F5 BIG-IQ Review

Flexible and secure with good technical support


What is our primary use case?

At my previous job, I worked with a service provider in Qatar. We used F5 as a load balancer for the service to the customers. We also used it to secure their websites and email. At my current company, we use this solution and implement it for our customers as well.

This solution is deployed on-premises.

What needs improvement?

If they had a GUI interface for creating security rules then it would make it easier. As it is now, to create an application rule for the web, or policy, then we need to create a script to do it. There are a lot of scripts available on the internet for people who know how to use them, but with a graphical interface, it would be easier for new users.

I would like to see the Debian feature installed, without having it in a separate box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with this solution for almost five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We use this solution on a daily basis, and it is very stable. The only time we have had trouble is during an upgrade.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on the version you decide to buy. For us, we have a mixed service and we installed the medium-sized version. We knew how much traffic they would have. We have now been using the same box for about four and a half years, and it is fine.

We have nineteen customers who use this solution, and some of them have one thousand or two thousand users. Some of their users are employees, while others are their own clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

The F5 technical support is very good, and in Qatar, they are very experienced and very supportive.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We have customers who have switched from Barracuda, as well as customers who have switched from Microsoft Forefront TSM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is not complicated, although migrating the service is. Our customer was using Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) prior to F5, and making the transition was difficult. We had to make sure that all of the rules were correct. I think that the migration was more complicated than the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

We perform the integration of this solution on our own. We do, however, use the professional service from F5 at times. We used them to migrate service for two of our customers, and we do the remaining customers ourselves.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had planned to use Barracuda, but we found that this solution is more flexible as a service.

What other advice do I have?

F5 is a leader in this space and this is a solution that I recommend. For anybody considering this solution, if they have virtualization then I would suggest getting the F5 Big-IQ Virtual Edition, rather than the physical one. It will make it easier to install and troubleshoot.

I don't know any solution on the market that is better than this one, but I do think that they need to make some enhancements.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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