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AY
Network Security Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Top 20
Good load balancing capability and the proxy features give you full control over your traffic

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the proxy."
  • "If they made it easier for engineers to get F5 training then it would be better."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

Some of our clients use it as a load balancer. It can also be used as a web application firewall to protect your web-based applications from attacks.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the proxy. It is set up as a reverse proxy in front of the server. This feature allows me to do anything with the traffic, such as inspecting it. Most other solutions don't provide you with this capability.

This solution allows you to write scripts that can run on F5 devices. These scripts can be used to monitor traffic and look for keywords, and then perform a corresponding action such as blocking or allowing the request, or giving the user an error.

Big IP supports load balancing from network layer four up to layer seven.

What needs improvement?

More training should be available to customers. There is a guide that is available on the internet, but the training is not as good as others, such as Cisco. While F5 does have a big market share, it is not easy to find a well-training F5 engineer. If they made it easier for engineers to get F5 training then it would be better.


For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with F5 BIG-IP for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is very stable. I have seen some instability with newly released versions, so I normally wait for a stable release before I upgrade an older one.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have often been in touch with technical support and most of the time they are good. The response time is usually about one hour, although if it is a priority one issue then they will respond within 40 minutes at the maximum.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. If the analysis is already complete then it should only take five or ten minutes to deploy.

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

When you purchase the virtual edition or the hardware, it comes with the base license. There are additional costs depending on what modules or what functionality is required.


What other advice do I have?

I consider F5 to be my network within my network because the traffic has to go through it. This includes things like the load balancer.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to learn and understand the architecture of the device. It will do very well for you if you understand it.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor
UP
Network Security Specialist at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Feature rich, reliable, with good load balancing capabilities and good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "F5 has many capabilities for load balancing and web application firewall features."
  • "The logging features are too limited and do not give us a solid understanding of what's happening."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for the web application firewall and load balancing.

What is most valuable?

F5 has many capabilities for load balancing and web application firewall features.

What needs improvement?

There should be more logging improvements on F5. The logging features are too limited and do not give us a solid understanding of what's happening. For example, the web application firewall logs don't say complete, or why this is blocked, which signature or which root cause is blocking the log. 

Also, it can provide more understandable windows or dashboards regarding the latency of the application.

Citrix has cheap tools that show what is happening and describe why did they happen.

I would like to see improvements to the dashboard, latency reporting, and monitoring. Improvements in these areas would be very valuable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using F5 for approximately four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

F5 is very stable. We have gone 300 days with no failures.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In regards to scalability, I have never experienced any bottlenecks of the hardware or the features of F5. F5 doesn't have any latencies.

With Citrix, at times we experience some latencies when the web application requires more complex directions, inspections, and more complex load balancing features.

The number of users is variant. Currently, we have more than 10,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not experienced any issues with technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Citrix doesn't have as many options.

If you were to compare Citrix with F5, the pros of F5 is the idle features. It's very powerful and you can do tons of work with a few lines.

With Citrix, you have to learn and understand the regular expressions, but the regular expressions consume a lot of the hardware. Also, it is much more complicated.

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

F5 pricing is too high, compared to Citrix. 

If a big sector or a company needs more security and more control over applications and the ADC, F5 is the best choice. But if a company needs only an ADC, without the web application firewall features, Citrix is fine.

What other advice do I have?

For those who are interested in this solution and you want more control over the applications then F5 is fine.

In the future, F5 will be our first choice, but everything can change.

What happens with the next features, we don't know. Maybe Citrix will overcome the problems and will become a more powerful tool than F5.

Without consideration of the price, I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.   

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MM
Lead Network Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Secure, and has a lot of available documentation that makes it easy to install and deploy

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a lot of documentation available."
  • "Technical support could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I am an integrator. I implement solutions for our customers.

It's straightforward deployment application delivery control. 

Our customers have a lot of services that are public, in their internal network and external public network.

They use F5 BIG-IP to publish these services in a secure manner.

They use it for publish billing system services, and some uses for their internal services, such as the DNS active directory.

What is most valuable?

F5 BIG IP is a rock-solid solution. It's a very good solution.

I am very satisfied with the quality of this product.

There is a lot of documentation available.

I'm not very familiar with the services pattern. I am still exploring the features of this solution.

I am just working with a single application, which we need to publish. I don't know how many services they are using, and what kind of services they operate.

What needs improvement?

Technical support could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I am still a bit of a novice. I have only been using F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) for a year.

We are currently deploying this on the service providers but dealing with the IT department for our customers.

It's an enterprise network that is servicing the internal IT traffic for our customers. This is traffic from the IT management systems, and billing systems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

All systems have bugs, and F5 is not an exception. 

In my experience, I didn't face any critical bugs that stopped the deployment. 

I don't think that F5 is worse than other vendors in this perspective.

How are customer service and technical support?

I had some cases where I contacted technical support.

They have a good quality level of support and have helped us resolve our issues.

