F5 / NGINX Lab

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Solution Overview

The F5 NGINX Lab is a hands-on overview for system administrators, DevOps professionals and architects who need a deeper understanding of NGINX Advanced Application Services. 

The Lab 1 modules will provide a foundation introducing infrastructure automation using Terraform templates to deploy Nginx application servers and load balancing instances in multicloud environments and Ansible playbooks to deploy application code and basic configuration. Also as part of this lab, we will use an Ansible playbook to deploy the NGINX controller agent to Nginx Plus instances for overall central management and exposure to Controller API.

Goals & Objectives

Lab1 - Module 1: In this module, we begin with basic interactions with VMware vCenter and Terraform automation to deploy infrastructure local to a datacenter leveraging the VMware ESXi API. Understanding the environment will assist with each task in this lab. Gitlab will be the source of truth for infrastructure as code (IaC). We will clone these templates for automated build out in cloud type environments. Each will use Nginx as an application servers, local and external load balancer.

Lab1 - Module 2: In this module, we will be extending the NGINX deployment to the Microsoft Azure Public Cloud. There will be three general ATC subscriptions that we will use to deploy infrastructure to a Resource Group (dynamically generated). The goal is to provide a use case where we deploy an Nginx application server and load balancing instance into public cloud. We will use the Azure Portal to read only all resources in a unique resource group for each lab deployment.

Next steps:
This lab will be extended in follow-up phases to include other use cases such as API Gateway, Content Caching and Ingress/Egress Proxy to a micro-service environment.

Hardware & Software

  • 1x Windows Jumphost (Windows 10)
  • 2x NGINX Application Servers - CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core)
  • 1x NGINX Load Balancer - CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core)
  • 1x VMware vCenter Host (v6.5)
  • 2 VMware ESXi Hosts (v6.5)
  • 1x Active Directory Server (Windows Server 2012 R2)
  • 1x Infoblox DDI Server
  • 1x Ansible Tower Server / Terraform v0.12.18 (CentOS 7)
  • 1x NGINX Controller (3.x.x)
  • 3x Microsoft Azure Subscriptions