A Day in the Life: Visualizing App Service Performance and Security for AppDev and DevOps

Navpreet Gill
Navpreet Gill

Jonathan George

Jonathan George
Published June 24, 2021

AppDev teams, like their NetOps and SecOps counterparts, start and end their day with a primary goal: ensuring that applications remain healthy, secure, available, and performing well. It’s not so easy, though, to always have visibility into app service performance.

The demand for a centralized approach to app visibility continues to grow, as does the size of organizations' portfolios. The proliferation of 100s, 1000s, and 10s of 1000s of apps to meet customer expectations puts a strain on current IT investments. The State of Application Strategy report indicates how complexity rises as modernization increases and that modern and mobile apps are slowly replacing traditional ones. What’s getting in the way of delivering personalized experiences is a complex landscape of digital transformation, hyper-speed development, cloud service options, and ever-expanding threat surfaces. Every day, it becomes more challenging to support those critical applications by delivering a great customer experience. For instance, with attack vectors, those critical apps have become the focal point for cyber adversaries costing organizations and disrupting the customer experience.

To address this complexity, we must drive consistency across environments and ensure that AppDev teams and their counterparts have access to unified, easy-to-use, visibility and insight tools to monitor apps externally, and have network visibility all within a centralized management dashboard.

In the first blog of this A Day in the Life series, Zach Westall highlighted that “a more modern strategy is needed to address previous BIG-IP administration challenges—one that combines RBAC-enabled visibility, analytics, and holistic management workflows for apps in different environments, as well as various automation and self-service scenarios.” A centralized management approach is one way of looking at it, especially for RBAC-enabled visibility and analytics.

In part two of the blog series, we highlighted the fact that “achieving true visibility around (app) metrics has become complicated for organizations as they’ve continued to expand their web applications portfolio. And, of course, it’s difficult to protect what you can’t see.” Once again, a centralized approach offers a modern solution.

F5 released BIG-IQ 8.0 earlier this year to empower AppDev with complete visibility and analytics. BIG-IQ 8.0 includes visibility enhancements and extends role-based access controls (RBAC) to additional workflows and security dashboards (Configuration Analyzer). For example, you’re able to assign devs RBAC to view their app health dashboards in BIG-IQ for when issues arise in terms of how their apps are performing.

Some key capabilities from the release include enhanced RBAC for DevOps and app owners, simplified and streamlined troubleshooting workflows, and reduced troubleshooting timelines. In addition, with BIG-IQ 8.0 and the new F5 Beacon SaaS integration, you gain end-to-end modeling, end-user health, and performance, as well as actionable insights—with intuitive, easy to consume analytics—reducing mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) and keeping all teams informed to drive consistency and a higher level of visibility than ever before.

In addition, full app and device health dashboards and analytics are available to schedule for sending to recipients with BIG-IQ and non-BIG-IQ access. From app traffic and DNS services to device and security dashboards, keep all your AppDev and DevOps stakeholders up to speed on their assets.

Finally, incorporate automation into DevOps-aligned workflows with F5 Automation Toolchain’s AS3 using declarative APIs and a templatized approach supporting standardized, automated declarative app services and security policies. This enables your development teams to accelerate application deployment, ensure consistency, and increase deployment flexibility—all without needing advanced domain expertise.

There are exciting new features and capabilities of BIG-IQ 8.0 Centralized Management including:

  • Intuitive, data-rich app dashboards for the entire BIG-IP suite
  • A global view that represents related apps and services as single entities
  • At-a-glance and deep analytics dashboards
  • The ability to stream telemetry data into F5 Beacon for advanced app modeling, health, and insights
  • Brownfield and legacy deployment compatibility
  • Automated, scheduled reporting and alerting to help prioritize awareness of performance or potential security issues

For more information about BIG-IQ Centralized Management, click here. Or watch the on-demand BIG-IQ webinar and live demo.