F5 BIG-IP Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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Real User
Technical Product Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Sep 13 2018

What is most valuable?

It has so many features. First of all, it has a full proxy architecture, it has multiple modules. The best feature is the WAF, the web application firewall module. It also has cashing type capabilities. It has all kinds of load-balancing… more »

How has it helped my organization?

It has multi-tenancy features, like hardware clustering. It has software partitioning so that you can partition F5. For example, in my recent deployments, I deployed F5 in a bank where they had two load balancers. One was Cisco Ace and the… more »

What needs improvement?

The room for improvement is that the product is a little costly. I live in the Third World, Pakistan. We have budget constraints, even in big enterprise servers. My team said that this product is too costly, and why don't we go with another… more »

What other advice do I have?

F5 is the number-one application delivery controller, plus they are the number-one Web application firewall, together in the market right now. So what else do you want from them? Whenever we go and pitch this solution to our customers, we… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Brocade ADX.
Pablo Vega
Real User
Ingeniero at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 05 2018

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

What is our primary use case?

We use F5 for the load balancing of our equipment. We use it for DDoS functionalities in our security solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution is the best security platform. We have even attached it to another security platform solution for DDoS.

What needs improvement?

They need to improve the interface and some of the functionalities.

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. We have not had many problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't need additional features to grow out the platform.

How is customer service and technical support?

The occasion in which we needed technical support, we didn't…
Learn what your peers think about F5 BIG-IP. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2020.
438,360 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Hu231Anly367
Reseller
Thermicien with 51-200 employees
Aug 02 2018

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

What is our primary use case?

In Vietnam, F5 provides better services.

How has it helped my organization?

When I put F5 into my network, it works better. 

What needs improvement?

The pricing could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability seems fine.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support was helpful when we contacted them.

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

The pricing is inclusive of many features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated NetScaler. F5 is the better product for our location.
Nt3210Sec8
Real User
Network Security Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 02 2018

What is most valuable?

Most important is that it stops very common attacks which can be performed by a simple hacker, and up to the advanced level.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us something like a "story" of our status because we can see a lot of bad traffic and, in the logs, if someone is trying to execute something.

What needs improvement?

We need best-practice information. They have something called DevCentral and a blog. But we want something from F5 itself regarding how to tackle the false-positive configurations. If you go into detail with so many configurations it will find so many false positives from the moment it is enabled… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It has many features compared to other products.
Samar Choudhury
Consultant
Assistant Vice President at Nagarro
Aug 02 2018

What is most valuable?

I have Big-IP change and control manager, which give me the roll back option. Therefore, I can view the last things which happened on the device.

What needs improvement?

In future, I would like there to be more device security. I would like the tool to support SSL links, along with SSL and TLS. It also needs to disable the old cipher suite, which is a very old. There are ciphers, like D5, still available on the device.

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

Security should be involved in any base license. When you bring on F5, you only have default license. Then, the ASM product license has to be purchased. It would be great if F5 could include the ASM in the base license.

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

We used to have Cisco, then we have Citrix NetScaler. The Citrix NetScaler is just a load balancer. It did not me the complete ADC features. That is why F5 is the king of load balancing.
Reviewer702843
Reseller
Director Technology Solutions with 11-50 employees
Aug 02 2018

What is most valuable?

It is very intuitive, easy to deploy, and manage. The solution's capabilities has been most instrumental in supporting our customers. I find it reliable. Once it is… more »

How has it helped my organization?

We resell F5 as partners. Our customers have a clear business case to reduce downtime, improving resource utilization. The major applications that front-end core banking… more »

What needs improvement?

Implementing whitepapers with a lot more applications could easily be added. This project is missing some relevant features: * We set up the customer through the load… more »

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

It is the best solution, but that comes with an increased price. Try to negotiate all the software features that you require upfront. E.g., if you need three different… more »

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

A few of our customers were using Brocade, Citrix NetScaler, or A10. We moved them to F5, because there were more customer references available for F5 in our country and… more »

What other advice do I have?

