F5 drops LAB VE price to $95

During a recent F5 purchase I wanted to get some more F5 lab virtual edition appliances. At my company we have had two and it has been invaluable for testing new configs and training junior engineers in a safe environment that could be trashed and restored at will. At the time we ordered the lab F5s earlier this year the list price was around $2000. As our environment has grown to include GTMs across multiple continents, 3 dozen LTMs and other F5 modules, a more comprehensive lab was needed to simulate some of the advanced configurations we are doing.

I was not looking forward to having to ask my boss for several more lab VEs. For several days I was rehearsing in my head all of the justifications I could come up with to persuade him to spend several thousand dollars, dreading the inevitable question that I would be asked “Why do you need to buy more of these when you already have two?”. So I called my F5 account manager asking him to add some lab VEs to my quote and to my surprise he told me “The price has been dropped to $95 list!” I’m thinking to myself he must be trying to get a quick laugh at my expense but then he answered “F5 wants everyone to get a lab edition. We need to get these out there so more people can get familiar with our product.” I asked if I could publicize it, he said “Tell everyone. We need to get the word out there.” I was ecstatic! I had no problem getting it approved. I could even buy myself one for my home lab!

The new price now allows almost anyone to get an F5 LAB VE for learning, certification, etc. The biggest difference of the lab VE compared to regular VEs is that total bandwidth of the device is limited to 10Mbps. It includes most of the F5 modules and requires the virtual resources as listed below (Version 11.3) -

Module License Required
Disk GB
Local Traffic (LTM) Full 0 2524
Global Traffic (GTM) Full 0 148
Access Policy (APM) Limited 10 User 12 366
Advanced Firewall (AFM) Full 16 478
Application Security (ASM) Full 12 808
Application Visibility and Reporting (AVR) Full 16 448
Protocol Security (PSM) Full 12 764
Web Accelerator (WAM) Full 18 880
WAN Optimization (WOM) Full 20 768

There are a few modules that are not included in the lab VE -

  • Policy Enforcement (PEM) – Service provider related
  • Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) – Service provider related
  • Link Controller (LC) – Not a problem because LTM and GTM are included.

The part number for the lab VE is “F5-BIG-VE-LAB”. CDW has just recently updated the price on their website –

Happy labbing !

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Eric Flores

Eric Flores

Eric is a senior network engineer for a major real estate company. He has six years in the field and is a nerd with a passion for anything related to technology. Find him on Twitter @nerdoftech.
Eric Flores
Eric Flores
  • http://packetpushers.net/author/ecbanks Ethan Banks

    That is excellent news. That really opens up a number of options for lab work, experimentation, playing with iRules, working on automation, iControl fun, etc. All the stuff I couldn’t play with on production units I have an avenue to look at now.

  • laf

    From an existing F5 user, this sounds great!

    From an outsider, this is nasty! Why can’t they offer this for 0$?
    In the end they will get more money from new customers than from the money spent on labs on the existing one.
    Most of the vendors give you 15 – 30 days trial, enough to study/learn for your certification

    • Chris

      We license Geolocation & IP Reputation from third-parties…need to cover that.

    • buulam

      You can always contact your local F5 Systems Engineer for limited time trial keys as well. This $95 lab license is perpetual. Hopefully those options help out both study and lab environment purposes.

  • James Kilby

    I was at a VMUG recently where F5 did a presentation. I asked the same question re the $95 as I thought if you want people to get familiar make it free. The reason and I thought it was very honest was that there is technology in there that they need to pay a licence on and thats what the $95 was covering

  • vlan101net

    This is great news. Would I love to see this free, absolutely. Do I think this is a a fair and reasonable price, definitely. $95 for hands on that I can try many different modules and test different configures is wonderful. Hopefully other vendors will follow suit. I don’t mind paying to have the lab ability, so long as the price point is appropriate.

  • What Lies Beneath

    The second edition is up now.

  • What Lies Beneath

    Feedback is always welcome.

  • http://kevpeterson.com Kevin Peterson

    Juniper SSL VPN and NAC virtual appliances are free for demo and training purposes. You do have to be a current customer with a support login to get access, but once you are in they are there for the taking. Anyone can work with their reseller to get access even before they are a full customer with support. They are also limited to 10 connections, which should be more than enough for most demo/test scenarios anyway. Just thought I would mention that. :-)

    • http://etherealmind.com Etherealmind

      Not a very good system. First, as an independent consultant, I will never have a support contract with Juniper. Second, Resellers don’t have time or money to follow through on this type of request, they never delivery non-revenue requests.

      As a result, I never recommend Juniper gear because I can’t evaluate it.


  • http://www.netkiken.com/blog Takuro Moriyama

    Hello. This is great news for me. I often use LTM-VE trial edition to evaluate some tests in the Lab. So, I’d like to get LTM-VE Lab etdion. But, The CDW online shop isn’t able to get from Japan. Hmmm..Oh my god.. I’ll contact to CDW about How to get LTM-VE lab edtion from Japan.