F5 BIG-IP Review

Versatile, easy to use; the iRule feature is key for me


How has it helped my organization?

Previously we had an IdP on a Linux server. However, this was a pain to configure. With the F5 this has become easy. Therefore, more and more of our applications are now transferred to SAML.

What is most valuable?

I really like the ease of use of it in general. If I were to choose one in particular, perhaps it would be the iRule feature. It’s a really versatile tool.

What needs improvement?

The SharePoint SSO part has some room for improvement. Opening documents and spreadsheets on local applications in on our specific situation is not possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

F5 is a big company. They have a great community and TAC. The advantage with this product is that it isn't new. They have many engineers who have been working with it for a long time and have a lot of experience.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used to have a Barracuda WAF. It was unreliable and it didn’t have all the features of the F5. It was out of maintenance and we decided never to use Barracuda again.

How was the initial setup?

Easy switch from our Barracuda to F5. The setup was done with an engineer. However, if you pay good attention you can manage it afterwards. I also have a F5 test environment on a VM. These cost around $100 but are worth that money for testing purposes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tried FortiADC briefly. However the big contender was Citrix NetScaler.

What other advice do I have?

Be sure of what you will use. F5 isn’t cheap but is worth the price. Also, take a good look at all the different options and make sure you take the correct hardware platform. You can always add more licenses, but if the physical device isn’t up to the task you’re stuck.

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