IBM WebSphere 8 (BIG-IP v11.2: LTM, ASM)

This F5 deployment guide contains information on deploying the BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and Application Security Manager (ASM) v11 with IBM WebSphere 8.

The BIG-IP system can optimize IBM WebSphere at many layers: in front of the IBM HTTP Servers, between HTTP Servers and WebSphere Application Servers, or to eliminate the HTTP layer altogether. By configuring the BIG-IP LTM system within the WebSphere infrastructure F5
provides a number of benefits, including simplification of the infrastructure, application level health monitoring, SSL offload and intelligent load balancing. While high availability remains the central goal of BIG-IP LTM, reducing complexity in an another complex environment allows organizations to spend more time on the important aspects of the architecture such as application delivery, intelligent reporting, and gathering granular statistics from the environment.

Deploying F5 with IBM WebSphere enables the following benefits:

  • Reduces the complexity of WebSphere deployments, including removing the need for an additional HTTP layer.
  • Ensures application health by determining the availability of a specific application based on the URI being requested and the port used by the application.
  • Enables better visibility through analytics, and provides a granular understanding of how many sessions are established to each WebSphere Application server and the ability to limit these sessions using various metrics.
  • Reduces the load on the WebSphere servers by taking on the following tasks: 
    • SSL processing: the BIG-IP system terminates SSL requests at the front end and delivers HTTP requests to the backend.
    • TCP optimizations: the BIG-IP system reduces the number of requests to the servers using HTTP Request and Content caching. 
    • Connection pooling: The OneConnect feature on the BIG-IP system reduces the number of server-side connections that a server must open by using existing server-side connections for multiple new client-side requests.

The following diagram shows one of the scenarios described in this deployment guide: configuring the BIG-IP LTM for the HTTP Tier and the
WebSphere Application Tier.