The foundation of the full proxy BIG-IP platform is the Local Traffic Manager (LTM).
Applications drive innovation and profitability, allowing your business to leverage cloud computing, mobility, and software-defined networking (SDN). Your organization from AppDev and DevOps teams to Infrastructure and IT Ops depends on your app services and network infrastructure running at peak performance with app-centric security to meet the challenges of today—and tomorrow.
F5® BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM) helps you deliver your applications to your users in a reliable, secure, and optimized way. You get the extensibility and flexibility of application services with the programmability you need to manage our cloud, virtual, and physical infrastructure. With BIG-IP LTM, you have the power to simplify, automate, and customize application services faster and more predictably.
While load balancing your applications with the LTM is a good start, the full proxy power of LTM lets you augment traffic as needed on the client-side and server-side of connections independently.
This allows for control of network traffic based on availability, application health/performance, security, type of user, content requested, etc… the only limit on configuration is your imagination.
While competitors were attempting to build a better reverse proxy, F5 took application delivery leaps and bounds further by creating a full proxy.
A full proxy provides everything a reverse proxy can do and then some, because it manages client-side (your device to the LTM) and the server-side (the LTM to the server) independently. This allows for ultimate traffic control, speed, intelligence, and security when delivering mission-critical applications.
It’s no secret… when it comes to providing end-to-end encryption for your traffic, the LTM is known for being the fastest SSL termination software in the world.
Speed aside, the LTM allows you to manage SSL certificates and keys with ease from a single dashboard – augmenting ciphers globally or on a per-application basis as needed. The LTM can even allow you to offload SSL completely from your servers, leaving the certificate management 100% to the LTM, while letting your application teams focus more time on their applications (and less time on certificate management).
F5 has cracked the code when it comes to optimizing protocols for performance and flexibility. The LTM’s custom TCP/IP stack extends modern RFCs far beyond their current state.
Namely, F5’s TCP Express can deliver up to 2x performance gains, and 4x improvements in bandwidth efficiency.
But what are performance gains if you can’t have flexibility? The LTM allows the augmentation of protocols as needed, so you can tailor them to fit perfectly with your applications.
LTM provides a plethora of pre-built protocol optimization profiles for all types of applications and traffic, including: HTTP & HTTP/2, DNS, SIP, Diameter, SMTP, XML, SOCKS, websockets, ICAP, FIX, GTP… just to name a few.
In a world where page load times dictate whether a visitor becomes a new customer or lost revenue, the BIG-IP LTM is trusted by the biggest companies in the world to make the difference.
From the network layer to the application layer, BIG-IP uses real-time protocols and traffic management decisions to deliver enterprise applications faster than any other vendor out there.
F5’s ScaleN technology eliminates the need for dedicated standby elements and uses a platform approach. BIG-IPs can then act in concert, not dependent on their form factor – i.e. virtual and hardware devices can scale on premise, in the cloud, or both. ScaleN allows users to do this multi-directional horizontal scaling for individual applications or the whole BIG-IP platform.
The full proxy provided by BIG-IP is programmable from the client side using iRules, and on the server side with iRules LX. This allows for ultimate flexibility in customizing application delivery with the LTM around your homegrown and commercial applications.
Additionally, all of LTM’s features are available via their RESTful API: iControl. There’s a rich community of knowledge if you’re looking to orchestrate and automate the LTM with automation engines such as Ansible or Terraform.
Want to get started with F5 LTM in your environment?
There’s a few ways you can begin…
Contact us now, or check out our licensing page to understand all the different ways you can buy the LTM software license for Virtual Editions on-premise, in the cloud, or via hardware appliance options.