Apache Tomcat (BIG-IP v11: LTM, AAM, AFM)

Use this deployment guide to configure the BIG-IP system version 11 and later for use with Apache Tomcat, with emphasis on providing security, performance, and availability. This document provides guidance both on complementing Apache functionality, and on moving functionality from Apache servers to a BIG-IP system. The BIG-IP system can assume the role of reverse proxy, and can also perform functions such as compression, encryption, caching, security, and URL rewriting that would otherwise need to be performed by Apache modules.

Benefits of F5 for Tomcat implementations:
F5 offers a complete suite of application delivery technologies designed to provide a highly scalable, secure, and responsive Apache Tomcat deployment.

  • Terminating HTTPS connections at the BIG-IP LTM reduces CPU and memory load on Apache Tomcat servers, obviates the need for mod_ssl in many cases, and simplifies TLS/SSL certificate management.
  • The BIG-IP LTM can balance load and ensure high-availability across multiple Apache Tomcat servers using a variety of load balancing methods and priority rules.
  • Modules such as mod_cache and mod_deflate can be removed from the Apache Tomcat configuration, reducing the total memory footprint for each Apache instance. See Modules on page 27 for more information.
  • The BIG-IP system’s TCP Express feature set ensures optimal network performance for all clients and servers, regardless of operating system and version, and reduces the processing power required from each Apache Tomcat server, enabling the servers to dedicate more resources to performing the tasks for which they were designed.
  • The BIG-IP Access Policy Manager or Edge Gateway, F5's high-performance access and security solutions, can provide proxy authentication and secure remote access to Apache Tomcat servers and associated applications.
  • By centralizing reverse proxy configuration onto the BIG-IP system, you obviate the need to manage and tune many aspects of each Apache Tomcat instance.
  • The BIG-IP system provides a centralized point for web log generation.

The following logical configuration example shows one example of deploying the BIG-IP system for Tomcat as described in the deployment guide: