BLOG

Migrating Your BIG-IP Fleet amid Supply Chain Challenges

Catherine Newcomb 缩略图
Catherine Newcomb
Published March 22, 2022
  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin
  • Share via AddThis

If you’ve tried to buy a car, or a washing machine, or a laptop in the last six months, you likely know that the global chip shortage is lengthening lead times for consumer hardware pretty much across the board. And the world of IT is unfortunately not above impact—including F5 hardware.

As announced during the FY22Q1 Earnings Call, CEO François Locoh-Donou informed analysts that F5’s ability to meet customer demand for iSeries platforms is anticipated to remain restricted through September 2022. But supply chain challenges don’t have to restrict your app deployment and security plans for the near future.

While we are currently experiencing extended hardware component lead times from our suppliers for the iSeries line of appliances, you have options when it comes to deploying the BIG-IP services you rely on to run your mission-critical apps. Your initial options:

  • Deploy F5 BIG-IP as a virtual instance, hosted in a public cloud, a private cloud, or a colocation facility, and deploy quickly so you can migrate your apps at a speed that keeps up with your business needs.
  • Navigate hardware supply chain delays by deploying BIG-IP services on a next-generation F5 platform, such as our new F5 rSeries appliances or the VELOS chassis and blade system. The modern hardware components for these systems are significantly less affected by severe supply chain shortages than components in our iSeries line of appliances. And to ease the upgrade process, our F5 Journeys tool (further described below) allows automated migration from older F5 platforms to rSeries or VELOS, F5’s newest line of high-performance, API-first platforms designed to support our next-gen BIG-IP software, BIG-IP Next.

We know that the supply chain shortages continue to rock the IT world—in your case, you may be putting a planned hardware refresh on hold, or you may be accelerating your move to the cloud. F5 can help you navigate these changes in your business and help you adapt quickly and flexibly to supply chain challenges. We wrote earlier this month about how you can migrate your BIG-IP services to either a virtual form factor or our next-generation series of appliances such as rSeries and VELOS depending on your organization’s needs. Today, we’ll be talking about how to ease the migration of your BIG-IP services from an iSeries appliance to a next-gen platform or to a virtual edition.

F5 is ready to support you through the process of migrating your existing BIG-IP configurations to a new platform. That’s where the new F5 Journeys Migration Utility comes in.

What is F5 Journeys?

F5 Journeys Migration Utility is a tool designed to assist F5 customers in migrating BIG-IP configurations to a new F5 appliance. Journeys is designed to streamline and automate your migration process, while modifying your BIG-IP configuration to be compatible with new BIG-IP versions or F5 platforms including VE, rSeries, and VELOS. The tool automatically identifies and resolves conflicts during the migration process so you don’t have to. By automating many of the migration steps, F5 Journeys Migration Utility facilitates a faster and more efficient migration process.

With F5 Journeys Migration Utility, you can perform two types of migrations:

  • Full migration of your entire BIG-IP configuration from any BIG-IP version starting at 11.5.0 to a higher one
  • Per-application migration, enabling you to migrate mission-critical applications and their dependent services to an AS3 configuration and deploying it to BIG-IP instances of your choice (either BIG-IP hardware or a BIG-IP Virtual Edition)

No matter which type of migration you choose to perform, you will be able to migrate your configurations across BIG-IP versions (for example, from 15.1 to 16.1) and across F5 appliances (such as from an iSeries appliance to an rSeries appliance).

Perform a full migration of your entire BIG-IP configuration and make changes to the UCS file if needed.
Migrate a mission-critical application and its dependencies using F5 Journeys.

If you require additional support during your migration process, consider collaborating with our Journeys Lab, a team of F5 engineering subject matter experts who can help you troubleshoot, verify, and rectify any issues you may encounter during the migration process. Journeys Lab is included in our Premium Plus tier of technical support.

 

Whether you are upgrading your F5 platform as part of a routine hardware refresh or switching platforms as a result of protracted iSeries lead times, F5 Journeys will guide you through the process of migrating the BIG-IP services you know and depend on across platforms and across BIG-IP versions.

To learn more about how F5 Journeys works, check out the Agility talks “Journeys (Part 1): The Importance of Keeping Your BIG-IP Fleet Up-To-Date” and “Journeys (Part 2): F5’s Tips, Tricks & Tools to Help You Keep Your BIG-IP Fleet Up-to-Date.” For more information, access the GitHub repository for the tool or contact your F5 sales representative to discover how F5 Journeys can help you migrate your BIG-IP configuration to next-generation appliances such as rSeries and VELOS or to a BIG-IP virtual edition.