F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Review

Inadequate virtual machine support, but stable and secure

What is our primary use case?

Our engineers use various products from the F5 BIG-IP range when creating application solutions. Primarily, we make use of F5 BIG-IP's ASM (Application Security Manager) and WAF (Web Application Firewall). For most of our applications, we require that our servers, and server-related software, are hosted in virtual machine environments.

How has it helped my organization?

In my team, we work in a very agile environment and the solutions from BIG-IP, including BIG-IP WAF, suit us well when developing and serving our applications.

What is most valuable?

I am happy with most of the features made available to us through BIG-IP's software and I enjoy using the interfaces (dashboards, etc.). 

What needs improvement?

There are some aspects of F5 BIG-IP that could be improved, the main one being virtual machine support. We have seen that even with the virtual editions, there are some things that we would like to do that are currently not possible with virtual machines.

We have seen some problems mainly with F5 BIG-IP ASM, and so I think the virtual editions of the ASM could be improved.

Another negative aspect is the cost, as it can be expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using F5 BIG-IP for five years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as I can tell, it's a stable and secure solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Although BIG-IP's solutions are scalable for most purposes, it's not always scalable for certain scenarios, in my opinion. From an API perspective, though, it is quite scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used F5 BIG-IP's technical support and it is very good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. Very, very easy. Especially for the web guys. 

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

F5 BIG-IP can be expensive, although there are trial versions available which are helpful to find out if the solution is right for your company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have been considering using Nginx as an alternative or complementary solution to our application delivery and security needs, but we have not pursued this option further at this point.

For the most part, we are looking for a solution that has better support for virtual machines, and Nginx is one alternative we have looked at because of its good virtual machine support. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate F5 BIG-IP a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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