Create VMware Site

Objective

This document provides instructions on how to install an F5® Distributed Cloud Services single-node site or multi-node site on VMware ESXi. To know more about sites, see Site.

Using the instructions provided in this document, you can deploy a Distributed Cloud Services site by deploying a virtual machine (VM) from an Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) file containing the node as the appliance.


Prerequisites

  • A Distributed Cloud Services Account. If you do not have an account, see Create an Account.

  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 4.0 or later. The examples in this document are based on version 6.7u2.

  • At least one interface with internet reachability.

  • A Distributed Cloud Services VMware OVA image file. Click here to download.

  • A minimum of 10 GB of memory for the guest virtual machine.

  • Resource required per VM: Minimum 4 vCPUs and 14 GB RAM.


Deploy Site

Perform the steps in the following sections to deploy a Distributed Cloud Services Site on VMware ESXi.

Create a Site Token

Create a site token or use an existing token. If you are configuring a multi-node site, use the same token for all nodes.

Step 1: Log into F5® Distributed Cloud Console (Console) and navigate to site tokens.
  • Click Cloud and Edge Sites.

Figure: Console Homepage
Figure: Console Homepage

  • Select Manage > Site Management > Site Tokens.

Figure: Site Tokens
Figure: Site Tokens

Step 2: Generate a new site token.
  • Click Add site token to create a new token.

  • In the Name field, enter the token name.

  • In the Description field, enter a description for the token.

  • Click Add site token.

Figure: Site Token Form
Figure: Site Token Form

Step 3: Note down the new token.
  • Find the token previously created or choose an existing token from the list of tokens displayed.

  • Click > to expand the token details in JSON format and note down the value of the uid field.

Figure: UID Field
Figure: UID Field


Configure VMware ESXi Hypervisor

Step 1: Start process to configure hypervisor.

Log into the VMware ESXi portal using the ESXi host IP address.

Figure: Log into VMware ESXi
Figure: Log into VMware ESXi

Step 2: Configure the host.

Configure the host settings with the options available.

Figure: Host Configuration
Figure: Host Configuration

Step 3: Configure the port group management network.

Configure the port group Management Network with a single interface.

Figure: Port Group Management Network Configuration
Figure: Port Group Management Network Configuration

Step 4: Configure the port group VM network.

Configure the port group VM Network with a single interface.

Figure: Port Group VM Network Configuration
Figure: Port Group VM Network Configuration

Step 5: Configure the virtual switch.

Use the following sample topology:

Figure: Virtual L2 Topology
Figure: Virtual L2 Topology


Install the Node on VMware ESXi Hypervisor

Step 1: Start creating the virtual machine.

Select Create / Register VM from the Virtual Machines section.

Figure: Create a Virtual Machine
Figure: Create a Virtual Machine

Step 2: Deploy the virtual machine with an OVF or OVA file.

Select Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file from the options listed.

Figure: Deploy New Virtual Machine
Figure: Deploy New Virtual Machine

Step 3: Enter a name for the virtual machine.

Enter the Virtual Machine Name and click to select or drag and drop the OVA file.

  • Name: Virtual machine name that is represented in the VMware environment.

  • OVA or OVF file: Click to select or drag and drop the OVA file provided or downloaded in the step above into the box.

Figure: Name and OVA Image
Figure: Name and OVA Image

Step 4: Configure storage.

Configure storage as required based on the storage available on the hypervisor host.

Figure: Storage Selection
Figure: Storage Selection

Step 5: Configure the deployment options.

Configure per the following guidelines:

  • Network Mappings: Select the port-group where the VM is going to be connected.

  • Disk provisioning: Select thin or thick provisioning. Default is thin provisioning.

  • Power On automatically: If enabled, it will power on the Virtual Machine as soon as the setup is complete and image uploaded. Default is enabled.

Figure: Deployment Options
Figure: Deployment Options

Step 6: Enter additional settings.

These set of parameters enable the machine to boot up and request registration directly in your tenant. These settings also allow you to configure the static IP address. However, DHCP is used by default.

Note: The following settings are only supported with the node Custom vApp properties.

  • Hostname: Specify the hostname for this device - example: master-0. Ensure that host names are distinct and unique in case you are installing nodes for multi-node site.

  • Token: Site token required for site generation. The token should be created prior to using it in site creation. See Create a Site Token for more information.

  • Admin Password: Enter the admin password and re-enter in the Admin Password confirm field.

  • Cluster Name: Set the cluster name.

  • Name for outside network interface: eth0.

  • DHCP support for outside network interface: yes. By default, this is set to yes. If you want to configure static IP addresses, then set this to no.

  • Role for outside network interface: public. By default, this is set to public as the interface will have internet access.

  • IP address/bitmask for network interface: empty by default. If DHCP was set to no, then you can configure your static IP address here. Example: 10.1.1.1/24.

Note: Changing the IP address for a registered node is not supported in cases of multi-node sites. You must use fixed IP addresses or DHCP addresses with a fixed lease.

