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F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Application Delivery Controllers. It is most often compared to Citrix ADC: F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) vs Citrix ADC

What is F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)?

F5 BIG-IP LTM optimizes the speed and reliability of your apps via both network and application layers. Using real-time protocol and traffic management decisions based on app and server and connection management conditions, and TCP and content offloading, BIG-IP LTM dramatically improves application and infrastructure responsiveness. BIG-IP LTM's architecture includes protocol awareness to control traffic for the most important applications. BIG-IP LTM tracks the dynamic performance levels of servers and delivers SSL performance and visibility for inbound and outbound traffic, to protect the user experience by encrypting everything from the client to the server.

BIG-IP LTM provides enterprise-class Application Delivery Controller (ADC). You get granular layer 7 control, SSL offloading and acceleration capabilities, and advanced scaling technologies that deliver performance and reliability on-demand. The highly optimized TCP/IP stack combines TCP/IP techniques and improvements in the latest RFCs with extensions to minimize the effect of congestion and packet loss and recovery. Independent testing tools and customer experiences show LTM's TCP stack delivers up to a 2x performance gain for users and a 4x increase in bandwidth efficiency.

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is also known as F5 BIG-IP, BIG-IP LTM, F5 ASM, Viprion, F5 BIG-IP Virtual Edition , Crescendo Networks Application Delivery Controller, BIG IP.

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Buyer's Guide

Download the F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Customers

Riken, TransUnion, Tepco Systems Administration, Daejeon University, G&T Bank, Danamon, CyberAgent Inc.

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) pricing:
  • "The price should be reduced because it is expensive when compared to the competition."
  • "Compared to using open-source products, the prices are not cheap."
  • "When we purchased additional licenses for our other locations, we received a discount of between 20% and 25%."

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Reviews

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Sanja Rakic
Security Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Very stable and easy to use with a good GUI

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very easy to use and easy to understand. It's quite an intuitive system."
  • "Technical support could be faster. It's something I'd like to see them work on in the future."

What is our primary use case?

Mostly I support my clients in relation to the product.

What is most valuable?

I am very satisfied with the product overall. 

There is never a big number of false positives or false negatives. That's the most valuable aspect of the product. 

The solution is very easy to use and easy to understand. It's quite an intuitive system.

The user interface and GUI are very good.

I find the product to be very stable. I've supported customers for two years and haven't really had an issue with the solution.

What needs improvement?

I can't say that there are any features missing. I've overall been quite happy with it.

We once had an issue related to trying to publish some exchange application to a file and we experienced some problems there, however, the incident was not really related to BIG-IP. It was likely some kind of infrastructure problem the company was experiencing.

We haven't had any big problems of note.

Technical support could be faster. It's something I'd like to see them work on in the future.

The pricing could be more reasonable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about two years at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. We haven't had an issue in years. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. The performance is good. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Most of our clients are medium-sized entities.

For the one customer I typically deal with, there has been no need to scale or expand services. The product can be scaled by adding more licenses if necessary. That said, our clients have everything they need and have not actually done this. 

There are also add-ons that come from the ASM if a company is interested in that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is slow and it could be faster. I had one issue once that was not very serious as it was on the Disaster Recovery Site. We were able to pull a previous version from a snapshot. However, the issue was that I was able to solve the problem myself before I even heard back from technical support. If they knew their technology, how is it that I could solve the problem faster as a person that's not as familiar with it? They need to be much faster. It could have been a much bigger problem. 

I'd say, overall, we aren't satisfied with the technical support for that reason.

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

I did not previously use a different product. This is my first Application Delivery Consult Solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very complex. The basic setup may be fine, however, right now I'm trying to do something in my lab environment. We've tried a few things over the years and it hasn't gotten any easier.

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

The costs could be lower. In a report, we found that Citrix Solutions are somehow cheaper - including in relation to encryption licensing. I cannot compare as I haven't spoken to Citrix. I don't know if it's easier or has the same (or more features). That said, I wouldn't describe this product as cheap. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're currently comparing F5 to Citrix. I'm not currently working with Citrix; I'm curious to see how they compare to each other. I had a presentation to a client and they just wanted some sort of comparison, which is why I began to look at Citrix.

