG Drive, 1 DWPD x41 x iDRAC Direct (Micro-AB USB)
2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0
PERC H965i, PERC H755, PERC H755N, PERC H355, HBA355i, PERC H965e960GB SSD SATA Read Intensive 6Gbps 512 2.5 inches Hot-Plug AG Drive, 1 DWPD x41100W
HPProLiant DL360 Gen10 8SFF NCIntel Xeon Gold 6222V (20 Core, 1.8GHZ, 27.5MB Cache) x 232GB x 12 (384GB) DIMM2x HPE Ethernet 10/25Gb 2-port SFP28 interfaces (Mellanox MCX4121A ConnectX-4 Lx), 1x HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 366T Adapter (Intel)2 x USB 3.0PERC H740P SAS RAID controller800W

Create Site

Before you deploy a single-node or multi-node site on baremetal, you must create a site in the F5 Distributed Cloud Console. For information, see one of the following documents:

Prepare a Bootable USB

To create a bootable USB drive, you must flash the Distributed Cloud Services CE ISO image onto a USB drive. Depending on your operating system, you can use software, such as Etcher, to quickly flash the USB drive with the ISO image.

Step 1: Download Etcher software based on your operating system.
  • Navigate to Etcher to download the installer file.

  • Follow the instructions to install Etcher.

Note: If you are running macOS X Catalina, you must download the latest version of Etcher. If you do not download the latest version and attempt to flash an ISO image, the following terminal message appears:

          “balenaEtcher” can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software
Step 2: Download the Distributed Cloud Services Node ISO image file.

To download the file, navigate to Certified Hardware and KVM Images. A certified Distributed Cloud Services Node image software (.iso/.img) is packaged with all the required components to provision Distributed Cloud Services-based components.

For more information about choosing an appropriate image for your certified hardware, see How to choose an image for your site deployment?.

Step 3: Flash the USB drive.
  • Insert a USB into your computer.

  • Open Etcher.

Figure: Etcher

Important: You can also utilities such as VirtualCD with iDRAC, iLO and so on to boot the Distributed Cloud ISO. For instructions, see the documentation for the utility to want to use.

Configure the BIOS

Prior to installing the Distributed Cloud Services Node software, you must configure your system’s BIOS menu. The BIOS provides the basic functions needed to boot your system and enables you to access specific hardware components.

Step 1: Invoke the BIOS menu.

To enter the BIOS menu, press a key or key combination (Delete or F2) immediately after turning on your computer.

Note: The key combination differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically, the start screen on the computer displays a message that states which key to press to enter the BIOS menu.

Figure: BIOS Menu
Step 2: Select boot device.

In the BIOS setup menu, you can select which devices will check in which sequence for a bootable operating system in the Boot tab.

Note: The possible choices usually include the internal hard disks, the CD/DVD-ROM drive and mass storage devices, such as USB sticks or external hard disks. The installation media in most of the scenarios is a flashed USB drive with the Distributed Cloud Services Node image.

  • Select the USB drive to boot first from the boot menu options.
Figure: Selection of Primary Boot Device

Most BIOS versions allow you to call up a boot menu on system startup in which you select from which device the computer starts for the current session. If this option is available, the BIOS usually displays a short message like “press F12 for boot menu” on system startup. The actual key used to select this menu varies from system to system. Commonly used keys are F12, F11, or F8. Choosing a device from this menu does not change the default boot order of the BIOS. In other words, you can start once from a USB drive while having configured the internal hard disk as the primary boot device.

Figure: Selection of Boot Device During System Start
Step 3: Check and fix potential issues.

If you have no PS/2-style keyboard, but only a USB model, you might need to enable legacy keyboard emulation in your BIOS menu to use your keyboard in the bootloader menu. Modern systems do not have this issue.

If your keyboard does not work in the bootloader menu, consult your system manual and look in the BIOS for “Legacy keyboard emulation” or “USB keyboard support” options.

Install the Node OS Software

After the boot order is configured to USB, a prompt loads with information to install the Distributed Cloud Services node OS.

