BIG-IP

BIG-IP Reviews

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July 30, 2021

F5 BIG-IP Review

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Big-IP is the standard solution for VPN services and web security enablement in our company. It comes with every device provided to employees and the corporate websites are protected and accessible only visa the VPN. It also blocks access to insecure websites that can potentially acess sensitive enterptise data and identity.
  • Simple user interface
  • Less on resource consumption
  • Easily connect to different locations within corporate network
  • Always on and automatic user auth via certiticates
  • Internet speed not the best on VPN
  • Cleaner user interface (modern UI components especially in Windows )
Again, protection of enterprise data via VPN solution can be easily achieved with BIG IP. Despite its shortcomings, it has been very reliable as I use it daily to acess the coporate websites and do my work. I can imagine getting frustrated if the connection is not stable . Thankfully, Big IP is a very stable VPN client.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use F5 BIG-IP's (we are redundant) as a load balancer, and a IP handler for DMZ space for web servers. the load balancer function worked really well for us, we were able to handle multiple web servers loads t a database server setup. While we were able to use the F5s for the DMZ function, it really just translated IP address ranges, this was a complicated task that the F5s really weren't designed for, but it worked.
  • Load Balancing, this is what they were designed for
  • interface NAT, they can handle multiple interfaces from firewall to switches
  • traffic management, we could segment traffic and watch/analyze traffic for issues
  • The appliance had power supply problems, replaced 2 over the 5 years, $3000 each
  • The appliance as a hardware device had no support 2 years after we bought them, moved to virtual
  • Requires F5 knowledge, their terminology and way of doing things needs training
As a load balancer for larger networks, in use with their security appliances this is a robust system. it is a load balancer as it's primary function, we were able to analyze traffic through the interface and stop some traffic which was undesirable. It gave a dashboard which helped with the traffic, the other connected devices throughput, so it can be some help with monitoring of your network trafic to help make decisions.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We utilized the F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager and Global Traffic Manager modules. It was utilized for the entire organization. It allowed us to maintain maximum uptime by intelligently balancing traffic between multiple web servers, distribute load across multiple data circuits both locally and in remote datacenters, as well as manage our disaster recovery failover with minimal intervention required from the team.
  • intelligent balancing of web traffic
  • SSL Proxy and offloading
  • Intelligent DNS management
  • Critical bugs and security issues seem to be problems lately
  • Graphical reporting could be better
  • Web interface is becoming outdated and clunky
F5 BIG-IP would be well suited in situations where high availability with intelligent load balancing is critical and the budget allows for such a solution, being that it is not an inexpensive product.

