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F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is #1 ranked solution in top Application Delivery Controllers. PeerSpot users give F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) an average rating of 8 out of 10. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is most commonly compared to Microsoft Azure Application Gateway: F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) vs Microsoft Azure Application Gateway. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 63% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 24% of all views.
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: July 2022

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) was previously 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) Customers

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

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Video

F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Pricing Advice

What users are saying about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) pricing:
  • "There are no additional fees to the standard licensing fee; everything is paid once."
  • "The cost is high for this product, so it's not suitable for small customers, e.g. those with small environments."
  • "It was probably a one-time purchase and then you have maintenance, but I don't have the details on that. We bought what they called the Best bundle at the time, which pretty much included all of the modules. There was probably no additional cost afterward."
  • "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."
  • F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Reviews

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    Network Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Reasonably priced, performs well, with responsive, and helpful technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "What we like best about this solution is its stability. It is extremely stable."
    • "It reaches a point where scaling is no longer possible."

    What is our primary use case?

    For everything, F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is used. We used it for our exchange server before migrating to Teams, and then for Skype. It currently operates several large broadcasting and streaming services.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our jump server is quite large. To keep the high number of connections, we had to deploy it behind the F5. That saved us a lot of time and achieved our goal of having a stable jump server. When you put it behind an F5, you divide the connections between a couple of nodes, which was something we didn't have before.

    What is most valuable?

    We are using almost all of the features. What we like best about this solution is its stability. It is extremely stable.

    What needs improvement?

    So far, everything appears to be fine. I wouldn't be the best person to comment on something like APIs because I haven't really dug into a lot of APIs. However, I believe F5 falls a little short when it comes to APIs. But I'm not certain.
    Buyer's Guide
    F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
    July 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: July 2022.
    610,336 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been running F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) for nine years. We haven't done an upgrade in three years. It is being used internally. We have a large number of internal services.  We kept a few services, say two or three services that are being published, but it's primarily intended for our internal services.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is very stable. We are a broadcast company. We have streaming services running behind this box. This streaming service has been released, with 19 to 20 streams. We haven't received any complaints about these streams since the streaming service was deployed behind F5. Despite the fact that these streams consume a lot of bandwidth and have millions of sessions. We haven't received many complaints about them.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It reaches a point where scaling is no longer possible. Assume you have two boxes, and you want to expand. You can divide it into what is known as vices or virtual systems, but then you're stuck. This is where, NGINX comes in, in a better way, where you can simply scale up by adding more VMs or appliances without running into problems because you have an NGINX controller that controls everything. The users are mostly administrators and network engineers like myself. The number of end users is somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000.

    How are customer service and support?

    They were extremely helpful in both SLA and non-SLA cases. An SLA case is one in which assistance is required, and the assistance must provide you with a solution. Technical support was also helpful in non-SLA cases where I requested assistance, as well as in sharing guides and documents. I would rate the technical support a four and a half out of five.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We are using a combination of F5 and NGINX. I am still relatively new to NGINX. We recently implemented it in our environment. We are interested in NGINX. We would like to explore the NGINX platform. It has multiple platforms such as security, APIs, and application gateways. We are looking into it, as well as the LTM module of it. We are also interested in learning more about Kemp LoadMaster.

    How was the initial setup?

    Nothing goes as smoothly as you might expect, but it wasn't all that difficult. We had a few issues at first, but it's been running very smoothly since then. I wasn't present when F5 was installed. It has been nine years. However, I have completed a few deployments in one of the branch offices, and to be honest, it wasn't all that complicated. Because it was a new deployment, it didn't require any strategy, migration plan, or anything else.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do not use third-party vendors. Everything is completed in-house. This solution is managed by two network engineers, myself, and a colleague.

    What was our ROI?

    I would rate the ROI a three out of five.

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

    I would rate the pricing a three out of five. There are no additional fees to the standard licensing fee; everything is paid once.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I was comparing products like Apache Web Server, F5 LTM, Fortinet FortiADC, Kemp LoadMaster, and NGINX Plus.

    What other advice do I have?

    It depends on the use case. However, if you are not interested in the application side, F5 would be useful. If you just want a load balancer that balances multiple servers, that's all you need. Not basic, but basic to intermediate material. F5 takes first place with no one even close to matching it. However, if you want to go deeper and more advanced, you should look into NGINX or any other vendor that has more options or more features. As a network engineer, I am totally happy with the product. 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: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Senior ICT Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Secure and easy to scale traffic management solution; can meet the demands of bigger environments
    Pros and Cons
    • "Secure and scalable traffic management solution for applications. Good for bigger environments."
    • "Lacking in free training to help users understand the product more, so they would know how to correctly use it. Like other vendors and their products, becoming more proactive is an area for improvement."

    What needs improvement?

    All the cyber security vendors and their products need improvement, including F5 and this product. No one is 100% secured, because attacks are more sophisticated now, and the hackers have become more advanced.

    Recently, I've seen one of the attacks on this particular network, where they managed to bypass its multi-factor authentication. They were able to bypass that level of security, and they managed to get into the network.

    Every cyber security vendor needs to be proactive. No one is perfect, so even the rank one cyber security vendors should also keep their eyes open all the time.

    It would also be better if F5 provided free product training for F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), so end customers could have more awareness and understanding of the product, so they'll know how to use it.