  • Use the keyboard arrows to select Test this media 9 install RHEL 9. This is the recommended option.
Figure: Select Install Option
  • After the boot process completes, select your preferred language settings. Then click Continue.
Figure: Select Language
  • Select Installation Destination.
Figure: Select Language
  • Select the disk to set as the installation destination, configure any additional settings, and then click Done.
Figure: Select Language
  • On the INSTALLATION SUMMARY page, click Begin Installation.
Figure: Select Language
  • After the installation process completes, click Reboot System.
Figure: Select Language

Post-Install Node Parameter Configuration

Log in to the node to configure additional options.

Step 1: Log in to the node.
  • Access the node using SSH or through a console window.

  • Log in to the node with the default user credentials:

    • Local user account: admin
    • Password: Volterra123

    If this is the first time you are logging in, you are prompted to update the default password for the admin user account. Follow the instructions to update the default password.

  • Press the Tab key to select parameters to configure.

Step 2: Start optional network configuration.

You can optionally configure the network. Use this option if you want to use a static IP address instead of DHCP.

Use configure-network to perform the following tasks:

  • Enable IPv6
  • Configure static IP (need to reflect to configuration in UI)
  • Special DNS, NTP, and so on
  • Configure proxy

Note: You cannot change an IP address for a registered node in a multi-node site. You must use fixed IP addresses or DHCP addresses with a fixed lease. When you configure an HTTP proxy server, IPSec tunneling is not supported. For tunneling, use SSL or automatic.

Figure: Configure network master-0
Figure: Configure network master-1
Figure: Configure network master-2
Step 3: Configure the main options.

Note: If you apply static configuration for the network, you must first perform network configuration using the configure-network option before you set additional fields using the configure option. Also, you cannot change the IP address of a node in a multi-node site after the node is successfully registered.

Press the Tab key to select the configure option.

  • Enter the registration token.

  • Enter a site name.

    Note: The site name must be the same as the name provided in the Distributed Cloud Console.

  • Enter a hostname.

    Note: Ensure that hostnames are unique if you are installing nodes for a multi-node site. The hostname must be the same as the hostname provided in the Distributed Cloud Console

  • Enter the longitude and latitude information.

  • Select an option for the certified hardware.

  • Configure any other options that are presented.

Figure: Configure master-0
Figure: Configure master-1
Figure: Configure master-2
Step 4: Confirm configuration.

Enter Y to confirm configuration. This triggers the registration process on Distributed Cloud global controllers.

Step 5: Verify the configuration.
  • Select get config.

  • Confirm that the settings are correct.

Wait a few minutes for the site to be ready for registration.

Note: You can select the factory-reset option to perform a configuration reset and repeat the registration process again per the instructions above.

Note: If you use an NTP server, ensure that the server is reachable. Otherwise, leave the NTP server configuration empty so that the F5 Distributed Cloud NTP servers are used instead.

  • Use the q key to exit the health information page.

Register the Site

After you install the Distributed Cloud Services Node, you must register it as a site in the Distributed Cloud Console.

Important: If you have not already created a site token, you must create one before you register your site. For instructions, see Create a Site Token.

Note: The USB allowlist is enabled by default. If you change a USB device, such as a keyboard after registration, the device no longer functions.

Step 1: Navigate to the site registration page.
  • Log in to the Distributed Cloud Console.

  • Click Multi-Cloud Network Connect.

  • Click Manage > Site Management > Registrations.

Step 2: Complete site registration.
  • Under Pending Registrations, find your node name and then click the blue checkmark.

  • In the form that appears, fill in all required fields with the asterisk symbol (*).

  • If you did not previously, enter Latitude and Longitude values.

  • Enter other configuration information, if needed.

Single-Node Site Registration

Figure: Single Site Registration

Multi-Node Site Registration

To accept the registration requests from the master-0, master-1 and master-2 nodes, click Accept. Note that your node names are different.

Note: In the cluster size, you must change the number of nodes from 1 to 3 as shown in the image below.

Figure: Multi-Node Site Registration
  • Click Save and Exit.
Step 3: Check site status and health.

It might take a few minutes for the site registration information to update.

Click Manage > Site Management > Sites and select the site to see the site dashboard.

Figure: Site Dashboard
  • System metrics: Shows overall site health.
  • Active Alerts: Shows all alerts active for the site nodes.
  • Connectivity: Shows Regional Edge (RE) connectivity state and throughput.

Access Site Local UI

After you create and register your site, you can access its local user interface (UI) to perform certain configuration and management functions. For more information, see Access Site Local User Interface.