It would be less appropriate in situations where only basic, round robin type load balancing would be the only requirement.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
For a few months, the company struggled with other VPN clients until we started using the F5 BIG-IP VPN. As any other VPN client, F5 BIG-IP allows the user to have a secure connection with the organization's corporate network even when working from home, a coffee shop or any other external location allowed by the F5.
  • Easy connection: you can connect to your corporate network with two clicks.
  • IP restriction: F5 has a list of possible insecure IP numbers, if someone tries to connect using one of these numbers, F5 BIG-IP won't connect.
  • Always on feature: Very handy feature, if you install always on, you won't need to click connect.
  • The always-on client is not 100% functional. Sometimes it won't connect.
  • It crashes fairly often, then the user has to restart the application and reconnect.
  • The speed sometimes is not great.
I can ensure that any organization with users that work mostly or even just occasionally remotely will make great use of and benefit from the F5 BIG-IP VPN client. On the other hand, smaller companies or companies that only have users working locally might not find this VPN client as attractive, since there is no need to use a VPN if you are connected to the corporate network.
I actually have never needed to use their technical support. That said, based on all the other features and services provided by the company, I got to believe the Technical support team that supports the F5 Big-IP really does a good job while dealing with their customers on the daily basis
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use f5 BIG-IP appliances in our data center for agency-wide traffic. Currently, we are using the local traffic manager (LTM) functionality to secure and load balance traffic. In the future, we are looking at implementing a global traffic manager (DNS) when we bring up a second data center to increase availability.
  • It is an extremely mature and stable platform with more available features than most users will require.
  • It is extremely flexible with features such as iRules that allow customization and programming.
  • You can't change objects' names or nodes' IP addresses.
  • If there are pending changes there is no way to see what they are.
The BIG-IP is definitely well suited to scale up for demanding and/or complex enterprise traffic management. Although currently, we're only scratching the surface of its capabilities it has not been too complex or difficult to implement and manage. Having said that, I don't know that it would be the best fit for smaller-scale deployments, as it would probably be overkill unless you needed several of the modules they offer. Although we are only using one module, we are making extensive use of it. Similar to products like the Check Point firewall, there are so many options and features available that the limiting factor is more likely to be administrator time or knowledge than the BIP-IP itself. The good thing is there are always more features and options to grow into if needed without having to find additional solutions.
On the occasions when we've had to engage f5 support, they have been great. They have always resolved our issues quickly and been easy to work with and professional. The reason I give them a 10 out of 10, however, is because when we've had issues that have crossed over between the f5 BIG-IP, our Cisco switches, and our Microsoft IIS server the f5 support representatives have been extremely knowledgeable about every product and device involved and have been able to troubleshoot end-to-end without having to engage other vendors.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
BIG-IP is used to connect to our VPN from remote locations. It's used by the entire organization--although it's only required when those users are connecting remotely. It allows us to connect to intranet resources when we're not at one of our company's office buildings where access is granted automatically.
  • It just works.
  • Includes options to auto connect if you use it daily or manually connect/disconnect as needed.
  • Occasionally, it fails to connect and gives me very little feedback to help me correct the problem.
  • The interface is simple, but a bit dated.
It's great for remote workers who need access to intranet resources. Wouldn't be appropriate for users who didn't need access to an intranet or who had minimal resources available within their company intranet. Once I'm connected, it's as if I'm in the office. If you don't have resources that live in a protected environment, this product wouldn't be necessary.
Although I rarely have connection problems with this software, there isn't a lot of direction to help with troubleshooting when it doesn't work. I usually just restart my computer and try again. I haven't ever attempted to contact any form of customer support for troubleshooting or technical support when I've had issues.
December 07, 2019

Great for SSLVPN

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It's used by the network team as a load balancer and a VPN concentrator.
  • SSLVPN
  • Load balancing
  • SSL offloading
  • Great support
  • Interface is somewhat confusing.
  • Hard to find tutorials/learning.
  • Cost.
I have extensive experience using F5 for SSLVPN, which it does really well compared to others - the VPN clients are available for a range of devices and work well most of the time. For a user, it's easy to sign onto the VPN using a centralized identity provider. The solution scales relatively painlessly. VPN access works well across the world.
I was pleasantly surprised by F5 support, with my experience being the best of all the network vendors. I was not speaking to someone across the world, the engineer fully took ownership and followed through to solution without me having to keep calling. The support engineer also was able to resolve an unusual situation, in which most other vendors' engineers would simply give up.
Alan Matson, CCNA:S, MCP | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We currently use F5 Big-IP as an application delivery controller for our email security, web security, and AD federated services. This design supports 60K users daily in a failover design.
  • Load balancing
  • Fail over
  • Traffic monitoring statistics
  • Ease of maintenance of load balanced devices
  • Better logging
  • Easier to implement custom options without learning TCL
F5 is an amazing production product, what is difficult is creating labs with it due to licensing and speed limits. Other companies like Kemp offer free lab licenses.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use our F5 BIG-IP for several functions; one of them being network load balancing. Another function it is being used for is authentication. We solved an issue with different applications using different authentication methods. We realized that implementing SSO (Single Sign-On) is quite beneficial since it makes it easier for our users to use our applications.

