F5 Advanced WAF Review

Provides load-balancing and security for our enterprise-level clients

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and we design solutions for our customers. We provide all kinds of networking solutions, as well as security, and we are sometimes responsible for the integration as well.

We are partners with F5 and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our clients.

Our customers are organizations, including government departments, who use their firewall for load-balancing purposes. However, for some time now, they have wanted to add an additional layer of security, which is why they implement this solution.

We normally propose the on-premises deployment model to our customers.

What is most valuable?

This solution is an enterprise-class firewall that provides both load-balancing and security.  Once it's deployed, it works smoothly and without issue.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the pricing of this solution improved. There are a lot of other products that are trying to compete with this solution, and there are a few now that are very good. I know that F5 doesn't always worry about the pricing because of the branding, but if they want to capture more of the market then they need to consider that not everybody thinks about the brand. Some are concerned with the price, and some of the competitors offer solutions at a lower cost. While it is true that price is only one of the things that people consider, it is one of the major factors that can cause them to lose the battle to a competitor.

This solution can be made more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been proposing this solution to customers for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is an enterprise-class product, and as long it is deployed properly it is quite stable. We have not had any issues post-deployment. This is one of the reasons that customers are paying for F5.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a very scalable solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution is good. We have had a couple of tickets, and it was pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the initial setup is on a case-by-case basis.

If the customer is primarily interested in load-balancing then it is straightforward and it takes a few days. Once the customer is ready with all of their information, it doesn't take much time. In more advanced scenarios, it can take months to fully set up and configure.

Keep in mind that this is an enterprise-level product, so many of the competitors will take less time in setup. Not every engineer can configure F5 WAF.

What about the implementation team?

We perform the integration for our clients. We have our own deployment team that keeps up to date with the latest features in the market. They have the latest training materials and are aware of technical changes that are happening when it comes to these solutions.

When we have this kind of project, one person will be dedicated to the deployment and they will ensure that the solution has been deployed properly. After this, things will be taken care of by the general engineering team. We have a pool of resources who can handle maintenance such as upgrades.

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

Licensing fees for this solution are paid on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this solution is to have clarity with respect to their own scenario, or application. They have to know what they are expecting out of this deployment. As the system integrator, I may not be sure about the client's applications or how they work internally, so I have to rely on them.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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