What other advice do I have?

We are resellers.

I'm a System Integrator. I have experience in virtual environments and with clients. I have some moderate experience with implementation and some bigger experience in supporting this product. I'm not an expert in the field, however, I'm trying to be.

I don't have any issues with the solution. It's pretty problem-free in general. Overall, I would rate it at 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: reseller
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LM
Sr. Network Engineer at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Highly scalable, exceedingly stable, and responsive technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is very easy to use, from SSL Management to enabling, disabling loads, applications, systems, and monitoring. Overall the solution keeps our application functional from a client's perspective 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
  • "The solution could improve the documentation."

What is our primary use case?

We use F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) as a load balancing solution. We use many of the features associated with the solution, such as the Local Traffic Manager and Access Analytics that are associated with the SSL.

What is most valuable?

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is very easy to use, from SSL Management to enabling, disabling loads, applications, systems, and monitoring. Overall the solution keeps our application functional from a client's perspective 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have rules that are set up to detect if any part of the application in one of the nodes is not functioning correctly, having a problem, or is experiencing any sort of error, it will automatically pull it out of the load balance bundle and alerts somebody to go take action and at the address. This means our clients are happy because they are not receiving strange errors because somebody's typed something somewhere incorrectly and we are happy because our uptime is reliable.

What needs improvement?

The solution could improve the documentation.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) for approximately 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. We have to power off a system to reboot it after firmware or other updates, but I have not had a problem with the stability of the units at all. We had a system cluster go down but that was a physical issue with the hard drive. They shipped us out a new one, plugged it back in, and it almost self-configures. We had to put some details in the hard drive, but it takes the configuration from the other units and runs well. We have had zero downtime over the last five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is very scalable. We have recently expanded the cluster to five nodes and I am running in an active scenario. I did the upgrade live and it did not require any downtime.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is good. I have not had any problem asking questions that a support person can not answer. Technical support is not engineering and that was something that I had to learn. If you have something that is already functional and you need to figure out why it stopped working, why it is now broken, or you did an upgrade and something is wrong, the technical support can help with that. I have called them a dozen times over the five years and they have had my issue resolved within approximately one hour.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up the solution on the systems is not difficult but enabling applications and configuration can be complex. The difficulty level can also depend on the environment, we have a more complex environment. You have to have some base knowledge of the solution for what you are doing before you can go do it. Configuring the solution is not something that a layperson is going to be able to do. You have to know what you are looking for before you will be able to find it.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those wanting to implement this solution is they need to do their research ahead of time and know what problems you are trying to solve. In our case, our solutions engineer from F5 directly has been amazing. If you receive a good team in account management, they can point you in the right direction, and in a lot of cases, they can get you moving along. The support from him has been tremendous, it has been extremely valuable.

Our configuration is not simple. There is some custom code that is written in our system, but everything works as they say it should, it is a great solution.

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

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Jonathan Urrea
Security Professional Services at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Stable and easy to set up with good anti-bot protection

Pros and Cons

  • "We always use technical support and the team helps us very well. They're able to effectively find and fix issues and they respond very quickly."
  • "The web interface could be better."

What is most valuable?

The anti-bot protection is very good. They are able to see bots from their system quite well. It has helped our customers to filter real traffic from fake and allows the real traffic to access the application. With the profile provided, you can block many new scans and scripts that are constantly generating traffic to their web service.

What needs improvement?

When you create an autofile, its profile takes a long time to generate the view in the VIP. That is probably due to the performance of the device, however, when you load a specific profile, the browser takes more than one minute to show the information. 

The web interface could be better.

The solution should allow for the creation of custom signatures. Right now, I see that can be a little bit complicated to create new or personal signatures in the VIP.

The way that policies are created should make it easier to maintain the solution. 

The product needs to implement some kind of artificial intelligence or machine learning that can start to generate fewer false positive requests. We tend to have a lot of false positives. The policy should be created in such a way as to help lower false positives.

