Global or Local – Where Your Application Delivery Solution Needs to Take You

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Griff Shelley
Published April 16, 2024

What does your app delivery and security solution actually deliver to you? Maybe a respectably secure digital experience to users, with good enough latency and availability, and some form of failover or resiliency mechanism if the unfortunate happens. These are essential aspects of the app-delivery-and-security game, after all. But isn’t good enough just a path to fallen behind? Too many solutions lean on the fact that operations teams will (and often) work tirelessly to ensure that their app users have a secure, efficient digital experience. This approach ends up putting undue pressure on everyone from the C-suite down to the interns, especially when 88% of organizations operate multiple app architectures and locations. Burnout ensues, quality of work declines, mistakes are made, you know the rest: not a good scenario. The solutions that deliver and secure applications bring about smooth, user-friendly, resilient, and efficient digital experiences, no matter where the apps or their users reside. Why shouldn’t those benefits extend to the teams who support those applications, too?

In this industry, as in most, we try to respond to our users’ and customers’ demands in the most complete, efficient way possible. It’s no mean feat, considering:

So, how do we manage and grow this sometimes-unruly space?

The Toolkit

The tools that allow us to keep a handle on this ever-evolving ball of application requirements need to be up to the task of actually making life easier for the teams who do it all. Streamlined and user-friendly app experiences bring increased customer satisfaction, increased brand loyalty and reputation, increased revenue, and decreased user churn. No one would argue against realizing these outcomes.

My colleague, Tom Atkins, wrote a piece on the history of BIG-IP and its future: BIG-IP Next. You should definitely read it because even though BIG-IP Next is the evolution of F5’s BIG-IP software, modernized and optimized for the future of application delivery and security, it’s based on the principles that BIG-IP users know and trust.

A quick dive into the key use cases for BIG-IP Next LTM, the local app delivery component of BIG-IP Next, highlights this paradigm shift.

Optimizing App Delivery and the Customer Experience: BIG-IP Next LTM carries forward the best of the load balancing and scaling capabilities that made the TMOS-based BIG-IP LTM the centerpiece of so many application delivery solutions. To enhance the impact these functions have on increasingly distributed app portfolios, BIG-IP Next LTM provides BIG-IP admins with enriched app health monitoring as well as low-impact upgrades, ensuring that applications stay online and perform at scale.

Maintaining High Application Availability: An application is only valuable if it’s available to users. BIG-IP Next LTM allocates dedicated compute resources as requirements change, keeping applications resilient, performant, and ready when users need them. And, when deployed on a next-generation hardware system like F5’s VELOS chassis, you can leverage multi-tenancy capabilities to deploy multiple instances of BIG-IP Next LTM side-by-side, building redundancy into an environment by default. We’re also introducing within BIG-IP Next LTM the new Global Resiliency with BIG-IP Next DNS solution set. With this, customers who have BIG-IP Next LTM can apply a layer of global resiliency quickly and efficiently to their application from the moment that application is deployed with a solution that’s one part global load balancing and one part high availability assurance, backed by F5’s BIG-IP Next DNS technology. Organizations can realize the benefits of BIG-IP DNS’s Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) solution without needing a unique BIG-IP Next module. They can add the solution, configure it, and connect their applications across deployment locations all with a few clicks and configurations within Central Manager.

A BIG-IP Next LTM and Global Resiliency with Next DNS deployment across two data centers

Securing Customer Data: BIG-IP Next LTM also encrypts data from the client to the server via a selection of cipher suites based on policy or compliance needs. SSL/TLS traffic is decrypted, optimized, and re-encrypted with cutting-edge protocol and cipher support without ever compromising the security of the TLS connection.

Customizing Traffic Flow based on Business Needs: BIG-IP LTM administrators have long utilized iRules as a go-to solution for solving complex, unique traffic flow challenges. BIG-IP Next LTM not only supports iRules, it enhances teams’ ability to customize their traffic flow with more precision, efficiency, and ease. Users of BIG-IP Next LTM can iterate forward from previous versions of existing iRules, compare them side-by-side, identify exactly which apps an iRule is attached to, test impacts in safe, non-production work spaces, and deploy iRules only to those apps that need them, all to deliver maximum flexibility to meet your custom network requirements.

Take the Next Step

All this discussion of change and improvement and reimagining app delivery and deployment may seem a little daunting and disruptive. Fortunately, disruption doesn’t have to rule the day. There are ways to deliver digital experiences that can keep pace with users’ demands and the rapidity of technological innovation while reducing the labor and demand on IT orgs. If you maintain a global fleet of apps that need to run side by side or if you need to migrate while also maintaining security, optimizing user experience, and ensuring availability and performance, connect with us to discover how easy it can be to solve those mission-critical app delivery needs and learn more about the next generation of F5’s application delivery solutions. To read more about BIG-IP Next LTM, check out the datasheet here, or read the solution overview for Global Resiliency with BIG-IP Next DNS here.

If you want to see just how easy it is to use BIG-IP Next for your app delivery needs, watch this on-demand webinar on the future of local and global application delivery at F5.