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) –
|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 !