29-May-2022 18:00 - edited 09-Jun-2022 13:00
A critical component to any mission-critical application infrastructure is visibility. To effectively manage and protect an application, one must have granular visibility into performance and security events/metrics. However, visibility is nothing if there is not a way to mitigate risks and improve operational efficiency, preferably automatically.
In this inaugural edition of the “Partner Solution Showcase” we introduce one of our technology alliance partners, AppViewX. The AppViewX ADC+ platform provides an enterprise/service provider grade solution for visibility and automated remediation of both F5 BIG-IP and NGINX application delivery controller (ADC) products. Notably, the ADC+ platform features include:
For the remainder of this article, I'll walk through the process of adding F5 Big IP devices onto the AppViewX ADC+ platform and monitoring the key performance data with the network status information to get the multi-dimensional perceptibility into the overall application health.
I'll recursively look up the pool members (end servers) to address the complexities in application delivery architectures where multiple devices handle traffic for a single application. Interestingly, the platform also provides single touch troubleshooting and monitoring workflows to identify and remediate network issues at a device or object level. The steps are pre-built modules with object-level RBAC.
Okay, let's take a look.
Assuming the prerequisites have been met (i.e., I have an AppViewX ADC+ stood up), I first need to add an F5 device onto ADC+. The service discovery sequence will start auto-sequencing devices and relative Application services (VIPs, WIPs, profiles, server pools, firewall, certificates, etc.) and secrets that will be used by my application (delivered via the BIG-IP).
Login to the AppViewX ADC+ UI. Go to Menu > ADC+ > Asset management
I was able to onboard the F5 device (along with its certificates). The next step is to navigate to a topology view where I can perform multiple changes at an object level.
Once I added the devices, the application services were automatically discovered, and I could assign a role-based access control (RBAC) to app owners, NetOps, or other teams. As a result, everyone gets application centric view of specific apps they own and can begin self-servicing.
To configure app-centric visibility I will perform the following:
The right-click menu is contextual, so you can perform tasks like enabling/disabling servers, performing backups/restores, viewing configurations, etc. You can get a detailed view of pools, pool members, and more in a single window.
To provision (create/modify/delete) new and existing application services on the F5 GTM, LTM, you can access the service catalog to run automated F5 configuration changes. The catalog is pre-configured with a variety of automated workflows. (I tested a few of them, which I will cover in my upcoming post).
AppViewX ADC+ simplifies application delivery by giving accessibility to performance data. With this single page-view method, visibility has tremendously increased. Comparison between the changes, restored objects, etc. are all available to me in one place.
From the AppViewX ADC+ platform I can now create workflows to automate F5 device upgrades, Golden Config Compliance, Blue-Green and Canary Based Deployments, End to End management of certificates on F5s, zero touch provisioning of F5 VEs and App Team Self-Servicing of F5 Application Delivery services.
AppViewX Automation Whitepaper
Guide: Topology view of load balancing services
Video: Application view of load balancing services
Whitepaper: LBaaS as a Service
Youtube: ADC+ Use-Cases
YouTube - Partner Spotlight: AppViewX - Integrating F5 solutions with AppViewX ADC+: