F5 BIG-IP Review

Load balancing brings high availability and a bigger ability to scale out


What is our primary use case?

When we migrate workloads into the cloud, we need the same functionality in the cloud, and low balancing is part of that. Being able to manage the platform on cloud, the same as on-premise, is the use case.

How has it helped my organization?

Load balancing generally brings high availability and a bigger ability to scale out. In some cases, it brings security, depending on how it is configured.

What is most valuable?

  • Flexibility
  • Capacity
  • Reputation in the market.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to expand load balancing, being able to go across multiple regions to on-premise and into the cloud. This could use improvement, as it is sometimes a little cumbersome.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. It's a pretty solid product.

Our clients use it pretty heavily. Most all of them are production workloads and some of them are external facing workloads, so you can see seasonal peaks.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. Probably the largest implementation I did was with hundreds of servers behind it.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good.

What about the implementation team?

We haven't had any issues with the integration and configuration of AWS. It works just like it would on-premise. I have some questions around its scale in the cloud. We haven't done as much work in the cloud as we've done with on-premise. However, so far we haven't had any problems with it either.

What was our ROI?

My clients have seen ROI.

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

It could be priced a little less, especially on the virtual side. It gets a bit expensive, but you get what you pay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There is always the Cisco on-premise solution in play. There are also the AWS native functionalities.

The ease of management is the tie-breaker for F5, being able to manage the on-premise and cloud with the same tools.

It's fairly easy to integrate. If you compare it to Cisco products, Cisco is very regimented and works best with themselves. F5 has been forced to play nice with others, which is a bonus.

What other advice do I have?

The three key things to look at closely:

  1. Look at the flexibility of the products.
  2. The ability to work with it on-premise and in the cloud is a huge advantage.
  3. The ability to integrate it with other non-F5 products.

We use both the AWS and on-premise versions. They work about the same, which is what I like about the product: same management plane and configuration.

It integrates with the networking layer, which is fairly complicated. Depending on the customer, there are different products that it integrates with. More often than not, it's load balancing in front of Windows in Unix. In some cases, integrating with other tools like the LP or other network products.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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