However, I have had a situation where I had a bad experience, but overall it's not the norm, it was just an exception.

I would compare technical support with Cisco, although I would say that Cisco is better.

Technical support could improve.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the F5 BIG-IP system is a very straightforward process. It is very well documented and is described on the vendor information systems.

They provide a lot of information on their site and on the central portal. You can even find information on YouTube. 

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

I am not familiar with the price of this solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. I am very satisfied with it.

I would rate F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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DP
IT Security Engineer at a cloud provider with 11-50 employees
Real User
High quality and stable; traffic learning feature provides great information

Pros and Cons

  • "Traffic Learning is the most valuable feature."
  • "This is a very expensive solution."

What is our primary use case?

We use the whole pallet of the Big-IP products starting with the Application Security Management, the web application firewall for the F5. We use it for the protection of files at sites and we also use the load balancer. I also have experience with the airlock and we're now researching the possibility of exchanging our Big-IP system with something else. We're hoping to find a solution that's better for the cloud but which can be a hybrid. We have a partnership with several vendors and I work as an IT security engineer.

What is most valuable?

I've found Traffic Learning to be the most valuable feature in this solution. 

What needs improvement?

This solution could be improved by reducing the cost. It's the main reason that we're considering another option for our website even though we're very satisfied with the way the Big-IP works and the way Big-IP protects our environment, but it's very expensive. We are keen to find out if there is a similar system for technology that would suit us and cost less. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable solution. I've been using their products for years and have never had any issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution scales with ease. You can add equipment, reduce equipment, add configs, it is very flexible.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support respond quickly and they are helpful. Their communities are very involved. I would say I'm super satisfied.

How was the initial setup?

Sometimes implementation is simple and sometimes it's complex, it really depends on the situation. If you've done it before, deployment can be accomplished in half an hour, but if it's from scratch it can take anywhere up to two days. For anyone with experience in deploying this kind of equipment, it's usual that something always happens and problems arise. It usually takes one or two engineers to carry out the deployment. 

What other advice do I have?

I don't have much advice other than to suggest that people look for high quality solutions to implement. It's really about what the client wants and if they're prepared to take the risk of a less expensive solution they need to realize that it might also mean a product that is less good quality. 

I would rate this product a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
OD
Design and Conception Engineer at SFR
Real User
Top 20
Inadequate virtual machine support, but stable and secure

Pros and Cons

  • "In my team, we work in a very agile environment and the solutions from BIG-IP, including BIG-IP WAF, suit us well when developing and serving our applications."
  • "There are some aspects of F5 BIG-IP that could be improved, the main one being virtual machine support. We have seen that even with the virtual editions, there are some things that we would like to do that are currently not possible with virtual machines."

What is our primary use case?

Our engineers use various products from the F5 BIG-IP range when creating application solutions. Primarily, we make use of F5 BIG-IP's ASM (Application Security Manager) and WAF (Web Application Firewall). For most of our applications, we require that our servers, and server-related software, are hosted in virtual machine environments.

How has it helped my organization?

In my team, we work in a very agile environment and the solutions from BIG-IP, including BIG-IP WAF, suit us well when developing and serving our applications.

What is most valuable?

I am happy with most of the features made available to us through BIG-IP's software and I enjoy using the interfaces (dashboards, etc.). 

What needs improvement?

There are some aspects of F5 BIG-IP that could be improved, the main one being virtual machine support. We have seen that even with the virtual editions, there are some things that we would like to do that are currently not possible with virtual machines.

We have seen some problems mainly with F5 BIG-IP ASM, and so I think the virtual editions of the ASM could be improved.

Another negative aspect is the cost, as it can be expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using F5 BIG-IP for five years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as I can tell, it's a stable and secure solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Although BIG-IP's solutions are scalable for most purposes, it's not always scalable for certain scenarios, in my opinion. From an API perspective, though, it is quite scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used F5 BIG-IP's technical support and it is very good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. Very, very easy. Especially for the web guys. 

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

F5 BIG-IP can be expensive, although there are trial versions available which are helpful to find out if the solution is right for your company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have been considering using Nginx as an alternative or complementary solution to our application delivery and security needs, but we have not pursued this option further at this point.

For the most part, we are looking for a solution that has better support for virtual machines, and Nginx is one alternative we have looked at because of its good virtual machine support. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate F5 BIG-IP a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MK
Channel Development Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Secure access and optimization of access to applications are excellent features

Pros and Cons

  • "NetFlow balancing and traffic balancing are good features."
  • "A more intuitive interface would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We are in the security business, basically working in two segments; the first is in the financial sector, with the largest banks in the country, and second, we work with some government organizations and corporate businesses. Only B2B for now, not much retail. We have a few projects in insurance companies. The solution is deployed on-premise in our office and we basically use it for demo and testing purposes. We deploy for our customers both on-premise and on cloud. We are a distribution channel, like a reseller. I'm a channel development manager.

What is most valuable?

