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F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) is #12 ranked solution in top Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Protection tools. IT Central Station users give F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) an average rating of 8 out of 10. F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) is most commonly compared to Radware DefensePro:F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) vs Radware DefensePro. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 33% of all views.
What is F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM)?

F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) is a high-performance, full-proxy network security solution designed to protect networks and data centers against incoming threats that enter the network. Built on F5’s industry-leading BIG-IP hardware and software platforms, BIG-IP AFM provides a scalable platform that delivers the flexible performance and control needed to mitigate aggressive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and protocol attacks before they overwhelm and degrade applications and infrastructure availability.

For service providers, BIG-IP AFM IPS does even more, protecting the network edge and performing traffic inspection and protocol adherence for prevalent service provider protocols such as SS7, Diameter, HTTP/2, GTP, SCTP and SIP traffic coming into the network over UDP, TCP, and SCTP.

F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) is also known as F5 AFM, F5 Advanced Firewall Manager.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Protection Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) Customers

City Bank, Ricacorp Properties, Miele, American Systems, Bangladesh Post Office

F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) pricing:
  • "It's very expensive, and you pay extra for the models."

F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) Reviews

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SC
Contracted IP Development Engineer at a media company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good support, and capable of scaling

Pros and Cons

  • "The decryption is great."
  • "Deployment times vary according to the customer. It needs to be heavily configured. You need to look and you need to observe the behavior of the traffic before you can start configuring everything. It can take time."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to protect and to divide cells. We are not using AFM as a standalone product. We are using AFM with the LTM module, as a module. The main purpose of F5 is to use it as an ADC application to deal with the console.

What is most valuable?

The DDoS is the solution's most valuable feature.

The support that the product offers is good. 

When you buy an F5 as an appliance, you are buying licenses as well. If you buy both LTM and AFM licenses, you can protect your servers in a one-off solution. You don't have to buy another firewall to protect your servers. It makes security really easy.

The decryption is great.

What needs improvement?

We aren't using the most recent version. The most recent version is 15. Therefore, there may have been improvements on the solution we're not aware of.

The should add, if they aren't already going to, some features surrounding location awareness, station awareness and segregation of users. I'm not sure of which version supports these items and which port version doesn't. However, I hope they will continue to develop out the product to ensure they are included.

In order to overcome some of the problems in the industry, I would like to see the solution offer a hardware device with strong ASICs, and a stand-alone AFM tool to prevent attacks. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years or so now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is pretty stable. If you do happen to find a bug, they will provide you with a patch to solve the issue. You can also go to their website where they will list all of the bugs that are associated with each version. They make it quite transparent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable because it doesn't depend on hardware. If you run this product on a Viprion, it will be scalable, but not too much. If you run the same product with the same version in a standalone device or on a virtual system, you will use the power and scale of the associated device. It's scalable because you are able to use the same product in different hardware. If you buy a powerful server, and you can scale your F5 as a virtual system easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't really reach out to technical support, so I wouldn't be able to assess it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not complex. It just takes a few steps and you are finished.

Deployment times vary according to the customer. It needs to be heavily configured. You need to look and you need to observe the behavior of the traffic before you can start configuring everything. It can take time.

In terms of deployment, a powerful deployment actually needs a minimum of two people and one of them needs to speak with the developers because the developers are protecting the source. They will help you to understand the requirements. After the assessment of the requirements, the users can deploy and test the solution.

Maintenence also varies by customer, however, once it is configured, unless you are adding extra servers or adjusting things, there doesn't need to be any maintenance. You can just leave it alone for the most part, so you will only need one person to check on it.

What about the implementation team?

I help my clients deploy the product to their systems.

What other advice do I have?

While some companies have now started to move these devices from on-premises to the cloud, most companies prefer not to do this due to security reasons.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's a good product, but it may not be the absolute best on the market. Companies should examine NGINX or Palo Alto or others and compare them to see what would work best for their organization.

I would recommend the solution.

It's great for protecting servers from attacks. With controllers plus the firewall, you will only need one device to protect everything.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MH
Senior Security Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Offers good IP geolocation, IP intelligence, and DDoS features and good scaling options

Pros and Cons

  • "We use three main features. The first one is access control. The second feature we use is called IP intelligence. Finally, we have a DDoS safety feature."
  • "Firstly, geolocation currently relies on manual updates. It has to move to automatic updates. There are no automatic updates for this feature. If some IPs, countries, or service providers move to another country, now you will be allow IPs that you previously denied. This is because you depend on the database, which doesn't update automatically. This is really a very important area that they need to improve."