It is best of the breed, or best in class. Our experience has been very good, in terms of performance, and securing our application infrastructure. I strongly recommend… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our customers normally evaluate others too and shortlist F5 based on ease of use.
Real User
Lead Network Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Jul 30 2018

What is most valuable?

We are using the Big-IP, LTM, ASM, and GTM modules. * The Local Traffic Manager (LTM) provides a simple low balance and SSL decryption, in addition to some TCP parameters, for incoming and outgoing traffic to redirect appropriate traffic… more »

How has it helped my organization?

We can use it for load balancing purposes on an HA proxy software. However, hardware load balancing is the best way due to some hardware flaws for incoming traffic. We are not using CPU resources for a load balancing SSL decryption and… more »

What needs improvement?

I would like to see F-5 implement a regular routing like in other Linux-based devices. We know the F-5 is not a router, but can be used for traffic forwarding, so it's not the same as other devices if we compare it with Citrix-based… more »

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

The licensing strategy for F5 is good.

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

We previously used Citrix NetScaler: * Citrix NetScaler SDX, which can be divided in multiple instances. * Citrix VPX.
Erez Bar On
Vendor
IT Manager at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Jul 30 2018

What is most valuable?

The most helpful thing is that it's open-source. It's very easy to program and customize.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us recognize sessions from certain IPs that are authorized to manage the application. This is a function we haven't found anywhere else.

What needs improvement?

Logging is a bit of a problem. Logging and monitoring are only in plain text. You have to search and you have to know what you are searching for to find anything. So of… more »

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

We only use a fraction of the capabilities of F5. There are different modules that we have heard others speak highly of, but we don't want to use them locally. It's an… more »

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

We used Microsoft Gateway called CMG. This product was end-of-life, they decided to kill the product. We switched because there is no other solution that does the same… more »

What other advice do I have?

I would advise excessive testing before moving to production. It's a new product, it's a "language." You have to learn the product thoroughly before you really can… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We checked other options, but nothing could deliver the solution we need.
JackChen3
User
User at F.I.S.C TW
Jul 11 2018

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

What is our primary use case?

GTM and LTM are the primary uses of the solution. Our company has two active data centers and a data center that is being activated. F5 BIG-IP helps us a lot. 

How has it helped my organization?

Global DNS, Link Controller, and Server Load Balancer provide our company service with high availability.

What is most valuable?

Valuable features include Link Controller and Server Load Balancer with cloud support and application enhancement security.

What needs improvement?

Internet and cloud support could be improved. Security enhancement should be more user friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
User
Technology Manager at SIG Information Technology GmbH
May 27 2018

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

What is our primary use case?

Publishing of many applications through the F5 reverse proxy to the Internet. We are also using the F5 as an IdP server.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes the publishing of applications to the Internet safer. Permanent updates give us more security.

What is most valuable?

The automatic inspection of, e.g., SSL (TLS) traffic.  It is an easy way to build application policies (graphical).

What needs improvement?

It would help to get more training, even better in local languages. While we are able to speak and understand English, sometimes it is much easier to use the language you truly understand.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Real User
Network Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Apr 18 2018

What is most valuable?

I really like the ease of use of it in general. If I were to choose one in particular, perhaps it would be the iRule feature. It’s a really versatile tool.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously we had an IdP on a Linux server. However, this was a pain to configure. With the F5 this has become easy. Therefore, more and more of our applications are now transferred to SAML.

What needs improvement?

The SharePoint SSO part has some room for improvement. Opening documents and spreadsheets on local applications in on our specific situation is not possible.

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

We used to have a Barracuda WAF. It was unreliable and it didn’t have all the features of the F5. It was out of maintenance and we decided never to use Barracuda again.

What other advice do I have?

Be sure of what you will use. F5 isn’t cheap but is worth the price. Also, take a good look at all the different options and make sure you take the correct hardware platform. You can always add more… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tried FortiADC briefly. However the big contender was Citrix NetScaler.
Real User
Senior Network Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Apr 04 2018

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is the common use case for everyone. It has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit is security. It's able to track issues, the attacks. So that enables us to catch the attacks before they hit us. We are able to nail them down.

