F5 BIG-IP Review

The integration and configuration into the AWS environment was pretty good. However, we are ending up with a whole bunch of ghosted IPs.

What is our primary use case?

We use it for low balancing.

It has been in our environment for four to five years, but I have only been using it for a little over a year.

What is most valuable?

  • The detail that you have available when setting up iRules. 
  • How the traffic routing works in F5.

What needs improvement?

The management process seems a bit difficult. 

The management interface is unclear, complex, and not concise. I would like a better user interface.

For integration with other AWS environments, we do some tie-ins with some autoscaling groups. This has been challenging for us. We have had issues, where when autoscaling groups scale up, there are some instances which are not showing up in the proper size. Then, those IPs would get registered with F5, but never get released. Therefore, we are ending up with a whole bunch of ghosted IPs. However, this is more an implementation detail than an F5 detail.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. I have no concerns regarding stability for F5.

We are seasonal, so we go from low to high volumes. F5 has never been a concern of ours for stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We run an Active-Active version of two instances, so scalability between the on-premise and AWS versions hasn't been a huge issue for us. Where we are finding the AWS version helpful is when we are trying to scale up new environments. AWS Marketplace helps here a lot.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have support agreements in place, but they are managed by the infrastructure team. I do not contact the technical support, they do.

How was the initial setup?

The integration and configuration into the AWS environment was pretty good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The product was already in place when I came onboard.

My preference is to use AWS natively, but there are some issues around session management and so on, which have prevented us from using it. While a lot of these issues have been solved, a lot of our applications are tied to the F5 infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

Always use the Automatic Synching between F5. Don't try to use the API to do the synching. This is where we went wrong. We were trying to push the nodes to F5 individually instead of letting F5 handle the synchronization process, and it doesn't work.

We were previously using the on-premise version, but now we are using the AWS version. They are about the same as far as functionality.

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