F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Review

User-friendly, can be operated from a single console, and the performance is good

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and we work with a lot of products from F5.

In our internal network, we use F5 BIG-IP. We also have a few implementations with this product, including some that are integrated with other solutions such as IBM Guardium. 

One of the great use cases is capturing an application user through F5 and then pushing it to Guardium. This is very useful for our customers because they can then connect to the database with a real application user, which is something that is very hard to achieve through other vendors.

What is most valuable?

The main reason that we suggest this product to our clients is the great integration with other security tools, such as IBM Guardium. 

This product is very user-friendly, which is good for customers who have an implementation done by a partner but want to handle administration in-house.

All of the functionality can be achieved from one console.

Even on Hyper-V or a VMware appliance, the performance is very good when you use it as a proxy or a web application.

The documentation is very good.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with F5 BIG-IP for between three and four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From our perspective, it is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have all of the help and support that we need from the F5 office in this region.

Technical support from F5 is very good. As a partner, I have had a very good experience with them. They have shared knowledge with us and support us in our projects, which is definitely a big plus.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to install, especially when doing so to VMware. For example, we have spent almost a day installing security tools by other vendors. For BIG-IP, we need only two or three hours to complete it.

For the complete deployment that includes implementation and configuration, it takes between 10 and 15 days. The length of time depends on the client's goals and requirements. For example, some just want to use it as a web application firewall, whereas others want to use more functionality. The more functionality there is, the more time it takes to complete.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team implements and deploys this solution to our customers. 

You need two or three people, including a security manager who will configure all of the rules and policies.

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

The price should be reduced because it is expensive when compared to the competition. Alternatively, bundled packages should be offered. This is an issue that shows up for most of our customers.

What other advice do I have?

In summary, this is a very good product and we are actively suggesting it to our customers. It is something that should be more present in our market, especially because of the functionality that it provides.

In the end, we get very good results from BIG-IP.

I would rate this solution a nine 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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