There should be better reporting. Our customers ask us for reports quite often. It would be ideal if the solution itself was able to generate various types of reports for them instead. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution since 2014.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This year, we had a couple of issues. We found some bugs in version 15. They are very good, however, at finding the issue and generating a hotfix quickly so that we can apply the hotfix to the device. In the general, I would say that version 15 has been very stable overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Whether you can scale easily or not depends on the device and the sizing. For example, if you have an E 2000 or I 4000, you might have a lot of traffic and the device cannot handle it very well. Scalability with the performance was the one issue that affected us this year.

Most of the customers that we have are enterprises. They are banking and insurance customers. They're quite large, which is why we need the scalability that we do.

How are customer service and technical support?

We always use technical support and the team helps us very well. They're able to effectively find and fix issues and they respond very quickly. We're quite satisfied with their level of service overall.

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

We also work with Palo Alto firewalls. I've worked with Check Point as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not too complex. It's pretty straightforward.

It's straightforward to create a new policy or a new postulate or a new deployment. It takes a couple of minutes to create a new deployment and it's rather easy to do so.

What other advice do I have?

We're a reseller for Enterprise companies such as Banking and Retail.

I'd advise that if a customer wants to implement this product, that they find a partner they can have a strong relationship with. The partner needs to be able to effectively implement the product and train your staff on the proper usage. That is, of course, if the client wants to manage it themselves in the long run.

Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten. If they could improve their web interface, generate reports, and have all the configuration on a single page on the platform, I'd rank it a bit higher.

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: Reseller
NH
CTO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
User-friendly, can be operated from a single console, and the performance is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The main reason that we suggest this product to our clients is the great integration with other security tools, such as IBM Guardium."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solution provider and we work with a lot of products from F5.

    In our internal network, we use F5 BIG-IP. We also have a few implementations with this product, including some that are integrated with other solutions such as IBM Guardium. 

    One of the great use cases is capturing an application user through F5 and then pushing it to Guardium. This is very useful for our customers because they can then connect to the database with a real application user, which is something that is very hard to achieve through other vendors.

    What is most valuable?

    The main reason that we suggest this product to our clients is the great integration with other security tools, such as IBM Guardium. 

    This product is very user-friendly, which is good for customers who have an implementation done by a partner but want to handle administration in-house.

    All of the functionality can be achieved from one console.

    Even on Hyper-V or a VMware appliance, the performance is very good when you use it as a proxy or a web application.

    The documentation is very good.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been working with F5 BIG-IP for between three and four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    From our perspective, it is scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have all of the help and support that we need from the F5 office in this region.

    Technical support from F5 is very good. As a partner, I have had a very good experience with them. They have shared knowledge with us and support us in our projects, which is definitely a big plus.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is very easy to install, especially when doing so to VMware. For example, we have spent almost a day installing security tools by other vendors. For BIG-IP, we need only two or three hours to complete it.

    For the complete deployment that includes implementation and configuration, it takes between 10 and 15 days. The length of time depends on the client's goals and requirements. For example, some just want to use it as a web application firewall, whereas others want to use more functionality. The more functionality there is, the more time it takes to complete.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our in-house team implements and deploys this solution to our customers. 

    You need two or three people, including a security manager who will configure all of the rules and policies.

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

    The price should be reduced because it is expensive when compared to the competition. Alternatively, bundled packages should be offered. This is an issue that shows up for most of our customers.

    What other advice do I have?

    In summary, this is a very good product and we are actively suggesting it to our customers. It is something that should be more present in our market, especially because of the functionality that it provides.

    In the end, we get very good results from BIG-IP.

    I would rate this solution 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: Partner
    KO
    Network Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Stable, performs well, and the iRules functionality is very good

    Pros and Cons

    • "I've worked a little bit with iRules and it is amazing."
    • "Technical support is somewhat slow and could be improved."

    What is our primary use case?

    I am not the F5 administrator so I don't use all of the features. I primarily perform daily operations such as checking statistics and deploying new virtual servers.

    What is most valuable?

