Use Infrastructure as Code to Deploy F5 NGINX Management Suite
Unlocking the full potential of F5 NGINX Management Suite can help your organization simplify app and API deployment, management, and security. The new NGINX Management Suite Infrastructure as Code (IaC) project aims to help you get started as quickly as possible, while also encouraging the best practices for your chosen deployment environment.
If you are responsible for building software infrastructure, you’re likely familiar with IaC as a modern approach to getting consistent results. However, because there are many ways to achieve an IaC setup, it may be daunting to get started or time consuming to create from scratch.
This blog post introduces the NGINX Management Suite Infrastructure as Code repository and outlines how to set up its individual modules to quickly get them up and running.
There are two established methods to design your IaC. One method is the baked approach, where images are created with the required software and configuration. The other method, the fried approach, is to deploy your servers and continuously configure them using a configuration management tool. You can watch this NGINX talk to learn about immutable infrastructure, including the differences between baked and fried images.
In the NGINX Management Suite IaC repository, we take the baked approach – using Packer to bake the images and then Terraform to deploy instances of these images. By creating a pre-baked image, you can speed up the deployment process of your individual NGINX Management Suite systems as well as the consistency of your infrastructure.
Working with the GitHub Repo
The Packer output is an image/machine with NGINX Management Suite and all supported modules installed (at the time of writing, these are Instance Manager, API Connectivity Manager, Security Monitoring, and Application Delivery Manager ). The license you apply determines which modules you are able to utilize. You can find your license information in the MyF5 Customer Portal or, if you’re not already a customer, you can request a 30-day free trial of API Connectivity Stack or App Delivery Stack to get started.
Confidential information, such as passwords or certificates, are removed during the image generation process. The images can be built using any NGINX Management Suite supported OS and by modifying build parameters. NGINX provides support for several cloud and on-premises environments for both image building and deployment with the intent to actively add support for more. At the time of writing, the setups in the table below are supported.
Packer for NGINX Management Suite
Packer for NGINX Plus
Terraform for Basic Reference Architecture
Terraform for Standalone NGINX Management Suite
The basic reference architecture deploys an NGINX Management Suite instance with the required amount of NGINX Plus instances. The network topology deployed adheres to best practices for the targeted cloud provider.
For example, if you are using Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can deploy this infrastructure:
How to Get Started
To start using IaC for NGINX Management Suite, clone this repository and follow the README for building your images. For the basic reference architecture, you will need to follow the Packer guides to generate an NGINX Management Suite and NGINX Plus image.
After you have generated your images, you can use them to deploy your reference architecture. The Terraform stack uses sensible defaults with configuration options that can be edited to suit your needs.
How to Contribute
This repository is in active development and we welcome contributions from the community. For more information please view our contributing guide.
- Webinar: How to Adopt Infrastructure as Code
- Blog: DevOps and Immutable Delivery
- eBook: Security as Code
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