What is most valuable?

DDOS protection.

What needs improvement?

They can improve on the DDOS solution and have more stable solutions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't done any upgrades yet, but it is scalable to some extent.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. I would rate it seven out of 10.

What other advice do I have?

The most…
Real User
ACT Solutions Architect at a venture capital & private equity firm with 51-200 employees
Mar 18 2018

What is most valuable?

Beyond the basic balancing function, other modules are important to us. In particular, a web application firewall, application security module, and a remote access module for customer applications.

How has it helped my organization?

F5 will improve our position in the customer service market. We plan to create packages of services from which it will be possible to build comprehensive tailor-made solutions.

What needs improvement?

As a service provider, we will target F5 BIG-IP VE solutions to customers who request infrastructure as a service. Improvements should enable customers to build a tailor-made solution in the future through a service portal.
Vendor
Games, Apps and Web Developer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 22 2017

What is most valuable?

* LTM for balancing * ASM for WAF

How has it helped my organization?

I'm a system integrator, not a customer. Usually F5 meets customer expectations well. It's best of breed and an industry leader.

What needs improvement?

Security and Reporting.

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

F5 is more expensive than other solutions, so you have to be sure F5 is the best solution to fit the requirements.

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

Citrix NetScaler. F5 supports better features, from load balancing to security and application visibility. NetScaler is better with a VDI solution.

What other advice do I have?

You need the right skills to deploy it. Complex deployment requires TCL language knowledge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Citrix, RadWare, and LBL.
Vendor
Sr. Network Engineer at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
Aug 20 2017

What is most valuable?

* Great load balancing * Solid OS * Great support

How has it helped my organization?

Far superior to DNS Round-Robin load balancing; great HTTP and HTTPs redirection.

What needs improvement?

Fixing bugs.

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

Great product for the money. But they can get really expensive, so get what meets your needs. They do have some expensive extras like GTM, which has both hardware and… more »

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

No.

What other advice do I have?

Check with your IT staff and developers and agree on your needs, and buy accordingly. VM instances are now also available. They don’t have an end-to-end analytics package… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Citrix, NetScaler.
Consultant
Network Security Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Aug 13 2017

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

What is most valuable?

LTM.

How has it helped my organization?

We can load balance the request to servers, which was the main reason we bought the product.

What needs improvement?

I think the logging could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never used F5 technical support.

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

No.

How was the initial setup?

No, it was simple.

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

Check other vendors like Cisco, Citrix or A10 Networks. There are plenty in the market with which you can achieve same…
Girish Vyas
Real User
Architect - Cloud Serviced at NTT Global Networks
Jul 14 2017

What is most valuable?

I have been working on the LTM and GTM lines. Both of the products are awesome. I would consider the Wide IP and ZoneRunner features of GTM extremely useful. For the overall product, I would say… more »

How has it helped my organization?

We are fond of the load balancing feature for DNS and servers. Also, these can help you natting/hiding the real IP.

What needs improvement?

The only area that has room for improvement would be pricing. Other than that, the v11 clustering is a new technology they have brought in that does not require improvement. They are the leader in the… more »

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

This product is costly from a licensing perspective considering its competitors. This is why it lost a rating point from me. If your IT budget can support it, go for it.

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

Regarding load balancing, this was our first product.

What other advice do I have?

Attend a training class before trying to deploy it, or at least refer to online videos on their portal, as this will make it fairly easy for you. It is one of the best and easiest load balancing… more »
Vendor
Head of Data Centers Operations at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
Feb 27 2017

What needs improvement?

I think the product is a good product. I think where they can improve is in the licensing. It's quite expensive. They could make it more aligned with the business model than with the hardware.

What other advice do I have?

