July 26, 2021 By Dan Broussard 3 min read

F5 Networks BIG-IP™ Virtual Edition helps to secure and optimize the apps you’re migrating to the IBM Cloud VPC, already running in the IBM cloud VPC and those you’re developing for the future.

To make any cloud work, you need three critical elements: compute, storage and network. If you were in a legacy data center, your network was nothing more than a few lines dropped in by the Telco. However, today, the network is weaved into the very fabric of the cloud.

If you talk to any developer, compute and storage make a world of sense; the network is now the area we are all learning about when it comes to the cloud. Granted, developers want to develop, but the penalty of ignoring the networking aspect of the cloud means you lose the following:

  • Protecting your applications from attack
  • Overloading servers
  • Zero trust policy
  • Uptime and resilience of your applications
  • Control

What would be ideal is to have a solution that would help protect web applications against attacks, stay compliant, and make the general management of your application easier to move, change and adapt to new demands.

IBM Cloud Virtual Network Functions (VNF)

IBM introduced the VNF program for customers who want to have greater control over network-based capabilities. This functionality enables our enterprise customers to make the IBM Cloud platform more agile and reflective of their networking, security and routing policies.

Firewalls, routers and VPN devices will all interact with the IBM SDN controller to offer easy configuration, centralized management and lower operational costs. In addition, customers can instantiate best-in-class network solutions to manage their workloads using IBM Cloud Schematics (Infrastructure-as-Code) and the IBM Cloud Catalog.

F5 Networks and IBM Cloud

F5 and IBM have been developing these solutions for nearly 10 years for the cloud. F5 started with SmartCloud Enterprise Plus, VMware, IBM Cloud Pak solutions, Red Hat and now IBM’s VPC Gen2 platform.

Organizations looking to move to the cloud must assess whether the application services offered by the respective cloud provider can fulfill their unique requirements. 

Another question the organization must ask is, “If I choose to be a multi-cloud consumer (as most organizations are), how do I address the heterogeneous nature of these services across each platform, especially when it comes to security?”  

As a market leader, many customers have systematically used F5 application services across their on-premises environment.  

Application security and delivery technology — such as traffic management, web application firewall, load balancing, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection and API management — interact with the environment around the application, enabling it to adapt to changing conditions. These and other application services help ensure the performance, security and operability of the applications they support by shaping and steering traffic in response to the application state, the nature of the traffic itself and other environmental factors.

With today’s announcement, F5 is excited to extend their rich set of application services to IBM VPC, enabling their customer base to embrace IBM’s latest iteration of cloud. F5’s ability to run on several cloud platforms, including IBM Cloud VPC, means that customers can standardize their security and application policy wherever they wish to deploy.

The F5 solution.

The solution

F5 Networks BIG-IP Virtual Edition for IBM Cloud VPC is now deployable directly from the IBM Cloud Catalog and IBM Cloud APIs. You also can use our Terraform template within the catalog or direct from F5’s DevCentral.  

The F5 platform licensing supports throughputs up to 10 Gbps and includes all iterations of F5 utilizing bring-your-own licensing. In the future, IBM and F5 will enable utility-based pricing, as well. 

Topologies include 1-NIC, 2-NIC and 3-NIC and support all three zones in each data center where VPC is offered. 

Through the IBM Cloud Catalog or the customer’s own toolchains, one can deploy F5 Networks BIG-IP Virtual Edition for IBM Cloud VPC in minutes with the full support of F5’s Declarative Onboarding (DO), Application Services 3 Extension (AS3) and Telemetry Streaming (TS). This allows customers to create repeatable, fully configured BIG-IPs on IBM’s VPC platform, enabling real, high-value cloud services for their applications.

Learn more about IBM Cloud VPC or create an IBM Cloud account today to get started.

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