F5 – Virtual Server (VIP) with Multiple Ports

In the F5 BIG-IP system, a Virtual Server is defined by its destination (an IP address) and service (a port number). There are multiple ways to configure a Virtual Server to listen on multiple ports, like 8000 and 8001.

  1. Create Separate Virtual Servers: One way is to create separate virtual servers for each port you want to listen on. You can create one virtual server for port 8000 and another one for port 8001. Both virtual servers would have the same IP address, but different ports.
  2. Use a Wildcard Port: Another way is to use a wildcard for the port number. In the F5 BIG-IP system, you can use ‘0’ as a wildcard. If you set the port to 0, the Virtual Server will listen on all ports. However, this might be too broad if you only want to listen on ports 8000 and 8001.
  3. iRules: If you have a more complex scenario where you want to route based on other factors, you can use iRules. iRules are a powerful and flexible feature that allow you to manage network traffic in a variety of ways. You can create an iRule that listens on a wildcard port and then checks the actual port of each incoming connection, processing only those on ports 8000 and 8001.

Note that how you should set this up depends on your specific needs. If you only ever want to listen on ports 8000 and 8001, creating separate virtual servers might be the simplest and most straightforward approach. But if your needs are more complex, you might need to use a wildcard port and iRules.



The most common and generally recommended way to configure a Virtual Server on F5 BIG-IP to listen on multiple specific ports, like 8000 and 8001, is to create separate Virtual Servers for each port.

This method provides a few benefits:

  1. Simplicity: It’s straightforward and easy to understand. Each virtual server corresponds to one IP and port pairing.
  2. Granularity: It allows for granular control over the settings for each port. For instance, you can assign different pools, profiles, or iRules to each Virtual Server if needed.
  3. Visibility: It’s easier to monitor and manage the traffic on each port separately.

Creating separate Virtual Servers keeps your configuration clear and manageable, especially if you need to scale or make changes in the future.