  • Default gateway for outside network interface: empty by default. If DHCP was set to no, then you can configure the default gateway for your network here. Example: 10.1.1.254.

  • Route destination(destination network) for outside network interface: empty by default. If DHCP was set to no, then you can configure the destination here. Because this is the default gateway, we can use 0.0.0.0/0. For specific setups, you can change the default destination.

  • Primary DNS: empty by default. If DHCP was set to no, then you can configure your DNS Server here. Example: 8.8.8.8.

  • Secondary DNS: empty by default. If DHCP was set to no, then you can configure your secondary DNS server here. Example: 8.8.4.4.

  • Certified Hardware: The supported options are as follows.

    • vmware-voltmesh - single service level objective eth0 interface hardware.
    • vmware-voltstack-combo - for managed k8s and vk8s use cases.
    • vmware-regular-nic-voltmesh - 2 virtual NICs, when eth0 is SLO dedicated and eth1 is binded as regular interface, which can be optionally configured from VoltConsole post registration.

Note: The default option is vmware-regular-nic-voltmesh, and this supports 2 interfaces (ensure that both eth0 and eth1 are available). However, this is loaded by default with eth0 interface set as a dedicated site local outside interface. The other interface is an optional regular interface and can be only configured from Console using fleet after the site is provisioned. For instructions on configuring interfaces using fleet, see Create a Fleet document.

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

  • Latitude: Enter latitude. This can also be specified during registration in Console.

  • Longitude: Enter longitude. This can also be specified during registration in Console.

Configure additional settings
Figure: Configure additional settings

Step 7: Complete the wizard.

Click Finish.

The OVA file is uploaded, and the virtual machine is built and booted.

Complete the wizard
Figure: Complete the wizard

Step 8: Perform initial configuration.
  • Enter admin as username and Volterra123 as the initial password.

Note: In case you already set the admin password during configuring additional settings, this is not required.

  • Update the password after first login per the instructions displayed.

  • Perform inside network configuration per the options displayed.

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


Register the VMware Site

After the Distributed Cloud Services Node is installed on VMware, it must be registered as a Site in Console.

Note: The USB allowlist is enabled by default. If you change a USB device, such as a keyboard after registration, the device will not function.

Single-node Site Registration

Step 1: Navigate to the site registration page.
  • In Console, 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 (*).

  • Enter a latitude value and a longitude value.

  • Enter other configuration information, if needed.

  • Click Save and Exit.

Step 3: Check Site status and health.

It may take a few minutes for the site health and connectivity score information to update.

  • Click Sites > Site List.

  • Click on your Site name. The Dashboard tab appears, along with many other tabs to inspect your Site.

  • Click the Site Status tab to verify the following:

    • The Update Status field has a Successful value for the F5 OS Status section.

    • The Update Status field has a Successful value for the F5 Software Status section.

    • The Tunnel status and Control Plane fields under the RE Connectivity section have up values.

Multi-node Site Registration

Step 1: Navigate to the site registration page.
  • Click Manage > Site Management > Registrations.
Step 2: Accept the registration requests.

Registration requests are displayed in the Pending Registrations tab.

  • Click Accept to accept the registration requests from the master-0, master-1, and master-2nodes.

  • Enter the same values for the following parameters for all the registration requests:

    • In the Cluster name field, enter a name for the cluster. Ensure that all master nodes have the same name.

    • In the Cluster size field, enter 3. Ensure that all master nodes have the same cluster size.

  • Enter all mandatory fields marked with the asterisk (*) character.

Step 3: Check Site status and health.

It may take a few minutes for the site health and connectivity score information to update.

  • Click Sites > Site List.

  • Click on your Site name. The Dashboard tab appears, along with many other tabs to inspect your Site.

  • Click the Site Status tab to verify the following:

    • The Update Status field has a Successful value for the F5 OS Status section.

    • The Update Status field has a Successful value for the F5 Software Status section.

    • The Tunnel status and Control Plane fields under the RE Connectivity section have up values.

Note: If you need to change any of the settings for your node, see Update Node Settings.


Update Node Settings

You can change node settings for an installed node or install a new node using a template.

Step 1: Update the settings for an installed node.
  • Power off the virtual machine.

  • In the vSphere/ESXi UI, change the vApp properties.

  • Update the settings, such as cluster, certified hardware, token, etc.

  • Perform factory reset and reboot the virtual machine.

  • Perform the post install and registration steps as instructed in the previous section.

Step 2: Create an OVF file to install a node through template.
  • Select your virtual machine and click File > Export to OVF.

  • Enter a name for the OVF file and specify a directory in which to save it.

  • Specify to export the virtual machine as an OVF.

  • Click Export to start the OVF export process.

You can customize the node settings using the OVF files saved and boot a virtual machine using the OVF file. Perform the post install and registration steps as instructed in the previous section.


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 Site Local UI Usage.


Concepts