For BIG-IP, I think the most requested functionality is its NetFlow balancing and traffic balancing, as well as its secure access and its optimization of access to applications. The solution is the most requested by our customers, so it's an important direction for our business.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see a more intuitive interface. The market now is moving into salvage services, different kinds of services, not only hardware solutions. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four months. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is scalable, we have around 200 users in our company. In terms of our customers, there would probably be over 1,000 users.  We have a huge company, but our department for network security products consists of about 25 people. In half of them, users are the technical specialists.

How are customer service and technical support?

We're just starting to work on setting up our own support service for clients. We hope that maybe next year we could add support products to our product line also.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have other vendors in our portfolio, all of them working for performance network, performance optimization, and application implementation. We generally propose a few solutions to our customers. 

How was the initial setup?

We have a technical department with a lot of certified specialists who work on the implementation side of things and we also support some of our departments and external clients. It's not my area of expertise. 

What other advice do I have?

We are planning to expand to other segments in the market, healthcare or logistics or even some FMCG retail companies. We hope the F5 solutions will help us to expand. We intend to continue providing this solution and to involve more partners in the F5 business. I would recommend this solution. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
OMKaewsaenchai
Total Solution System Engineer at a comms service provider with 201-500 employees
Real User
Better support than similar solutions in the same market

Pros and Cons

  • "I think F5's tech support may be better than Citrix's because they mainly focus on the ADC product, but Citrix support covers Hypervisor, XenMobile, FAS, and ADC. And from my experience, sometimes, we face some issues that Citrix cannot handle."
  • "F5 could improve the rule-setting capabilities in the GUI, and they need to simplify web management. For example, the menus in the Citrix GUI are easier to navigate, with a clean structure and layout."

What is our primary use case?

We often use the Citrix ADC and F5 BIG-IP LTM together, because they have similar features. But, normally, we use Citrix solutions because we are Citrix providers in Bangkok, so we're not usually working with F5. However, there are some projects where we deploy F5 alongside Citrix or substitute it for the Citrix solution. 

What needs improvement?

F5 could improve the rule-setting capabilities in the GUI, and they need to simplify web management. For example, the menus in the Citrix GUI are easier to navigate, with a clean structure and layout. It helps you navigate and find what you're looking for, but some of the menus in the F5 GUI are not very intuitive. You're doing the same task, but sometimes it's on the left, sometimes on the right, etc. It should all be on the same setup group menu or something like that. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with BIG-IP LTM for almost 10 years. 

How are customer service and support?

I think F5's tech support may be better than Citrix's because they mainly focus on the ADC product, but Citrix support covers Hypervisor, XenMobile, FAS, and ADC. And from my experience, sometimes, we face some issues that Citrix cannot handle. In our first year, Citrix support was not very good, but in the second year, it was okay.

How was the initial setup?

Each product can be simple or complex to set up in its own way, but Citrix setup is more straightforward overall. Citrix doesn't have any restriction on modules or on features, so the features are exactly the same whether it's a small or large deployment. Only the performance is different, but everything else is the same.

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

I can't say much about the price because our sales department handles pricing. I'm a technical engineer, but I can say that all of these products are in the same price range.

What other advice do I have?

I rate F5 BIG-IP LTM nine out of 10. You can't go wrong with F5 because F5 and Citrix ADC are like the most advanced BMW in the market. So if what you need is deployment, localizing, high availability, and web balancing for your web server application server, both products can give you the same results. Both are good.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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YA
Co-Founder and CEO at PT Eugenea Kreasi Utama
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good performance, stable, powerful, and has good responsive support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is IP Intelligence."
  • "The deployment could be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

I am a reseller. We provide solutions to our clients.

We use F5 for various applications as our firewall.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is IP Intelligence.

It is very powerful and has good performance. It meets our requirements.

The features included are more than enough.

What needs improvement?

The deployment could be simplified. From a technical perspective, it is complex.

The pricing could be reduced. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) since 2020.

We are using 1G-V Virtual Edition.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution. We don't have any issues with the stability of the F5 product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately 115 people in our organization who use this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have no issues with the technical support. They are good and provide professional service.

F5 is very fast to respond. Our team contacted technical support via email about issues, and after one hour they call us to resolve them.

Overall, F5 support is very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was using Akamai from 2017 until 2020 when we started using F5.

When comparing F5 with Akamai, F5 is more powerful and has more intelligence. It also has the ability to update its software very rapidly.

Akamai is slow to respond, they can take up to four or five hours to respond to a complaint.

We use Microsoft in my office for our operational daily activity.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment is complex. Technically, it is very complex.

It took us four, or maybe five weeks to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use an integrator or consultant. We have a team in our organization.

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

F5 is expensive. Reasonable in comparison, but it should be cheaper.

What other advice do I have?

This solution is focused on segment customers. I would recommend it to Telco companies, as well as for banking and customers who need to protect their applications, and websites. 

The F5 support is very responsive.

I would rate  F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) an eight out of ten.

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