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F5 Foray: When Things Get Easier

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of posts from CBT Nuggets trainer Scott Morris about his experiences learning and working with F5. 

f5-blog-series_EMAILSo moving along in time, the learning curve is getting a bit easier. Mostly because the side tracks for setting up new things with labs have reduced a bit. My VMs are chugging along nicely. 10 client machines (overkill) and 10 server machines broken up into various pools.

Some time has been spent cleaning things up, just to make the demos make more sense. Small things like all of my Virtual Server #3 pool member’s web pages were reporting “Virtual Server #2” because I had been not paying attention when copying files.

As I moved through profiles, and recorded a few demonstrations, I ended up catching myself in a little quandary. I configured an http-redirect profile, which will redirect http://(virtual-server) requests to https://(virtual-server) automatically. While this sounds really cool, it only actually works IF you have the SSL pages working on the web servers! I’m not sure I’m going to bother fixing that one just because it’s a good amount of work to put certificates on each of the servers and then on the ADC as well, but I may. What do you think about making a lab demo out of that? Worthwhile? Like most good DJs, I take requests. 🙂

A lesson to myself though that the small things, if overlooked, can come back to bite you! Happens all the time.

Right now, I am in the home stretch of completing the course. With only several Nuggets left to create, it seems like things are coming together nicely! One of the things that I did to stabilize my network was to obtain more permanent licensing on my F5 BIG-IP VM editions. While the trial licenses are free, they only last 30 days at a time.

Having a nice relationship with the F5 sales folks will allow you to renew licenses as you learn. It’s a way to do things, but one that involves interruptions every 30 days! (And possibly taking your account team out to lunch to keep good relations!) But one of the nice things you may want to look into is a Lab License. It is part number F5-BIG-VE-LAB if you are planning to order it from someplace like CDW (or your favorite reseller du jour). You’ll find that it is less than $100 per license. Keep in mind that’s a permanent license (bandwidth limited) for ALL modules. Oh yeah, and it’s PERMANENT! How cool is that?

It has made my life much easier having the permanent licenses. And I’m sure as I move through future courses, the same will be true. One less thing to think about anyway! 🙂

 

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