09 April 2013

F5 Diaries - Episode 1 Building the lab

Join me on my journey of trying to make F5 kit work without going on all the official (read - expensive) training.  I am using a test lab environment specifically set up for doing all this kind of testing.

What is in the LAB

  • F5 BIG-IP Ve Lab edition on TMOS 11.3
  • The virtual edition is running on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V
  • Windows 8 test VM


Hyper-V VM Configuration :

  • RAM 4GB Static
  • CPU 4 x Virtual
  • HDD 1 x 40GB
  • NIC  7 Virtual assigned  5 x Physical


Network Environment:

  • Internal Network is on the 10.0.0.0\8 address range
  • Internet ADSL Link 1 from Telkom is on 192.168.0.0\24
    (GW 192.168.0.1)
  • Internet ADSL Link 2 from Internet Solution is on 169.212.74.65\29
    (public route-able )
    (GW 169.212.74.65 )


    Internal network segmented in VLANs

  • 10.0.2.0\23 Corporate Management
  • 10.0.4.0\23 Corporate External
  • 10.0.6.0\23 Corporate Internal


Hyper-V virtual switches
I have configured individual virtual switches for each VLAN. I then managed to map those to BIG-IP interfaces.  This took a long time but it is really important to get this 100% correct.


  • NIC 0  - Corporate Management - Management
  • NIC 1 - Corporate Internal - 1.1
  • NIC 2 - Corporate External - 1.2
  • NIC 3 - Telkom ADSL -1.3
  • NIC 4 - Internet Solutions ADSL 1.4 
  • NIC 5 - Not Connected
  • NIC 6 - Not Connected


F5 BIG-IP Self IPs and VLANs
  • Management IP 10.0.2.9
  • Corporate Internal - 10.0.7.9
  • Corporate External - 10.0.4.9
  • Telkom - 192.168.0.254
  • Internet solutions 169.212.74.66
Windows 8 Test VM
Since there will be many different scenarios in which you would like to test different connectivity options I have also included a virtual test PC on the same Hyper-V server. Depending on the test or lab configuration this machine's single NIC can be connect to any of the Hyper-V virtual switches. As a default it is connected to one of the corporate VLANs

Current Diagram
This is what the lab looks like at this point



Saving the basic configuration
At this point you should be able to connect to the management IP and you should be able to ping the various gateway IPs from an SSH session.

This will be the BASE configuration from where all the different lab build will happen. Take a backup or snapshot and keep this as the starting point for all future lab testing.  Make sure you are very comfortable with snapshots.  As an example, I very quickly got the lab to this state.





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