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Get Straight Down to Business on AWS, with F5’s New Quick Start

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We all know that one of the main drivers for cloud adoption is the craving for increased agility and speed, which allows IT organizations to be more dynamic in nature and empowers businesses during this era of digital transformation. This is often more challenging for those who are migrating apps to the public cloud, due to the considerable planning efforts usually required to ‘lift and shift’ or refactor applications. These difficulties can be further augmented when you layer in the additional complexity of reconfiguring application services to support these new environments. In recognition of this, F5 is continually partnering and innovating around its cloud solutions to accelerate application time-to-market and simplify migration of its application services to the cloud. The prime example of this is the progress we’ve made developing Amazon Web Services CloudFormation Templates (CFT) over the last couple of years; helping our customers to speed-up, simplify and automate F5 deployments on AWS. (If you’re not yet familiar with these, check out this overview or visit F5’s GitHub repository for more information).

Building on this CFT library as a foundation, F5 has now strengthened its integration with AWS even more by delivering a new official Quick Start – further accelerating the process of standing up BIG-IP Virtual Editions in production or test environments. For those new to Quick Start, this service launches, configures and runs the AWS compute, network, storage and other services (including ISV solutions) required to deploy your workloads on AWS; implementing best practices for security and availability. 

So what does F5’s new Quick Start do?

As the first of many, what better way to kick things off than with a spot of auto scaling? Distributed across multiple Availability Zones for increased redundancy, this Quick Start deploys an automatically scaled group of BIG-IP Virtual Editions (VE) with the Local Traffic Manager (LTM) module provisioned. These VE instances automatically scale in and out depending on throughput or vCPU utilization, ensuring that as your application traffic fluctuates you only provision the necessary resources to match demand – optimizing application availability and operational expenditure. Without delving too much into detail, the Quick Start deploys everything from VPCs and subnets, to internet gateways, auto scale groups, and BIG-IP VEs. The crux of everything deployed is shown in Figure 1 below, with more detailed information on the architecture provisioned available here

Fig 1 – F5 Auto Scale BIG-IP VE LTM QuickStart Architecture

The beautiful thing about Quick Starts is that with little to no prior knowledge of F5 or AWS, you can implement a fully functioning production or sandbox environment in 30 minutes! Allowing customers the ability to begin playing around with all the great F5 and AWS capabilities without the initial hassle of configuring it all. Just a few clicks and parameter inputs and you’re good to go.

With such diversity within our customer base, one size is unlikely to fit all scenarios. As such, you’ll find that there are various elements within the Quick Start that can be tailored to meet your individual business requirements; things like instance sizes, license types, auto scaling thresholds and so on – ensuring the architecture implemented is right for you. And, as alluded to earlier, this is just the first in what is soon to be a diverse portfolio of F5 Quick Starts. In the coming months and years, we plan to develop more Quick Starts to support a wider variety of customer use cases and architectures – so stay tuned!

Finally, if you’re planning on attending AWS re:Invent next week and would like to learn more about this Quick Start or indeed anything else F5 on AWS, please do stop by booth #1640 – our experts will be on hand to discuss anything and everything.

For more information on this Quick Start and step-by-step deployment instructions click here.

Supporting Resources

F5 CFT Repository on GitHub

Auto Scaling WAF Solution for AWS

F5 Application Delivery and Security Services on AWS

F5 Networks at AWS re:Invent

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