    Our deployment is not very complicated, from my point of view. The HTTP and HTTPS load balancing mechanisms are the core functionality for me. I have done things like created new virtual servers, changed the load balancing, and looked at statistics, but I have not looked into the security features, API gateways, and other features because that is the responsibility of other departments. As a pure network engineer, I think the box is performing very well.

    I've worked a little bit with iRules and it is amazing. As long as you know what you're doing, it does everything you want it to do.

    What needs improvement?

    Technical support is somewhat slow and could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with F5 BIG-IP for the past two years.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    My experience with technical support has come from two or three tickets that I have raised over the past two years. I would rate them a six or seven out of ten. I'm not sure if my colleagues have faced the same issues, but I have experienced delays in response, especially when I opened a case for iRules. It took them about a month and a half to get me to the point.

    One of the reasons it took as long was because they considered this to be a problem for professional services, and not technical support. As such, it was not marked as urgent.

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

    F5 was the first load balancer that I worked on.

    How was the initial setup?

    The provisioning of the box from A to Z is of medium difficulty. It is not very complicated, nor very easy. I would rate it a seven out of ten in terms of provisioning it for the first time.

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

    Compared to using open-source products, the prices are not cheap.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Although we are happy with F5, we are currently evaluating NGINX and Kemp LoadMaster because our F5 boxes are approaching end-of-life. We are running them as demos, conducting a PoC for each to test and see how they run in our environment. There are several things that I have yet to test with these other products.

    My understanding is that the support packages and the boxes themselves are not very cheap.

    If ultimately we find that the other solutions do not meet our requirements then we will be renewing our service with F5. 

    What other advice do I have?

    To this point, whatever we have needed has been available out-of-the-box. In our environment, we have not experienced limitations.

    In summary, we are happy with the product and for me, it's ideal for HTTP and HTTPS.

    Performance-wise, stability-wise, and feature-wise, I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    MS
    Director of Network Strategies and Technologies at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Flexible with good technical support and horizontal scalability

    Pros and Cons

    • "The product is quite flexible."
    • "The cost of the solution is pretty high. It would be ideal if it was more reasonable."

    What is our primary use case?

    The F5 is something we purchased for another project that has not been turned on just yet.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution is very powerful.

    The product is quite flexible. 

    The horizontal scalability that is on offer is very good as well.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see some better documentation focused on our website and better search criteria. That's probably the best way to say that there needs to help with research.

    The cost of the solution is pretty high. It would be ideal if it was more reasonable.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We were originally supposed to launch this project for a client, however, that hasn't materialized yet.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    While we never really got around to scaling the solution just yet, there is horizontal scalability that is on offer that seems very good.

    This is being deployed in a service provider environment. Therefore, it'll be impactful to all of our customers. However, I would say as far as internal support users, we have a team of probably ten that'll be supporting this product once it's launched in production.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In terms of technical support, so far it has been pretty good. That said, it's more to set up the solution versus actual production support. They're not helping us deal with bugs or glitches, they've just been helping us with a rather complex implementation. We've been satisfied with their assistance in that sense. They seem knowledgeable and responsive.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is largely complex. However, we had a lot of help from their internal sales team or support team has been important in terms of working around the difficulties.

    We have a staff of ten that are handling deployment and maintenance. They're not dedicated just to this product, however. They support our overall service provider architecture.

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

    The cost is quite high. The long-term support in particular is quite high.

    Customers need to be aware that each feature is licensable, which allows costs to accrue.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with F5.

    The F5 is something we purchased for another project that has not yet been turned up. That said, the experience I've had with F5 has been very positive, specifically working directly with their corporate sales engineering team. 

    Overall, I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. If it wasn't for the high cost of the product, I might rate it a bit higher.

    I would advise those considering the solution to explore all options. Specifically, the total cost of ownership. It can be lower with some other vendors. A10 is oftentimes a lower cost of ownership. One challenge with F5 is everything is a licensable feature. Whereas something like an A10 is not. You see the same challenges with a Cisco type of device as well, however, it's in a different arena, with different products.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MC
    Chief Information Officer at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Good performance, easy to configure and simple to set up

    Pros and Cons

    • "We enjoy its overall ease of use."
    • "The pricing could always be better. It's a bit expensive."

