When we have lots of BIG-IP devices and there are lots of applications, it’s really difficult to remember where applications, IP addresses, SSL certificates, etc have been configured. It’s also really difficult to look for nodes, pools, iRules, etc when we have lots of applications and BIG-IP devices. In addition, when we are going to manage lots of devices and the deployment velocity of all application services should be quick, as well as, we need visibility of device health, services health and network traffic, F5 BIG-IQ deployment is mandatory.
BIG-IQ is an useful device which help us to look for applications, IP addresses, iRules, etc. It’s really useful to look for any object when you have a large deyployment and you don’t know where that object has been configured. I think it’s also really useful for visibility because we can know how much transactions per second (TPS) or throughput has the applications. What’s more, BIG-IQ can be used for many other things such as a centralized certificate management or centralized backup repository. Therefore, from my point of view, we should deploy a BIG-IQ when we have a large deployment of applications.
The BIG-IQ architecture has mainly two components. The BIG-IQ Central Manager (CM) and the BIG-IQ Data Collector Device (DCD). The first one is a web console where we are going to manage all BIG-IP devices from. It delivers analytics, visibility and reporting. In addition, the Central Manager automates BIG-IP deployments and configurations. However, the second one collects alerts, events and statistical data from managed BIG-IPs using Elasticsearch. Therefore, the BIG-IP devices send alerts, events and statistical data to the DCD, and this information is displayed in the BIG-IQ Console.
The BIG-IQ Central Manager has improved a lot with the latest version. We can deploy applications easily from BIG-IQ to BIG-IP devices in a private cloud or on-premise. It’s also really interesting how we can manage Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate from BIG-IQ, which is really useful for the DevOps crowd because these certificates are free and the interface is programmatic. As a result, BIG-IQ can handle certificate creation and renewal. In addition, BIG-IQ Automation can be used as a self service application portal with application templates and autoscale policies. Therefore, lots of new features and lots of new improvements.
From my point of view, one of the most interesting feature is analytics. We can configure TCP Analytics profiles and HTTP Analytics profiles in the BIG-IP, which are attached to Virtual Servers. These profiles can collect metrics such as TPS and throughput, page load times, HTTP methods, etc. These metrics are really useful for troubleshooting when applications are slow and it’s also useful to know how much traffic is using each application. However, F5 AVR (Application Visibility and Reporting) must be deployed in BIG-IP devices. It’s mandatory. The AVR module send statistical data to the DCD device and this analytics is displayed in the BIG-IQ console.
Thanks my friends!! Have you ever deployed and configured BIG-IQ in your infrastructure?