F5-networks is the only platform that can do many things such as networking server, Linux load balancing application controller and under security. Their devices are a mix of DoS protection, web applications, firewalls, data centers- firewalls, VPN access policies and many more. It is also expensive. It’s the Ferrari of network and security appliances. Today in this 591LAB blog post, we’ll talk about the company and their products, such as F5 big IP and NGINX. Yes, only a few people know that F5 is the mother company of NGINX.
Welcome, again; this is Li Bai, 591cert instructor on cloud and data center. This blog will discuss tech careers and certifications and my journey as an IT instructor at 591LAB.
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F5 as a Company
F5 Network is a technology company based in Seattle, Washington. Their main product is F5 big IP, categorized as an application delivery controller and security solution. Before, the company only offered intelligent load balancing and ADC solutions but later expanded to providing application and security services.
Originally named “F5 LABS”, but rebranded as F5 networks in 1996. F5 labs are still being used as a portal for gathering threat intelligence data and providing application security reports. F5 networks BIG IP was first launched in 1997, and before that, it needed to be more intelligent; it was only doing a little better with more features than the DNS. But in 2004, F5 released BIG IP version 9.0; they introduced the TMOS architecture, and in 2019 intelligent load balancing and application delivery controllers started rolling out. The company purchased NGINX, which is famous for web server software, and in 2021, F5 introduced the next-generation F5 big-IP platforms- the VELOS chassis and blades. These replace both iSeries and the VPRION architecture models.
F5 Products and Solutions
F5 big IP is the platform that runs the TMOS operating system, including Linux. It can be implemented as a hardware virtual machine or cloud appliance. Now, we use software modules, which are required to enable solutions and services like load balancing capabilities, global load balancing capabilities, activate DNS, Global Traffic Manager (GTM), and allow DOS and data center firewall. You could also start Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) to allow web application firewalls. Application Security Manager (ASM) is already retired, now an advanced web application firewall or web. F5 BIG IP has always been the leader in application delivery controller solutions, and F5 Silverline. It is a cloud-based managed security services platform with firewall DDOS protection.
We also have NGINX. We know it’s a web server. But it can also do load balancing, SSL offload and many others. Above all, it’s free and open source. It’s more popular than F5 BIG IP. Because it’s more commonly used in cloud and application development, enterprise versions are available for bug fixes and better support. The company also acquired Share Security in January 2020- an ai-based bot detection. They also received Volterra in 2021. They provide SAS security services. F5 integrated these two as a new product built-in F5 BIG IP platform and part of the F5 distributed cloud services, including API security bot defence account, protection and many more.
F5 Big IP Solutions
Here’s how powerful F5 BIG IP is. You have probably seen this huge rack consists of hundreds if not thousands of servers in data centers. The question is, are clients/users sending requests and connecting to those servers? The answer is no. The client sends requests to the application delivery controller, the fib IP, which is your application delivery controller. These server’s application delivery controller offloads many things, from SSL/TLS caching secure inspection. F5 big-IP is a device fluent up to the application layer. It can quickly inspect security at layer seven, such as web DNS. You always see F5 big IP deployed in large data center networks, which can also be deployed in private and public clouds.
How about NGINX- an application controller with load-balancing features? NGINX may be consider less intelligent because it has fewer security features, like a web application firewall. But it’s more commonly used in cloud deployments. Here is why you need to learn F5 networks. For starters, F5 BIG IP skills are very high in demand in large companies. Out of Fortune 500 companies, at least 50 use F5 as a data IP center; network engineers managing switches are okay. Still, the real deal or action is via application delivery controller for security professionals. Excellent monetary incentives exist to learn DDOS, protections and web application firewall solutions. F5 BIG IP is a high-performance and expensive device. Here is an analogy, who do you think earns more money- the network routing & switching engineer or the F5-network engineers? The answer is simple: owning F5 certifications is like owning a Ferrari supercar.
Get Certified on F5 Networks
“Take your career to the next level with F5 certification! With three levels to choose from and nine exams available, you’ll surely find the perfect fit for your needs. Get certified today with 591LAB and become an expert in no time!”
F5 Certification tracks have three levels administrator, specialist and expert. To be certified as an administrator, you must pass the F5 exam 201 or CTS (certified technology specialist). We have multiple exams in 300 levels and the expert level. Certified solution experts have two 400-level exams. There is an entry-level exam, which is exam-101 level. You wouldn’t get any accreditations or certifications when you pass the exam-101. But you would be eligible to take 200-level exams if you pass 201. At the same time, you will be eligible to take 300-level exams. 401-level exams require CTS in ASM (application security manager) and AFM (application firewall manager). And if you want to take the 402 exams, it requires CTS and DNS only. Do you know anyone who is an F5-certified technical professional or passed the F5-202 exam? It’s not too popular, and soon, F5 will retire this certification. What is better is to add NGINX certifications, introduce NGINX in 101, replace 202 or 203 as certified NGINX administrator, and for a certified technical specialist, add 305 and 306. It would be like NGINX-web and NGINX-DevOps certifications, and I guarantee you there would be more interest in taking those certifications.
Oh! I consider F5 BIG IP administrator or F5 certifications among the best associate-level credentials. Let me know if you have any questions.