F5 Networks is proud to announce F5 Cloud Services, a suite of self-serve options powered by our globally distributed cloud infrastructure with our industry-leading DNS and load balancing technologies. We transformed our DNS and Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) services into native cloud services that until now have been dependent on expensive hardware. These cloud services are always available and automatically scale to meet your growing business demands. Features and capabilities include:

  • Self-service management. Select and run the services the way you want.
  • Consumption-based pricing. Only get charged for what you use.
  • Fully-managed infrastructure. Just focus on how to use the services to meet your business needs.
  • Auto-scaling. As your business grows, our infrastructure automatically grows to accommodate it.
  • Globally distributed. Your applications are always maximally responsive with our globally distributed Anycast network.
  • Anycast IP addresses. Our services leverage the global Anycast network to ensure maximum security and responsiveness.
  • Ready to integrate. Our API first approach means that our graphical user interface, the dashboard, uses the very same APIs that we make available to you. If you can do it on the dashboard, you can do it through the API, and integrate it into your infrastructure and automation tools.
  • Robust security. Your services are protected from denial of service attacks (DDoS).

For this preview, F5 Cloud Services debuts its DNS Service with the following features:

  • An organization level account that can be associated by one user. A user has administrative privileges to see data, and manage services. Later releases will include division level accounts and a hierarchy of user roles.
  • The F5 Cloud Services dashboard, where you can add and remove services; as well as enable, disable, and pause them.

DNS service

You can use the F5 Cloud Services DNS as a secondary DNS to your primary DNS. In fact, this is the required configuration. You must have a primary DNS from which the F5 Cloud Services DNS can transfer your zone configurations. This provides flexibility and redundancy as you can use the F5 Cloud Services DNS only when needed; or you can hide your primary DNS and send all the traffic to the DNS service. If you are already using BIG-IP for your DNS, you can use the F5 Cloud Services DNS for a second-tier redundancy and only be charged if it is needed. (There is no billing in the preview releases).

The F5 Cloud Services DNS does not intercept or inspect network traffic. You will be provided with Anycast IP addresses through which the service will be delivered. Anycast ensures that clients making DNS requests are always querying the DNS server that is optimally situated for the best performance.

Initially each DNS instance subscribes to your DNS data “zone-file” from your private zone-master server, which maps domain names with IP addresses.

F5 Cloud Services dashboard

The F5 Cloud Services dashboard is the main landing page and provides you with a centralized UI giving you immediate access to the following features:

  • Add, remove, enable, disable, and pause a service.
  • View essential status and performance data.
  • Manage users and roles.
  • View usage statistics for service subscriptions.
  • View billing information.

Not all of these features will be available on the dashboard in the preview versions of F5 Cloud Services.

Coming soon to F5 Cloud Services

Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB)

The F5 Cloud Services GSLB ensures that end users are able to access your application using the highest performing instances. This service monitors the state of your application instances, and then directs client traffic to the best instance by manipulating the DNS responses. The best instance can be defined by rules that include the following factors:

  • Business policies
  • Datacenter locations
  • User location
  • Performance conditions

Similar to the DNS service, the GSLB service is also DDoS protected, and leverages the global Anycast network to ensure maximum security and responsiveness.

You no longer have to worry about the complexities of managing an on-premises load balancing infrastructure, as the F5 Cloud Services GSLB automatically scales to accommodate dynamically changing situations.

Expanded account levels

During registration you can create accounts based on three levels of business or organizational hierarchy:

  • Organization level account - Your organization has one account. Each user is associated with one organization account.
  • Division level account - Each organization account can have one or more division accounts. Each user can be associated with one or more division accounts.
  • User level account
  • Each user has a user account.

Expanded user roles:

Administrators, and privileged users to a lesser extent, can do the following:

  • Secure multi-factor authentication.
  • Add and remove service subscriptions.
  • Create and manage users according to the type of account.
  • Review usage-based billing and payments.
  • Review service metrics and other data on the dashboard.

All users can manage the F5 Cloud Services they have been granted access to, and to see pertinent data for associated divisions.

Support

F5 Cloud Services is dedicated to having customers have an enjoyable and pain-free experience. Check out the F5 Cloud Services FAQ for more information. If you run into issues, please email our team whose eager to help you: CloudServicesSupport@F5.com