F5 BIG-IP is being used by different departments that use our applications across the division.
  • We like the fact that in F5 we can create and assign custom "Access Profiles" to any "Virtual Server" we have so different applications can use different access profiles.
  • Another strength F5 BIG-IP has is its ability to run a report on the "Access Policy" to get information on all the sessions in real time.
  • Setting up SSO (Single Sign-On) via the use of F5 is another great feature since configuring it is quite easily done.
  • We dislike that the development/test licensing expires after about 3 months and then it needs to be renewed.
  • The process of applying SSL certificates after they have expired could be improved; trying to update them can be problematic after they expire.
One of the best scenarios F5 BIG-IP is suited for is when there's a need for a more robust NLB (network load balancer) that the regular NBL is not adequate for; setting up several F5's to create a global NLB is also possible. Another scenario F5 BIG-IP is well suited for is when a company requires the set up of SSO (Single Sign-On).
Bear Golightly | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We're using the F5 BIG-IP platform to drive the security, reliability, and accessibility of our e-commerce platform, as well as the other supporting platforms (web customer service chat, payment processing.) The all-in-one-box approach allows us to go from concept to implementation in minutes, which translates to dollars saved.
  • Local Traffic Manager (LTM), the base on-box functionality, is ridiculously robust and allows securing and accelerating applications VERY easily.
  • Application Firewall Manager (AFM) and Application Security Manager (ASM) help protect against DDoS attacks, known and 0-day security vulnerabilities, and help meet compliance (PCI, etc) goals.
  • IP Intelligence (a subscription product) allows for management/blocking of IP addresses by broad category such as disallowing any cloud services (Azure, AWS, Google Compute) from using your application.
  • Ultra-premium customer support - F5's response time and commitment to resolution is top-notch.
  • In my experience, the only meaningful negative to F5's product line is the price: they're selling you the Cadillac of application delivery, they know it, and the price reflects that.
On a purely technical level, F5's BIG-IP platform is a good fit for everything from grandma's blog to a global multi-datacenter operation.

Stepping back, two key aspects of the product line make it a harsh fit in many places:

1. $$$$
2. Administration - Using even a fraction of the product's functionality requires significant learning investment, and most organizations are okay with the "good enough" alternatives
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We used Big-IP F5 to load balance a good number of web servers (front end, backed app servers, etc.). It has a number of advanced features that we used such as session stickiness and the ability to maintain session stickiness across various tiers of the application. We also used the ability to install SSL certificates at the load balancer level.
  • Load balancing web servers
  • Advanced load balancing depending on the technical requirements of your environment
  • Programmable rules for fine tuning exactly how your traffic is handled
  • The user interface could be a little more user-friendly
It covers all of the bases you would want in a load balancer once you have outgrown the cheaper/free products out there. You can cluster more than one device for fault tolerance for example. It is suitable for larger environments with high throughput, SSL encryption, a need for specific traffic routing rules, etc.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We work in healthcare and uptime matters; we use F5 Big-IP load balancers throughout our remote hosting environment and on some of our onsite solutions. It’s proven to be an extremely reliable and fault-tolerant load balancing solution that also provides a ton of customization that allows it to meet pretty much any need we’ve been able to throw at it.
  • Load balancing
  • Health checks
  • SSL termination
  • SNAT
  • URI & Payload Rewrites
  • Pricing - Aside from there being other cheaper alternatives out there I can’t really think of anything negative to say, we migrated to them about 4 years ago and we’ve been very happy since. Even considering the price I’d say it’s worth it.
We use it mostly for terminating SSL, load balancing and maintaining highly available web applications. But I’ve also come up with a few weirder use cases:

  • I set up Syslog and SNMP trap VIPs that forward to multiple monitoring servers to make sure that alerts were never missed (this is important since both use UDP rather than TCP and are inherently best effort and the sending node will not be aware of whether or not the messages ever reach their destination)
  • Weighted failover for PostgreSQL servers. If the primary server is down it will send connections to the secondary server. If both the primary and secondary server is down also it will send incoming connections to the tertiary server.
  • Load balancing to read only replica sets. - IPV6 to 4 Natting

BIG-IP Scorecard Summary

What is BIG-IP?

F5 BIG-IP software from Seattle-based F5 Networks is a load balancing and application protection solution suite available on cloud or via virtual editions, on a subscription or perpetual licensing basis. The BIG-IP suite of products supports a wide range of security and application performance needs. The suite includes BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) traffic management and optimization, BIG-IP DNS, BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM) identity and password protection, BIG-IP Application Acceleration Manager, BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) and BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) web application firewall (WAF) and advanced DDoS protection.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is BIG-IP?

F5 BIG-IP software from Seattle-based F5 Networks is a load balancing and application protection solution suite available on cloud or via virtual editions, on a subscription or perpetual licensing basis. The BIG-IP suite of products supports a wide range of security and application performance needs. The suite includes BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) traffic management and optimization, BIG-IP DNS, BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM) identity and password protection, BIG-IP Application Acceleration Manager, BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) and BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) web application firewall (WAF) and advanced DDoS protection.

What is BIG-IP's best feature?

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 7.9.

Who uses BIG-IP?

The most common users of BIG-IP are from Enterprises and the Information Technology & Services industry.