This F5 deployment guide provides detailed information 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. As a result, you can simplify and improve the security of your Apache deployment while simultaneously providing higher performance.
Apache servers are typically deployed as the web tier in a three-tier architecture (the other two tiers being application servers and database), or as a combined web and application tier. Additionally, Apache servers might provide reverse-proxy functionality in front of a multi-tier architecture. Some of what is often considered reverse-proxy functionality, such as compression or caching, might be enabled directly on Apache servers that are providing only web, or web and application, functionality. A BIG-IP system can often take the place of one or more Apache systems. Several typical deployments are shown below.
• Apache as web tier and web/app tier
• Apache as reverse proxy
• BIG-IP replacing selective Apache functionality
• BIG-IP complementing Apache functionality [SSL Bridging with lesser key length, otherwise known as “step-down encryption”]
• BIG-IP replacing Apache as reverse proxy
The following logical configuration diagram shows one example of the way you can configure the BIG-IP system for Apache as described in the deployment guide.