BIG-IP Cloud Edition: Making Sure Your App Party is Well Provisioned

Zach Westall Miniatura
Zach Westall
Published July 31, 2018
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This is part three of our three-part series on F5 BIG-IP Cloud Edition. You can find the first blog here and the second blog here.

Throwing a party is something of a daunting proposition. And there is usually a laundry list of questions that every host inevitably asks themselves. “Is everyone having a good time?” “Is my house currently clean enough to be inhabited by people?” “Who invited Jim from accounting? His stories are so boring…and long.”

One of the biggest hurdles—besides Jim’s insufferable anecdotes about his cat’s precocious nature—is making sure you have enough supplies on hand for everyone in attendance.

Scenario A:  Everyone on the guest list shows up…Let the good times roll! However, they all brought unannounced plus-ones. While it’s usually “the more the merrier,” in this case you quickly run out of food, drinks, and party favors. Now everyone is standing around, hungry, thirsty, bored, and generally having a terrible party experience. How long do you think before your guests politely thank you for the lackluster party and make a hasty exit for a better-provisioned one with a superior party experience? Probably not long.

Scenario B:  That first party left you wiser and you’ve planned accordingly just in case it happens again. You’ve tripled all of the supplies you bought; no hungry or thirsty people here. “They’re definitely going to stay until the end of the party this time!” you think triumphantly to yourself. Unfortunately, a bunch of people on the guest list have previous engagements that evening. You’ve spend a small fortune just to be stuck with a bunch of party supplies that you’ll just have to throw away. What a waste.

This is often the case with a business’ applications. Either you lack the necessary application services for apps to run well—e.g., security services like web application firewalls (WAF) or load balancing—or you over-provision these app services and they sit idle, costing your business a fortune. Both situations should be avoided, and you should strive for properly provisioned applications that have the resources they need—no more, no less. But, as we all know, this is historically extremely difficult to do.

It’s often at a moment’s notice (like a traffic spike) that you need to ensure that your app party has all the supplies (services) needed without wasting (over-provisioning) anything. Enter BIG-IP Cloud Edition with intelligent traffic management, orchestration, and autoscaling.

As we’ve mentioned previously, BIG-IP Cloud Edition combines per-app virtual editions of F5 application services and merges them with BIG-IQ 6.0 Centralized Management. It also taps into and helps make better use of the per-app models of cloud—individualized, on-demand, and dedicated application services. More than that, it enables app services to be able to meet the elasticity and scalability demands of cloud deployments—variables that can change at the drop of a hat.

An application in a public cloud should (theoretically) be capable of quickly scaling up or down based on the needs of the business. As we all know, this is traditionally easier said than done. BIG-IP Cloud Edition makes it more than possible, it makes it easy. Autoscaling application services in AWS and VMware environments is easy with BIG-IQ 6.0 because it proactively:

  • Measures application health and performance data with advanced analytics
  • Compares this data against key metrics such as response time, latency, CPU usage, memory, and throughput
  • Makes it easy for admins and app owners to identify anomalies or indications that additional resources are needed based on CPU and memory use and throughput
  • Spins up (and down) additional BIG-IP resources based on pre-defined event trigger thresholds

And there’s no need to worry about licenses because BIG-IQ can automatically apply them as needed (and return them back to the license pool when traffic subsides). The best part? BIG-IP Cloud Edition does this on a per-app basis, meaning no interference with other applications in production, no more pulling your hair out in the search for change/upgrade windows. And, because BIG-IP Cloud Edition makes it possible for app owners to self-deploy the app services they need, when they need them—helping teams align to DevOps methodologies like CI/CD—NetOps will no longer drown in request tickets.

Basically, everyone at your app party—app owners, NetOps, and SecOps—is going to have a good time with BIG-IP Cloud Edition.

Learn more about BIG-IP Cloud Edition autoscaling with these deployment videos.