If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering F5 BIG-IP, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
I would rate this solution a seven out of ten. Not a ten because of the usability and a manageability. I've had to send somebody to F5 University to get trained, whereas with the Citrix NetScaler I don't necessarily have to send them out to training. I was able to pick up NetScaler right away. Whereas, F5, if you have it, you should probably get trained on it because it's a little more esoteric. Everybody wants the best of a name brand. If F5 was like a Tesla, would you want to buy a Tesla or a Toyota? They're both big name brands, but when you hear Tesla, you know exactly what that is; it's the futuristic top-of-the-line electric car. If you can afford a Tesla, then buy the Tesla but if you can't afford a Tesla, and you want something that's going to get you from point A to point B at a halfway decent price, go with Citrix.
We use F5 BIG-IP a lot in production right now. The product is indispensable to us. I would rate the product an overall nine out of ten. Most of the benefits of F5 BIG-IP are cyclical because of the licensing costs.
It helps you to manage workloads in a better way on your cloud environment. I also have integrated it on my private cloud.
The on-prem version and the AWS versions are almost the same. In terms of the experience purchasing through AWS marketplace, because we are a partner, the way we purchase it from AWS is different. We don't buy directly from the market. Overall, it's a good product.
I would give it a nine out of ten for its stability and feature set, as well as the way it handles our load. Definitely consider this product on your product evaluation list. It is the front-end to the cloud for all the services in our data center. So, it sort of integrates with all of our services. We have yet to integrate it with AWS.
Try doing a proof of concept or a prototype, before you go full in on a load balancer, to make sure it does everything you need. We have both the AWS and on-premise versions. We used the on-premise version to compare it to what Amazon had to offer.
Take advantage of it and use it. We use the on-premise version of this product. We are looking into moving over to the AWS version.
Use F5. It has a good reputation. We experienced easy implementation and had an overall good experience. We use it only on AWS.
Explore the API support and integration with the open source products. Those are the key thing to analyze. F5 are the experts in their area. I use the on-premise version.
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.
The product works. We have F5 all across our environment. We use them for both VPNs and for traditional load balancers. So, we have VIPRIONs and several different versions of on-premise F5 hardware, as well. From an operations team perspective, everything is easy to learn; seamless. The ability to get teams to focus on AWS F5 is easy because they already know everything there. From an operational perspective, it is a win-win because they already know how to work with the F5. Within our AWS environment, it is integrated with network load balancers. Then, depending on the traffic flow, it can either be back-end through the Palo Alto IDS IPS or it can be front-end for the IDS IPS. So, it has integration in between there, which was very nice. I was able to set up very intricate NAT rules, because I had to handle the traffic away. It did work very well. There were some issues with the routing, but that was more how AWS routes rather than F5 which I had to work around. Other than that, getting traffic back and forth between the two and the network load balancing was a piece of cake.
The three key things to look at closely: * Look at the flexibility of the products. * The ability to work with it on-premise and in the cloud is a huge advantage. * The ability to integrate it with other non-F5 products. We use both the AWS and on-premise versions. They work about the same, which is what I like about the product: same management plane and configuration. It integrates with the networking layer, which is fairly complicated. Depending on the customer, there are different products that it integrates with. More often than not, it's load balancing in front of Windows in Unix. In some cases, integrating with other tools like the LP or other network products.
It's a good product to use. It has many features so can use it to secure your environment. I'm satisfied with the product.
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 implement it.
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 tell them that we are not selling you just a load balancer. We are selling you application delivery controllers, and Web application firewalls. I give it 9.5 out of 10. It's a really costly product and smaller organizations cannot afford this solution, so it's hard to sell a plan. But once the customer has it, this product is a 10.
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 the product, but through an experienced partner. With these type of application delivery controller projects, the application teams have a significant role. It is networking team plus the application team. With better coordination between all the different teams who are engaged, project execution will go more smoothly.