Network Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
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.

Buyer's Guide
F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
November 2022
Learn what your peers think about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
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How are customer service and 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.
PeerSpot user
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.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
November 2022
Learn what your peers think about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
655,465 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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
PeerSpot user
Head Of Technology at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
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.
PeerSpot user
SaurabhPal - PeerSpot reviewer
SaurabhPalTechnical Specialist - Network & Security at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Top 10Real User

F5 Premium Plus Support having 24 X 7 X 365 support which is excellent at our customer site.

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
PeerSpot user
Senior Security Specialist at Tech Mahindra Limited
Vendor
Top 10
Good load balancing and web proxy features with good attack prevention
Pros and Cons
  • "It has helped a lot to protect our organization from external attacks, especially XSS or XSRF types of attacks."
  • "It requires a particular skill or training before being able to manage it."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product to hide true identity of our web servers from external users while balancing the loads of those external users. 

For load balancing, we have various load balancing method. We can define these methods at the node or pool level. 

We are retail users and have lot of websites for online businesses to prevent attacks. On those sites, there is a WAF module that we also use, which prevents attacks on it. 

It acts as a reverse proxy for our web servers, and we can use certificate to protect from attackers and send encrypted traffic to F5 which then decrypt and passes to the internal server after encrypting again using a server-side certificate or sending in plain form.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped a lot to protect our organization from external attacks, especially XSS or XSRF types of attacks. 

It serves as a reverse proxy for our web servers which takes the request from the internet users on F5 public-facing IP using an encrypted connection and then it decrypts the packet using a client-side certificate. We use server-side certificates to encrypt the traffic and send it to the server. Internet users never know what the real server IP is. It does NATing to hide the identity and it has an ASM module to protect it from web attacks.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of good things this solution has, including:

The LTM module helps to load balance the traffic among the internal web server in our case using round robin and least connection method.

The ASM module prevents web attacks and protects our web servers.

The irule feature is used to write these irules to redirect the traffic or sometimes prevent automated attacks such as through BOTs where the distinction between real and fake users becomes increasingly tricky.

Its virtual servers have the option to configure other things to increase the speed of serving requests like the use of a persistence profile.

What needs improvement?

The major drawback is it has lot of options nested inside, and each option has a lot of options. I'm not sure who might be using all those options or even some (limited) good options. They should pare everything down.

It requires a particular skill or training before being able to manage it. Creating virtual servers, managing pools, and nodes until it is working on WAF side of it becomes difficult while writing the irules.

Another drawback is we are using a physical appliance. It becomes very slow and unresponsive. Even logs cannot load on the box to troubleshoot. It overwrites the logs. They need to do something in log storage locally on this box in the next release.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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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.
PeerSpot user
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
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: November 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.