F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Review

Flexible with good technical support and horizontal scalability

What is our primary use case?

The F5 is something we purchased for another project that has not been turned on just yet.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very powerful.

The product is quite flexible. 

The horizontal scalability that is on offer is very good as well.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see some better documentation focused on our website and better search criteria. That's probably the best way to say that there needs to help with research.

The cost of the solution is pretty high. It would be ideal if it was more reasonable.

For how long have I used the solution?

We were originally supposed to launch this project for a client, however, that hasn't materialized yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While we never really got around to scaling the solution just yet, there is horizontal scalability that is on offer that seems very good.

This is being deployed in a service provider environment. Therefore, it'll be impactful to all of our customers. However, I would say as far as internal support users, we have a team of probably ten that'll be supporting this product once it's launched in production.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of technical support, so far it has been pretty good. That said, it's more to set up the solution versus actual production support. They're not helping us deal with bugs or glitches, they've just been helping us with a rather complex implementation. We've been satisfied with their assistance in that sense. They seem knowledgeable and responsive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is largely complex. However, we had a lot of help from their internal sales team or support team has been important in terms of working around the difficulties.

We have a staff of ten that are handling deployment and maintenance. They're not dedicated just to this product, however. They support our overall service provider architecture.

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

The cost is quite high. The long-term support in particular is quite high.

Customers need to be aware that each feature is licensable, which allows costs to accrue.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with F5.

The F5 is something we purchased for another project that has not yet been turned up. That said, the experience I've had with F5 has been very positive, specifically working directly with their corporate sales engineering team. 

Overall, I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. If it wasn't for the high cost of the product, I might rate it a bit higher.

I would advise those considering the solution to explore all options. Specifically, the total cost of ownership. It can be lower with some other vendors. A10 is oftentimes a lower cost of ownership. One challenge with F5 is everything is a licensable feature. Whereas something like an A10 is not. You see the same challenges with a Cisco type of device as well, however, it's in a different arena, with different products.

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