    What is our primary use case?

    The product can be used for many applications including load balancing and GLB's overload balancing. It depends on the module. If there's a public APM you can use it for WAF and many other use-cases. 

    What is most valuable?

    The performance of the product is great. 

    We enjoy its overall ease of use.

    It's relatively easy to configure. There's a certain level of fine-grain configurations that you can perform.

    The solution is very stable.

    We've found the product to be quite scalable.

    The initial setup is very straightforward. 

    What needs improvement?

    The pricing could always be better. It's a bit expensive.

    It would be ideal if they offered integration with NGINX. They purchased NGINX as well. Therefore, if it's got integration with NGINX, then you kind of have one single pane of a console for all the F5/NGINX portions of your work. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for six years. It's been a while.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is very good. The performance is reliable. It doesn't crash or freeze. We don't find there are a lot of bugs or glitches. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is great. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so easily.

    We have about 2,500 users on it currently.

    We do plan to increase usage in the near future.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've used technical support in the past and have been satisfied with the level of attention we receive. They are helpful and responsive. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation process is not overly complex or difficult. It's very straightforward and pretty simple. 

    The deployment is fast as well. It takes maybe an hour to an hour and a half to set everything up. 

    We have two people on staff that can handle deployment and maintenance. They are admins.

    What about the implementation team?

    I handled the installation myself. I did not need the assistance of any integrator or consultant. It was all handled in-house. 

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

    The solution could work at lowering its prices a bit.

    The licensing needs to be a bit more flexible.

    We pay our licensing fees on a yearly basis. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did evaluate other solutions before choosing this product. However, it was a long time ago. I can't recall the products we looked at. One might have been Barracuda.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're a customer and a partner of F5.

    The product is an on-premise virtual edition solution.

    I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We've been mostly quite happy with it so far.

    I'd recommend the solution to other users and organizations. Our experience has been a positive one. 

    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: Partner
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    DK
    Head Of Technology at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Good support, stable, and facilitates the management of our network

    Pros and Cons

    • "This is a solution that does what it's supposed to do at the price point."
    • "If we decide to migrate to the cloud, I don't think that BIG-IP is a good solution and we probably won't use it."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our company is based in different geographical locations and we need to create SD-WANs with tight security while allowing remote access to our resources. To manage that and to manage the whole network, we use BIG-IP.

    What needs improvement?

    When we purchased the product, we found it to be a bit expensive.

    If we decide to migrate to the cloud, I don't think that BIG-IP is a good solution and we probably won't use it.

    If the price for a cloud-based deployment can be matched with their competitors the I think it would be a far better solution. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using F5 BIG-IP for almost two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    BIG-IP is stable and we plan to continue using it. We don't want to change because we're happy with what it's doing unless we switch over to the cloud. I think that cloud sizing is too heavy.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is a scalable product. There are three people who manage it, but it's applicable to the entire organization, so there are approximately 1,500 users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I think that technical support is pretty good. On a scale of one to ten, I can reasonably score them a nine.

    How was the initial setup?

    The implementation and deployment happened before I joined the company, although I have reviewed the procedure and did not find anything challenging when it came to installation. Once you understand how to work with the product, it is easy to manage the services.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our in-house team takes care of the maintenance. There are three people who manage it, and once every three months, we spend 30 or 40 minutes reading and clearing up the logs.

    What was our ROI?

    I don't think that this product really provides value for the money. However, what you get for the cost is satisfactory. It's not like I won the lottery. This is a solution that does what it's supposed to do at the price point.

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

    When we purchased additional licenses for our other locations, we received a discount of between 20% and 25%. My understanding is that they matched the competitor's price.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    If we move all of our on-premises systems onto the cloud, we will probably look for another solution. We may rely on the cloud provider for this. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We have not felt the need to upgrade to the most recent version or do any updates on this product because we're pretty happy with what we have.

    Overall, this is a good product and if one can afford it, then I would recommend it.

    I would rate this solution eight 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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