In this case study


Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday deals are great for consumers. But for IT, the season can be filled with stress.

When a sales rush hits, simultaneous requests for online services can easily overload servers, leaving IT scrambling to address performance issue after performance issue. Any resulting website downtime can mean substantial losses in revenue and customer loyalty. 

One global retailer was struggling to provision on-premises infrastructure fast enough to meet online shopping demands during the holiday season.

Leadership set the goal of moving its F5 web application firewalls (WAFs) for targeted applications to the public cloud in short order before the sales rush hit. This would allow IT to quickly scale infrastructure up or down based on spikes in web traffic. 

But such a move would require new levels of automation. 

The retailer already had an F5 Flexible Consumption Program for its WAFs. It had also invested heavily in homegrown automation tools for configuration management and infrastructure provisioning for appliances on premises. 

Unfortunately, these tools weren't designed to work in a public cloud environment. 

The retailer and F5 turned to WWT for help.


Organizations struggle to achieve factory-like efficiency to workload migration
A global retailer needed to adopt a factory-like approach to automation to provision software at scale and keep security policies in-sync for web application firewalls as they migrated workloads to the public cloud.  


WWT automation experts worked closely with F5 and the retailer's networking and security teams to deliver a highly scalable automation solution for configuring and provisioning F5 WAFs in virtualized environments. 

Most notably, WWT worked with the client to create a solution that incorporated Terraform and Ansible — popular tools for automating the provisioning and management of infrastructure in the cloud. 

Terraform was used to provision WAFs and network infrastructure across public clouds while Ansible was used to configure and manage the retailer's multicloud WAF policies after they were provisioned. 

WWT used its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to demonstrate how the three technologies worked in conjunction. Then, we trained IT staff on how to operationalize their new virtual environments using automation playbooks.

Learn how to automate F5 devices with Ansible and Terraform.    EXPLORE OUR ON-DEMAND LABS


Today, nearly all the retailer's F5 WAFs are in the cloud, enabling IT to easily scale environments to match fluctuating demands in online shopping.  

For example, scaling from 30 to 150 WAFs now takes IT a day whereas it used to take a month. 

Automating its F5 environment has resulted in substantial operational savings for the retailer. Manual errors have also been eliminated thanks to the ability to accurately configure and provision appliances each time they're deployed. 

IT staff are no longer burdened with tedious manual tasks and the retailer is no longer experiencing website downtime from holiday sales.

An additional benefit to the retailer is the fact that the automation solution works for F5 devices in the public cloud and on premises, allowing the retailer to move traffic back on premises after the holiday season to save on cloud operating costs.  

The combination of a comprehensive automation solution from WWT and the optimized usage of F5's Flexible Consumption Model means the retailer can now scale its cloud infrastructure quickly, securely and cost-effectively no matter what the holiday season brings.