What is our primary use case?

We use three main features. The first one is access control. Access control would mainly use the IP geolocation feature. This feature in AFM lets you limit access to some countries and allow other countries. Some countries can access your service while others cannot access it. This is one feature which is called IP geolocation. 

The second feature we use is called IP intelligence. It's another feature of F5. It's like a straight feed for all blacklisted IP addresses in the world. They make categories for the blacklisted IP addresses, such as blacklists to a channel, blacklisted proxies, blacklisted malicious malware, and blacklisted spammers. If anyone of these IPs is trying to hurt your service, we are able to just block it with the AFM firewall, which is a separate license in essence. We utilize this license as well. 

Finally, we have a DDoS safety feature. AFM provides protection for the network from a DDoS attack. We use this feature at times too. These are the only three features we utilize: IP geolocation, IP intelligence, and DDoS.

What needs improvement?

Firstly, geolocation currently relies on manual updates. It has to move to automatic updates. There are no automatic updates for this feature. If some IPs, countries, or service providers move to another country, now we will allow IPs that were previously denied. This is because you depend on the database, which doesn't update automatically. This is really a very important area that they need to improve.

I also want to see something like application inspection. If they can add application inspection like a DC firewall, it would be a good added feature for them.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution for four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say it's a good, stable solution. We haven't had a major issue with the AFM.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They have many options to scale. They have a very stable, versatile FM, but we rely on the physical units. I can see that it's very scalable. Whatever you want to add, you can add to the same cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

Sometimes technical support is good and sometimes they are bad, so I can evaluate them around 80%.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good solution only for a published service. If you are publishing services outside the company, it's very good for us, but the biggest lesson is that it cannot be applied internally to replace a data center firewall. Sometimes, a company will introduce F5 to the place as a data center firewall. It's not a replacement for the DC firewall. It cannot replace the data center firewall but can be added to the service.

I would rate this as eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Find out what your peers are saying about F5, Radware, NETSCOUT and others in Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Protection. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
JA
Technology Consultant / Cloud Security Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Good support, and the functionality for blocking IPs works well

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for protection and blocking IPs for our customers.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is that the blocking of IPs. F5 has many advantages.

What needs improvement?

Currently, we have eighty F5s and we need some kind of management software. It would be very helpful.  In the next release, I would like to have management and monitoring software included.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not as easy to scale because you have to purchase new hardware to scale up.

How are customer service and technical

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for protection and blocking IPs for our customers.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is that the blocking of IPs.

F5 has many advantages.

What needs improvement?

Currently, we have eighty F5s and we need some kind of management software. It would be very helpful. 

In the next release, I would like to have management and monitoring software included.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not as easy to scale because you have to purchase new hardware to scale up.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with technical support, they are fairly widespread.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

Some of the rules were not easy to do and it can take a fair amount of time to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

I am doing the maintenance of this solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's very expensive, and you pay extra for the models.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend this solution to others who are interested in using F5 Advanced Firewall.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
RB
Founder / Senior Security Architect at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Stable and scalable with straightforward usability

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used as a web application firewall.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very straightforward. The usability is great.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the solution could be a little bit better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been selling the solution for five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We haven't run into bugs, crashes or glitches. We find it reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. Companies should not face issues when they need to expand.  We have 20 enterprises using the solution currently. They are mostly banks.

How are customer service and technical support?

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used as a web application firewall.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very straightforward. The usability is great.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the solution could be a little bit better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been selling the solution for five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We haven't run into bugs, crashes or glitches. We find it reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. Companies should not face issues when they need to expand. 

We have 20 enterprises using the solution currently. They are mostly banks.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in touch with technical support in the past and have been very satisfied so far with their level of support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We aren't currently offering any other solutions similar to F5.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. We didn't run into complexities when setting it up.

What other advice do I have?

We are a reseller of F5. We're not a customer.

I'd advise companies considering implementing the solution to understand the architecture and the flow of the service before setting it up.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller