F5 Advanced WAF Review

Good stability, valuable features, and fair price

What is our primary use case?

We are using it to secure a few applications for our customers. 

What is most valuable?

The valuable features vary from customers to customers. Some customers are okay with the basic features of the WAF, and some customers use advanced WAF with a few other features.

What needs improvement?

It should be a little bit easy to deploy in terms of the overall deployment session. 

One of our customers is a bit unhappy about the reporting options. Currently, it automatically deletes event logs after some limit if a customer doesn't have any external Syslog server. It is a problem for those customers who want to review event logs after a week or so because they won't get proper reports or event logs. They should increase the duration to at least a month or two for storing the data on the device.

F5 is not a leader in Gartner Quadrant, which affects us when we go and pitch this solution. Customers normally go and take a look at such annual reports, and because F5 is currently not there as a leader, the customers ask about it even though we are saying it is good in all things. 

F5 is not known for something totally different or unique. They were a major player in ADP, and they are just rebranding themselves into security. They should improve or increase their marketing as a security company now. They have already started to do that, but they should do it more so that when it comes to security, customers can easily remember F5. At the moment, if we say F5, load balancing comes to mind. With rebranding and marketing, all customers should get the idea that F5 is now mainly focusing on the security part of it, and it is a security company instead of load balancing. This is the first solution that should come to a customer's mind for a web application firewall.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution almost for a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has good stability. Our customers are happy with the implementation. So far, we haven't faced many issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Overall, it has been good. We get proper support, and we haven't faced any challenges. However, F5 doesn't provide support during the demo or POC time. Other vendors provide technical support for demo or POC, but F5 does not. We have to reach out to the local AC every now and then, which is a difficult task because most of the time, he is in some other meeting or busy with something else. So, he isn't able to support us. They should give us some kind of technical support for demos and POCs. We should be able to reach out to them for completing a POC. It would be an added advantage.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation was quite smooth. We migrated from CloudFlare to F5 without any major issues. The deployment took almost ten months, and it included the implementation and fine-tuning. The customer had three applications.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Its price is fair. We have done a couple of deals where they were able to give some kind of discount to the customers. The price was initially high for the customers, but after a couple of negotiations, it came within their budget. They were happy with that.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution because it is overall a very good solution. As a company, they are very established and stable, and they have a long legacy in the industry. They have been there in the industry for a long time. On top of that, they have very good solutions. They can just improve their offerings and marketing in terms of the new rebranding.

I would rate F5 Advanced WAF an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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