Workshop: Deploy BIG-IP Cloud through Automation

Why Cloud and Automation should go together

Based on a number of conversations, I've noticed the journey to the cloud is currently taking place and DevOps is involved to make sure F5 BIG-IP becomes an automated entity as part of the organization’s cloud strategy.

You might not realize that F5 BIG-IP Virtual Edition has existed for more than a decade and is a long-standing member of public cloud marketplaces like AWS, Azure and GCP. To ease adoption into public cloud designs, F5 has developed Cloud Solution Templates for which version 2 has been launched in spring of this year. Some enterprises have a preferrence of using cloud provider native templates to automate deployements but most like to use cloud-agnostic automation tools like Ansible, Terraform or even create their own by coding with Python.

When moving to the cloud you will need automation to cope with size and scale, being able to adapt to business demands, and the speed of API. F5 has been a pioneer in getting application services to become part of that automated journey by developing declarative F5 Automation Tool Chain solutions like:

  • Declarative Onboarding (DO): Deploy BIG-IP basics to get it ready for prime-time.
  • Application Services Extension 3 (AS3): to deploy L4-L7 App Services, including application security
  • Telemetry Streaming: collect what gets consumed from the BIG-IP and make it visible to gain necessary insights.

Phases of a Cloud Journey

The #1 question I always get is “how do I start to using those tools?”.

To get a better understanding of how to use F5 Automation Tool Chain solutions for F5 BIG-IP, I created a “Cloud and Automation” workshop which goes through the phases of a cloud journey.

Cloud and Automation Workshop

This workshop uses a F5 BIG-IP Failover-via-API design which gets deployed in Azure by using Terraform. The exercises will route you through the different phases of a cloud journey and shows how F5 Automation Tool Chain can be used.

Some topics which get covered are:

  • Understanding AS3 shared objects.
  • How FAST can be leveraged to deploy/delete applications.
  • Convert F5 object-based config into AS3 by using F5 Automation Config Converter (ACC).
  • Use of Telemetry Streaming in Azure.

So, where to start…

The content of this workshop called Cloud and Automation can be found on:

Here comes the best part… it is freely available to everyone!

Though the pre-canned design is preferably to be used. There are also Azure quick starts made available which can be found here:

These quick starts work the same as the CSTv2 templates you can deploy with that a complete BIG-IP design with an application and Azure telemetry gets deployed. The only difference is that it uses Terraform to get launched.

Published Aug 29, 2022
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