How I did it - "Remote logging with F5 BIG-IP Next and OpenTelemetry"

In this installment of “How I Did it” we’ll be diving into the next generation of BIG-IP software, F5 BIG-IP Next and how—by using OpenTelemetryorganizations can now effortlessly integrate BIG-IP Next with an extensive array of third-party analytics and visualization tools.

A little background

While at its core, BIG-IP Next is still the same BIG-IP that F5 customers know and trust, the platform has been modernized and optimized for the future.  With respect to the topic at hand, it’s worth noting that Central Manager itself provides robust native application/security reporting and visibility (see below).


With that said, many enterprises prefer to aggregate their various telemetry streams onto a single platform.  To that end, BIG-IP Next uses OpenTelemetry for telemetry streaming within the Next infrastructure as well as for data exportation to third-party analytics tools.

OpenTelemetry (OTEL) is a set of APIs, libraries, agents, instrumentation, and instrumentation standards designed to provide observability for applications through the generation, collection, and description of telemetry data such as traces, metrics, and logs. 

The Otel collector which is a component of the OTEL toolkit provides a proxy to receive, process and export telemetry data including traces, metrics, and logs to a variety of third-party analytics platforms.  While many analytics and observability vendors have their own flavor of the collector available, I used the community version, 'collector-contrib' running on a Linux instance for this demonstration.  The contrib version affords me the ability to specify a variety of third-party vendor exporters. 

According to James McQuivey, PhD of Forrester a 1-minute video is equivalent to 1.8 million words.  With that in mind, rather than filling up this page with a little more than 12.6 million words- minus a thousand for each picture   documenting each step here, I've included a short, (a little over 7 minutes) video walkthrough of the configuration process.  For a deeper look at the technologies involved, check out the links below.  Alright, let's grab some popcorn and watch a movie. 😀

Additional links

F5 BIG-IP Next Introduction F5 BIG-IP Next Documentation F5 BIG-IP Next API Specification
F5 BIG-IP Next Remote Logging API Introducing OpenTelemetry OpenTelemetry Collector
OpenTelemetry Collector Contrib repo Analytics Vendors Dashboard repo  


Updated Dec 20, 2023
Version 2.0

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