They could buy it but there are other choices such as Cisco ACE products, as well. We have it. They are also good. F5 are good. Usually, I'm not locked into one vendor. The reality is our bookkeeping department unfortunately has a problem with them. Because of that, I have had some issues concerning getting services from the vendor.
Vendor
Solution Architect/Application Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 27 2017

What is most valuable?

We like the capability to combine the content switching with the intrusion prevention and adding the security roles, so we can expose certain sub-pieces outside without exposing everything. Another feature that we like is how they integrate nicely with the Oracle PeopleSoft application, and since… more »

What needs improvement?

I have been really happy with what they have been doing. They could improve the synchronization between their main site and the failover site. Sometimes, we run into issues where it does not sync well, so I would like to see that improved. The synchronization does works fairly well. However, if I… more »

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend that they really look at it. It's a good product. It really helps. Initially, I would also recommend that they consider using some consulting help from their firm to get it set up, because like I said, I wasn't involved there, but I know we did use that. When I look to work with a… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have not actually used any of the competitor products.
Vendor
Team Leader Mainframe & Webservices at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 19 2016

What is most valuable?

* Easy administration * A lot of features * Scriptable (iRules and REST API) I have some experience with other load balancing providers. The BIG-IP’s interface is more… more »

How has it helped my organization?

Central solution to control traffic or web applications (besides NG Firewall).

What needs improvement?

The ASM administration is quite complex. I am a technical GUI expert (not UI). They did improve the ASM administration in each version, but added new features, too. The… more »

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

Take a look at the modules that you are going to use. Look into the best bundles for them.

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

I previously used a different solution. We switched because the hardware was too old, and the other vendor did not have the same set of features.

What other advice do I have?

Use the community and DevCentral.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I compared it with Radware. Cisco was already off the market, and Citrix was not as big as it is today.
Vendor
Member Technical at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Aug 31 2016

What is most valuable?

iRules are so helpful in meeting our complex application’s architecture in case of routing. The requests have to be routed according to the cookies and headers of the host name itself. And also we can log the details, which helps us a lot in troubleshooting. Using the “repeat” option when creating… more »

How has it helped my organization?

My organization has various kinds of routing requirements and we have achieved it using F5’s iRules. Also with different load balancing options, many applications have benefited a lot.

What needs improvement?

Active-Standby sync has to be made automatic. All of the F5 boxes have an Active-Standby configuration. Users need to make changes in the Active box, but often users by mistake make changes in the Standby box. This creates problems when syncing between Active and Standby. There should be some… more »

What other advice do I have?

The BigIP F5 tool is applicable to all types of infrastructure. I would recommend this tool to others.
Vendor
Network Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Aug 31 2016

What do you think of F5 BIG-IP?

Valuable Features

LTM is a full-reverse proxy, handling connections from clients. The F5 LTM uses Virtual Services (VSs) and Virtual IPs (VIPs) to configure a load balancing setup for a service. We have used this feature in many applications, especially for HTTP and HTTPS.

Room for Improvement

There is room for improvement with their firmware quality control. A bug in the firmware caused hardware failures.

Use of Solution

I have been using it for one year.

Stability Issues

Unfortunately, we faced hardware failures and a lot of other problems, as well. With the hardware failure problem, we faced a management problem via the GUI. We could only manage the device through the CLI. The issue was caused by a firmware bug. In addition, health check statistics like CPU and memory…
Reseller
Security Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Aug 31 2016

What is most valuable?

iRule: It's a great feature that helped us multiple times have an advantage over competition (during PoCs) performing some traffic control/management functions that are not supported out of the box… more »

What needs improvement?

* Reporting: One of the negative things about F5 is there is no place to generate a summary/executive/detailed report about everything happening on the box, especially for WAF & APM events. The only… more »

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

F5 Prices are considered higher then competitive solutions, but performance & features are worth the extra money.

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

We previously used Cisco ACE (for load balancing & WAF). We switched because the Cisco ACE solution features were very basic compared to F5. Plus, the solutions line was discontinued several years… more »

What other advice do I have?

