Today F5 is announcing a new F5® BIG-IQ™ 4.5. This release includes a new BIG-IQ component – BIG-IQ ADC. 

Why is 4.5 a big deal? This release introduces a critical new BIG-IQ component, BIG-IQ ADC. With ADC management, BIG-IQ can finally control basic local traffic management (LTM) policies for all your BIG-IP devices from a single pane of glass. Better still, BIG-IQ’s ADC function has been designed with the concept of “roles” deeply ingrained. In practice, this means that BIG-IQ offers application teams a “self-serve portal” through which they can manage load balancing of just the objects they are “authorized” to access and update. Their changes can be staged so that they don’t go live until the network team has approved the changes. We will post follow up blogs that dive into the new functions in more detail.

In truth, there are a few caveats around this release. Namely, BIG-IQ requires our customer’s to be using BIG-IP 11.4.1 or above. Many functions require 11.5 or above. Customers with older TMOS version still require F5’s legacy central management solution, Enterprise Manager. BIG-IQ still can’t do some of the functions Enterprise Manager provides, such as iHealth integration and advanced analytics. And BIG-IQ can’t yet manage some advanced LTM options. Never-the-less, this release will an essential component of many F5 deployments. And since BIG-IQ is a rapidly growing platform, the feature gaps will be filled before you know it. Better still, we have big plans for adding additional components to the BIG-IQ framework over the coming year.

In short, it’s time to take a long hard look at BIG-IQ.

What else is new? There are hundreds of new or modified features in this release. Let me list a few of the highlights by component:

1. BIG-IQ ADC - Role-based central Management of ADC functions across the network

  • · Centralized basic management of LTM configurations
  • · Monitoring of LTM objects
  • · Provide high availability and clustering support of BIG-IP devices and application centric manageability services
  • · Pool member management (enable/disable)
  • · Centralized iRules Management (though not editing)
  • · Role-based management
  • · Staging and manual of deployments

2. BIG-IQ Cloud - Enhanced Connectivity and Partner Integration

  • · Expand orchestration and management of cloud platforms via 3rd party developers
  • · Connector for VMware NSX and (early access) connector for Cisco ACI
  • · Improve customer experience via work flows and integrations
  • · Improve tenant isolation on device and deployment

3. BIG-IQ Device - Manage physical and virtual BIG-IP devices from a single pane of glass

  • · Support for VE volume licensing
  • · Management of basic device configuration & templates
  • · UCS backup scheduling
  • · Enhanced upgrade advisor checks

4. BIG-IQ Security - Centralizes security policy deployment, administration, and management

  • · Centralized feature support for BIG-IP AFM
  • · Centralized policy support for BIG-IP ASM
  • · Consolidated DDoS and logging profiles for AFM/ASM
  • · Enhanced visibility and notifications
  • · API documentation for ASM
  • · UI enhancements for AFM policy management

My next blog will include a video demonstrating the new BIG-IQ ADC component and showing how it enhances collaboration between the networking and application teams with fine grained RBAC.