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Bob Salmans
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F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist: Architect, Set up, Deploy (Exam 301a) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

What is F5 and BIG-IP?

F5 is a hardware and software company best known for their array of products and services that make it possible to optimize and secure network applications in diverse network environments. F5 is best known for their load balancing, traffic management and application security products, one of the most popular of which is BIG-IP – an application delivery controller (ADC) that supports a family of products related to delivering, securing and optimizing applications.

What is the F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist certification?

In addition to manufacturing the hardware and software that deliver and secure applications, F5 also maintains certifications that validate how much knowledge, experience and familiarity an administrator has. F5 certifications focus both on skills and knowledge related to ADCs generally and familiarity and comfort with F5 products specifically. The F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist is an advanced, specialized certification that emphasizes deep familiarity with architecting, setting up, deploying and maintaining F5's Local Traffic Manager.

Is the F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist worth it?

If your company uses F5 for application delivery, if your job involves setting up or tweaking application firewalls, or you want to land a new job or promotion in administering load balancing, then yes the F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist credential is definitely worth it. However, if you don't work with ADCs, F5, or other services and tools designed for local traffic management, it's probably too specific to be worth it.

How much does the F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist cost?

All F5 exams cost $180 per exam, per attempt and the F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist certification has two exams, the 301a and 301b. That means it will cost at least $360 to earn the BIG-IP LTM Specialist credential, assuming you can pass the exam on the first attempt. You'll have 90 minutes to answer 80 questions, and the passing score is 245 out of a range between 100 and 350.

Who should earn the F5 BIG-IP LTM Specialist certification?

Administrators who work a lot with F5 products should seriously consider the BIG-IP LTM Specialist certification. For less experienced, less specialized administrators, F5 offers a Certified Administrator certification – if you only dabble in F5 administration, that may be a better choice for you. But if you work extensively with ADCs, F5 products, or maintain application performance on your network, you should think about earning it.
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