F5 is a very stable and recommended product, whether needed on the internet edge or inside the data center. It can provide different application delivery solutions, such as: * Load balancing * Web… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Over our year of engagement with F5, we evaluated multiple products from other vendors and competed with many others, and we always found F5 products to be our first and best choice to advise our… more »
Vendor
Network Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 31 2016

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the F5 LTM (Local Traffic Manager). This is the part of the product most organisations will be using most. It provides the core functionality… more »

How has it helped my organization?

It has enabled us to keep a sustainable and supported load balancing platform. This is partly due to Cisco withdrawing a large number of their load balancing products and… more »

What needs improvement?

I would like F5 to incorporate the ability to create your own custom roles and customised permissions within the product set. I have seen many customers wanting to give a… more »

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

The licensing pricing seems relatively easy enough to get your head around. I would advise anyone to ensure that you have a conversation with an F5 consultant before… more »

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

Previously, I have used Cisco load balancing, e.g., Cisco CSM, Cisco ACE, Microsoft Network Load Balancing, and Cisco GSS. Previously, Cisco load balancing or Microsoft… more »

What other advice do I have?

I would strongly advise seeking technical consultation throughout purchasing and during implementation. This is usually because you can get good advice around best… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other options. We had already used products such as NetScaler, Microsoft NLB, and a vast array of Cisco load balancing products. F5 was chosen due to the… more »
Vendor
Senior Security Specialist with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 17 2014

What is most valuable?

LTM: Load balancing, SSL offloading, iRules, iApp,

How has it helped my organization?

LTM has been able to demonstrate an immediate return on investment, reducing the cost of server estate upgrades (both in terms of the numbers of required tin, reduced service impact through upgrades… more »

What needs improvement?

LTM – the product is fine and all features that I have deployed have proven to be stable. TMOS release schedule is very dynamic. Major releases (9-10, 10-11) could have been made easier if… more »

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

No. F5 was a virgin solution to a point problem and quickly grew to a central position in the management of our enterprise infrastructure and digital tier by demonstrating quickly a value contribution… more »

What other advice do I have?

Look to Enterprise Architecture before striking a key. These boxes are multiply capable, so allowing development through capability can lead to hugely complex deployments. There is (almost) nothing… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Full analysis of the ADC space was undertaken, evaluating all competitors in the GMQ. All were discounted because of the vast distance between technologies and their capabilities. F5 was the clear and… more »
Vendor
Network Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jan 22 2013

What is most valuable?

I've checked out the market and I think Big-IP/Viprion is the best ADC your money can buy at the moment. It has the features and innovations that demanding organizations like us desire in an ADC especially for diverse and complex application environments. F5 has a solid offering with its iRules, iControl and iApps and we use its DevCentral portal. We take advantage of the integration with both… more »

What needs improvement?

It’s quite expensive compared to the other vendors. F5 lacks a pay-as-you-grow licensing scheme as offered by other companies, which makes acquiring their products more expensive at the outset.F5’s support for low-end platforms is also dismal, with continued restrictions imposed on such systems making it difficult for them to cater to small to medium-sized business. You might be forced to buy more… more »

What other advice do I have?

Top of the line ADC with great features. Just make sure you have the right partner in implementing your solution so as the business value of such an expensive product is maximized.

What is F5 BIG-IP?

The BIG-IP family of products offers the application intelligence that network managers need to ensure applications are fast, secure, and available. All BIG-IP products share a common underlying architecture, F5's Traffic Management Operating System (TMOS), which provides unified intelligence, flexibility, and programmability. Together, BIG-IP's powerful platforms, advanced modules, and centralized management system make up the most comprehensive set of application delivery tools in the industry.
Also known as
BIG-IP, BIG-IP LTM, F5 ASM, Viprion, F5 BIG-IP Virtual Edition , Crescendo Networks Application Delivery Controller, BIG IP
F5 BIG-IP customers
Riken, TransUnion, Tepco Systems Administration, Daejeon University, G&T Bank, Danamon, CyberAgent Inc.
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