Demo Guide: Edge Compute with F5 Distributed Cloud Services (SaaS Console, Automation)
This guide, along with the provided scripts and sample apps and services, is designed to help explore and demonstrate the use cases of the F5 Distributed Cloud platform (xC), including F5 Distributed Cloud AppStack, Multi-Cloud Networking (MCN), and Edge Compute.
Choose your path with the following options to deploy the sample apps and services for this guide by leveraging different GitHub repos for this demo guide:
- step-by-step walk-through using F5 Distributed Cloud Services console;
- automated deployment of the app infrastructure using Terraform scripts
The current set of walk-through steps or the Terraform scripts to automate the deployment of the application infrastructure across Azure and AWS, or a single cloud of your choosing. The result is a true multi-cloud architecture, with components deployed on Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. You can use the provided scripts in the GitHub repositories to deploy the required WooCommerce sample app, and other components representative of a traditional 3-tier app architecture (backend + database + frontend).
These services will be deployed and managed with F5 Distributed Cloud Services; you can easily deliver, secure, and operate a distributed app model that spans across:
- Retail Branch (AppStack on a private cloud)
- Customer Edge (CE) public cloud
- Regional Edge (RE)
Once deployed, the guide goes through the key use cases for this distributed app architecture via several modules, all based on the fictitious scenario of a traditional 3-tier app: BuyTime Commerce built on WooCommerce (powered by WordPress + MySQL) and used in both a branch environment and an online eCommerce deployment. For simplicity, this scenario re-uses the standard WooCommerce datasets for a clothes shop.
The App Stack deployment of BuyTime Retail Branch Kiosk provides recommendations and processes orders for in-store shoppers. The key requirements for this scenario are ease of deployment and configuration of the Retail Branch Kiosks, as well as the ability to quickly and securely connect to other services, including the recommendation engine service that runs in each branch and the central inventory database that runs in the public cloud.
The CE deployment of the online .com site provides typical eCommerce capabilities and is augmented with modern online promotion features. The key requirements for a quick response time for time- and latency-sensitive online promotions, similar to Amazon’s Lighting Deals, as well as high security for both in-branch and online eCommerce operations.
The modules below lay out a framework for connecting and managing distributed app services for this scenario, with a focus on the three core use cases.
MODULE 1: Distributed Cloud App Stack
F5 Distributed Cloud Services (xC) enable a consistent deployment, management, and security model for applications, regardless of where they are run. In this scenario, a fictitious branch location will roll out a 3-tier kiosk app with BuyTime app (WooCommerce front-end/back-end with its data stored in MariaDB). In addition, a TCP Load Balancer will be used to connect to a local recommendations service. This topology can run in multiple Retail Branches with identical configuration, management, and security policies applied.
MODULE 2: Customer Edge (CE) Deployment
Using F5 Distributed Cloud Multi-Cloud Networking (MCN) and TCP Load Balancer to securely connect and synchronize branch databases with the central inventory and order databases deployed in the public cloud on the Customer Edge (CE). By using the TCP Load Balancer, the retail branch inventory and order data is always synchronized and up-to-date. Furthermore, a slightly modified version of the WooCommerce app deployed in a CE can serve as the main eCommerce application for online shoppers and could be further enhanced by using High Availability configuration with multiple Availability Zones and/or virtual sites across multiple cloud providers.
MODULE 3: Regional Edge (RE) Deployment
In this module, the Regional Edge is used with an HTTP Load Balancer to enhance eCommerce capabilities with time- and latency-sensitive promotional capabilities. By making some minor changes to the 3-tier e-Commerce app, it can be enhanced to deliver promotional deals to end users in different regions with a set of low-latency optimized services similar to Amazon's Lightning Deals.
In summary, this demo guide explores the use cases of the F5 Distributed Cloud platform (xC) through modules that cover a multi-cloud architecture using Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. It provides step-by-step instructions and/or Terraform scripts for deploying the sample 3-tier app used to showcase key use-cases, including in-store kiosk, multi-cloud networking to a public cloud central database, e-Commerce site deployment, and enhancing online store capabilities with low-latency promotional services.
For additional information, refer to these resources:
- GitHub repository with the walk-through of the deployment steps and demo
- YouTube video series discussing the different aspects of this configuration
- DevCentral Learning Series: Edge Compute
- Get Started with F5 Distributed Cloud Services