Don't let the title fool you. Yes I know BIG-IP is already available in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and your various private cloud flavors. But there's something BIG-IP hasn't done yet in cloud environments. We've had auto-scaling for a while but we've added a new twist. BIG-IP Cloud Edition gives administrators the ability to automatically scale on a per App basis with lower cost licensing. Combine autoscaling features with role-based access to applications, analytics, and security policies you're finally providing BIG-IP's ADC and Advanced WAF features where your teams need it. Application owners now have a seat at the infrastructure table without comprimising other systems.

Every Silver Lining Has A Touch Of Grey

Yes I was listening to the Grateful Dead today. And yes you'll have to wait until later this quarter to get your hands on BIG-IP Cloud Edition. The Cloud Edition solution is a combination of the soon to be relesed BIG-IQ 6.0 and the currently available BIG-IP Per App Virtual Edition License. We'll do a deeper dive with configuration examples when it releases and the BIG-IP Cloud Edition solution is licensable to the public (I use standard licenses for all testing). For now I'll be your BIG-IP Cloud Edition pusher man and give you a little taste of whats to come. You'll come back for the deep dives. They always come back.

Here's a mini FAQ to get some basic burning questions out of the way. When we launch, DevCentral will provide a more robust FAQ about BIG-IP Cloud Edition including Per App VE.

 How do I license BIG-IP Cloud Edtion
BIG-IQ 6.0 is a standard license either BYOL or Utility. Recommended BIG-IQ Data Collection Devices (DC) are a no cost license. Per App VE is available as volume licensing or utility billing so you pay for only what you use. More licensing data will be available with the upcoming released.
 What versions will I need to run for BIG-IP Cloud Edtion?
BIG-IQ must be 6.0 or later. BIG-IP Per App VE must be version 13.1.0.5 or later.
 What cloud providers can I use?
Currently BIG-IP Cloud Edition will support AWS and VMWare. Other cloud providers will be supported soon.

The BIG-IP Cloud Edition Pie

There are three slices to this solution. The BIG-IQ Configuration Management slice, the Per App VE Slice, and your preferred cloud provider slice. As the FAQ stated, at launch BIG-IP Cloud Edition will support AWS and VMWare. Azure, Google and others will following in subsequent BIG-IQ releases. Let's discuss the BIG-IQ Slice.

A slice of BIG-IQ 6.0

BIG-IQ is your portal into auto-scaling, role-based access controls, API application access, and reporting. Administrators will create a series of templates that application owners can use in a service catalog environment (or use REST API to manage through an external service catalog). Security teams can have WAF and traffic policies built-in and monitor security reports as they happen from RBAC customized dashboards.

Dashboards give everyone visibility into the application configuration and health. Application owners can drill down to the individual application nodes to identify slow response times. Security admins can drill down to find out why one application keeps denying password changes. It's all customizable to meet your unique team's role requirements.

BIG-IQ 6.0 Application Dashboard

A slice of BIG-IP Per App VE

Building off this week's earlier discussion, when paired with BIG-IQ 6.0, Per App VE's can be deployed in BIG-IQ service scaling groups defined in BIG-IQ to expand and contract triggered by customizable thresholds. The Per App VE lower cost license options offer LTM and Advanced WAF BIG-IP modules in 25 and 200Mbps traffic rates. Using BIG-IQ as the license manager or using utility billing (where applicable) BIG-IP Per App VE provides the lightweight and quicker deployment times needed to meet application elasticity needs.

Your BIG-IP familiar functionality in a BIG-IQ App Dashboard

A slice of Cloud

As previously stated, BIG-IP Cloud Edition will initially launch with support for AWS and VMWare with other cloud providers soon to follow. Cloud Edition accesses the Per App VE scaling groups by using a cloud provider specific L4 traffic manager. For VMWare this is a special lower cost BIG-IP HA license. For AWS, we use ELB Classic to provide basic L4 traffic forwarding. As Per App VE's are scaled out, the service scalar is notified of additional nodes and configured as needed.

Scaling groups give you several benefits beyond just auto-scaling. You can deploy BIG-IP in environments where you previously relied on monolithic devices. Auto-scaling may not be beneficial for VMWare, but allowing smaller one-off deployments for development teams is. For AWS, you can create regional service scaling groups and distribute out BIG-IP to different locations and VPC's as needed. RBAC and flexible device templates offer a exponential possibilities. Heck, just offer 1 Per App VE to development teams and scale up to 2 for throughput testing. For production apps, offer more. It's up to you.

What's Next?

BIG-IP already has success in private and public clouds for those critical applications that require robust and reliable ADC and Security features. On the flip side, it's still a Royal Rumble when different Ops groups needed to make changes. NetOps doesn't want SecOps to break traffic, while DevOps just want REST access to their apps so they can automate deployments and changes. BIG-IP Cloud Edition turns that no holds barred cage match into a family style pot luck where everyone brings their best dishes, everyone shares, and everyone leaves happy. Best. Analogy. Ever. Stay tuned for more in-depth walkthroughs of BIG-IQ 6.0 and auto-scaling with BIG-IP Per App VE.