Understanding F5 Networks BIG-IP product line can be a bit confusing, especially if you're new to F5. We'll do our best to help you understand F5 hardware, software modules, SaaS cloud offerings, and how F5 Networks license and price it all.
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The core technology behind F5 Networks is the BIG-IP TMOS software. When people talk about the software modules like GTM, LTM, APM, ASM etc etc - they are referring to the logical software modules that run on the BIG-IP Traffic Management Operating System (TMOS) Software. To be clear, they are not individual hardware modules, ie you don't buy another card to add a module, it's all logical licensing. You can use the software on a dedicated Hardware Appliance, Virtual Machine (VM), or you can even use F5's Software as a Service cloud offering and let F5s dedicated NOC do all the heavy lifting with their Silverline DDoS & WAF Services.
The Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and Global Traffic Manager (GTM) are the core modules F5 has built it's application delivery architecture on. F5 now offers a whole product suite that builds on those capabilities - making F5 the most comprehensive solution to deliver your applications.
Remember, all of these modules can run on the BIG-IP Software. It’s just a matter of licensing and Hardware or Virtual Machine Device limitations to consider.
F5s BIG-IP Virtual edition is a great option when flexibility is needed in a deployment, allowing customers to spin up environments on demand. Whether it's on your premise saving real estate & cooling costs, or in a cloud offering like Amazon Web Services - the F5 VE can be a great option to deploy BIG-IP. You can run every BIG-IP module on F5 Virtual Editions - which can be deployed on all the leading hypervisors.
The F5 VE is priced by throughput, and can be purchased for individual modules, or you can take advantage of the new good, better, best pricing model. Throughput Options below:
* Lab VE only
F5 now offers enterprises the ultimate in scalability and agility by offering pieces of the BIG-IP as a cloud based solution via F5s Silverline Services. Currently F5 is offering DDoS protection and Web Application Firewall services via Silverline. Stay tuned - more services are sure to be offered soon.