    Our level of requirements, usage, and scalability are being met by this product. If we needed additional features, or if we needed additional licenses, all we need to do is just buy the additional features or licenses, so we currently don't have any additional features we'd like to be included in the next version of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM).

    For how long have I used the solution?

    My experience with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is a total of four years now. We have customers, e.g. from the government, who prefer this solution. We also propose it to them because they have a bigger environment, compared to the environment size of private companies. We have customers from the government, e.g. from the Department of Communication.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is scalable and secure, so we propose this solution to customers with bigger environments, e.g. those in the government.

    How are customer service and support?

    I'm rating F5 technical support a nine out of ten.

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

    We used Fortinet, but what we were getting from F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) was always more than what we got from Fortinet, even when using FortiWeb and Forti WAF cloud as a service, and even when considering the functionality of each product.

    How was the initial setup?

    F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is more complex to implement. Implementation of this product would be much easier if you have the right service, e.g. consultation services included, support from the distributor or directly from the vendor itself, or a certified partner. Having consultation and support will help make it much easier for the end customer during implementation, but the implementation process for this product is more complex than Fortinet.

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

    The cost is high for this product, so small customers, e.g. those in a private bank, won't be able to afford F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), and they also don't really need the kind of support and functionality that this product gives.

    For customers who are in the government, we propose F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) despite its cost being high, because they'll really need it. They host their applications in the cloud, and in private data centers, e.g. private cloud services, so they'll need the kind of protection that this product provides.

    It depends on customer. Whenever we see that customers can't afford, or the environment is smaller, we propose Fortinet, or some other solution that's cheaper than Fortinet. We don't propose F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) to them.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I was able to evaluate Fortinet.

    What other advice do I have?

    We have a partnership with Fortinet, as a reseller of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and other F5 products. We are also a reseller of Cisco and Forcepoint products, though we just started with Forcepoint, so we haven't been doing much with their products currently.

    My advice to users of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), including people who are thinking of implementing this product, is that they need to have product awareness. What we are seeing in our government customers is that they don't have awareness, in particular, they don't know what they're using, which is why they're having issues. They need to understand the product first, and they need to go and get the training first, but they are hesitant to pay for the training.

    Unlike Fortinet who provides free training, F5 doesn't. Ever since the pandemic, Fortinet has provided free training, but certification is not free. If F5 can provide free training for F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), that would be better.

    My rating for F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
    Flag as inappropriate
    Buyer's Guide
    F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
    July 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: July 2022.
    610,336 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Sanja Rakic - PeerSpot reviewer
    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
    Senior Network Engineer at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Reliable, easy to set up, and allows us to create monitors and program iRules
    Pros and Cons
    • "The load balancing function, the monitors that you can create, and iRules programmability are most valuable."
    • "Its GUI could be a bit better. Other than that, it's already pretty good. We don't use it in a high-performance environment. So, we don't really care so much about too many features."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is for internal load balancing of servers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It provides load balancing. So, it potentially brings some performance improvement and high availability. If one server goes down, there is a seamless transition to the other one. 

    What is most valuable?

    The load balancing function, the monitors that you can create, and iRules programmability are most valuable.

    What needs improvement?

    Its GUI could be a bit better. Other than that, it's already pretty good. We don't use it in a high-performance environment. So, we don't really care so much about too many features.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    It has been quite a few years. We might have been using it for six to eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been stable and reliable. It has been working well for us.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable, but we didn't really need to scale. It met all the performance requirements we had. So, we had no issues where we were not able to add something.

    Currently, its usage is quite low, but it's not because of the product. It's because of how our company works. In other words, how much we need to use it. It's not used a lot, and we don't plan to expand its usage.

    How are customer service and support?

    We did open some tickets, and usually, it was a very good experience.

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

    For load balancing, we previously had Cisco solutions. We had CSS and then Application Control Engine (ACE). We switched because they stopped that service. It was end-of-life, and Cisco discontinued that range.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward. I would rate it a five out of five in terms of the ease of setup. 

    There were no issues or obstacles, and its deployment was pretty fast. We had to do preparation of all the surroundings, such as the VLAN or IP assignment, but the deployment itself was just a couple of hours.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have a managed service provider, and they hired a consultant. We had some help there, but that was not just because of LPM. We also had other modules of F5. It was our initial or first experience with F5, and there were also other things to be migrated, which were much more complex than the LPM module. That's why the consultant was there.

    For deployment, there was one person deploying it. For maintenance, we have a managed service provider. So, we have a team of people, but they're also looking at other devices and not just F5.

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

    It was probably a one-time purchase and then you have maintenance, but I don't have the details on that. We bought what they called the Best bundle at the time, which pretty much included all of the modules. There was probably no additional cost afterward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There were evaluations. There were Citrix NetScaler and Application Delivery Controller from A10 Networks, but in the end, F5 was chosen because of the virtualization environment that we were using at the time. We were using VMware, and we are still using it. They had better support for the VMware VDI solution. They were able to act as a gateway for the VMware VDI.

    What other advice do I have?

    One piece of advice would be that if you are not that much concerned with performance or you definitely don't need physical hardware, you can go for a virtual edition. It might save you the migration effort when the hardware is end-of-life. 

    If you need a load balancer, go for it. We didn't have any hurdles or obstacles. I would rate it a nine 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.
    Flag as inappropriate
    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 - PeerSpot reviewer
    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
    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
      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.

      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.
      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: July 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.