If you are a network engineer, it is no doubt that you are bombarded with hundreds of change requests every week. ADC infrastructure is extremely dynamic, and as a business grows, change must be made to accommodate the new requirements that come with this growth. The changes can be simple operations like server rotation or the modification of an existing F5 BIG-IP® configurations. Or, the changes can be more complex, like those seen with the creation of brand-new configurations, hardware replacements or version upgrades. Changes in general, whether to ADCs, firewalls, routers, applications or any other part of the IT infrastructure, are the single greatest cause of outages. If change is not effectively managed, it presents a serious risk to business continuity.
Manual Approach Delays Delivery
Traditional manual approach is time-consuming and doesn’t align with ever-increasing requirements for speed and agility. It takes from many days to weeks to implement network change requests. In addition, organizations want your inputs on everything from provisioning of new applications to cloud deployment. Rather struggle wasting your time on repetitive tasks, you can use advanced automation solutions to perform these tasks automatically.
Automate BIG-IP Change Requests with AppViewX
The AppViewX Platform is a modular, low-code software application that allows creating simple and complex automation workflows. Leveraging a vast library of pre-built tasks and workflows, the platform enables network teams to quickly and easily translate business requirements into automation workflows. It is fully integrated with the BIG-IP® platform including BIG-IP LTM, DNS, AFM, and ASM modules as well as VIPRION hardware and the cloud-ready BIG-IP iSeries hardware. Through integration with ITSM and DDI systems, it delivers complete change management automation.
Automation can simplify your day to day operations. So what should you automate first? Here are some of the most common F5 change requests you can offload to a network automation tool like AppViewX.
#1 Creation of Virtual IP on BIG-IP LTM
The self-serviceable workflow to create virtual servers filters F5 ADC devices based on the user’s access permissions. The platform integrates with IPAM systems like Infoblox, which allows users to reserve a free IP address from the available address pools and create DNS binding for the new virtual server in Infoblox. The configuration changes are reviewed through a two-level approval process: first by ServiceNow, then by AppViewX. After approval is received, the configuration changes are implemented on the ADC device. A post-validation script ensures the virtual server and the associated objects are created successfully. Similarly, you can create workflows to address various application service requests.
#2 Backup of BIG-IP Configurations
AppViewX can take device-level (UCS) and object-level configuration backups, which can be scheduled or generated on demand. Backups may be compared across devices and archives and can be restored during troubleshooting at either the device level or object level. You can create automation workflows and seamlessly migrate either bulk configurations or individual configurations.
#3 Upgrading to the Latest Version
AppViewX simplifies patch upgrades and version upgrades to the latest F5 version with minimum application downtime. Using AppViewX, you can migrate configurations across different platforms, such as BIG-IP virtual editions and BIG-IP hardware, including the new iSeries platform. Migration through AppViewX ensures clean installation and eliminates errors.
#4 Zero-Touch Provisioning of BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE)
Automated workflows deliver a high level of automation and decrease the need for manual intervention. AppViewX provides zero-touch provisioning of BIG-IP VE which reduces the implementation time from weeks to minutes. The workflow instantiates F5 BIG-IP VE on a hypervisor and integrates with an ITSM tool for approvals and tracking. You can also send email notifications regarding the implementation status and the new BIG-IP details.
#5 SSL Certificate Provisioning on BIG-IP devices
AppViewX enables discovery and management of certificates on F5 devices as well as those on application servers, web servers, and proxy servers. In addition to providing alerts on validity, it facilitates the renewal of certificates and provides the capability to push certificates to end devices, automating certificate lifecycle management.
#6 Auto-Decommissioning of Unused Virtual IPs
Whenever network teams migrate something to a new environment or to the cloud, virtual server configurations can unintentionally be left behind. This oversight contributes to the overhead associated with configuration maintenance. Decommissioning SLB objects without proper impact analysis are simply too risky. With AppViewX, decommissioning virtual servers can be done in a standardized and automated way. Users can generate actionable reports to view lists of unused virtual servers. Then, they can define a workflow and automate the decommissioning of the virtual IPs they identified either individually or in bulk. The unused or free IPs are then moved to IPAM systems.
Download our solution guide to learn how we can help manage your F5 infrastructure more efficiently.