KEMP Rules Migration for Legacy F5 LTM Local Traffic Manager with iRules

F5 Migrate KEMP

Introduction

Migrations are time-consuming and carry a level of risk. The risks are even higher when you have to migrate from one vendor to another. Such migration often requires multiple teams to collaborate with significant co-ordination required between teams.

It is for this reason, that many shy away from migrations and put them on the long finger, only to migrate when a device has reached its end of life. However, replacing an outdated or obsolete load balancer or moving from an expensive proprietary system can bring many challenges. As a result, the majority of users continue to use hardware and software configurations in an inefficient manner in spite of knowing that it is more cost-effective and efficient to migrate to a different vendor.

Configuration parameters are often glued to a specific vendor. Hence, translating the parameters to another vendor platform could be quite challenging. It could require months of manual groundwork to prepare the configuration translation. Realistically, the manual work is error prone and a single mistake in the configuration translation process could result in loss of service. Besides, multiple staging points may be required to test the new configuration. Teams often require additional training, and in some cases new certification.

Some users opt to stay away from the proprietary vendors and choose the open source path. It may be easy to drag and drop the open source platforms into different organizations, but such platforms lack the crucial feature parity with the experienced vendors. Now, let’s review KEMP’s efficiency in bridging such gaps.

Can KEMP overcome such challenges?

If it’s in your best interest to migrate from one vendor to another, then you should tackle the problem head-on. KEMP ensures that the head-on does not result in any kind of loss of service or functionality and the migration takes place smoothly. KEMP technologies have developed a tool that allows F5 customers to easily migrate to the KEMP LoadMaster, while still keeping their previous configuration settings.

KEMP eliminates the fear of moving from F5 to KEMP LoadMaster. KEMP’s F5 dimensioning & migration tool acts as the glue between the two, which converts the configuration from one platform to the other. It is an automated migration tool that maps complex iRules to the equivalent KEMP functionality that is user-friendly and controlled via the KEMP user interface (UI).

F5 iRules & complexity

F5 LTM/Traffic manager with iRules is a very complex environment that requires specific F5 in-house training and certification. This could demand massive time and effort and take a long time to master. Due to the high level of complexity, there is usually a dedicated team or person to look after the F5 equipment.

There is a common misconception that if you have invested in the F5 iRules configurations then you are you stuck forever with that platform. However, this is not the case since KEMP’s automated tool has simplified the migration to almost zero-effort level. Many of the iRule’s configuration parameters are doing something based on content switching. Now administrators shouldn’t need to learn complex tools for this as content switching is the bread and butter of load balancing.

For smooth operations, anything that is complex should be extracted. Once the complexity is extracted, administrators can focus on getting the job done more efficiently and quickly. KEMP segments the complexity of F5 iRules load balancing and hides it behind a well-designed UI. For example, iRules has a complex authentication configuration while KEMP offer an easy-to-use UI drop-down list.

KEMP’s F5 dimensioning & migration tool

F5 has a rigid licensing structure that is based on the tiers – “good, better and best”. The consumption model locks you into specific functionality that you may or may not be using but you will be paying just the same.

For example, the wide area network (WAN) edge has been transformed with new SD-WAN products, enabling rich compression and other WAN optimization features. For this reason, it is common for a load balancing vendor to charge for similar features but in reality, administrators are consuming separate products for this area.

Objectively, KEMP’s F5 dimensioning & migration tool examines all the features that are in use. It sends you a compatibility report and informs you where you have been over-licensed. The KEMP migration tool comes with a trained support person to lower the risk level and accomplish the migration process. In particular, the KEMP migration engineer helps you with the corner case rules that cannot be automatically translated.

Summary

Migrations are scary, and there is added concern when migrating from one vendor to another. Fortunately, KEMP offers an F5 dimensioning & migration tool enabling smooth migrations with almost zero-effort combined with extensive expertise and experience in ensuring a smooth transition to KEMP ADC.

Maurice McMullin

Maurice McMullin

Maurice McMullin is a Principal Product Marketing Manager in Kemp Technologies with too many years of experience in the development and marketing of networking and security products. He has worked in organizations of all sizes ranging from two person startups through to multinationals in roles as varied as programmer and CTO.

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