Often this leads to costly experiments and systems evolving from short sighted fixes and patches ending up in a conglomerate that no one has an overview over.
Businesses grow, customer demands change, technology advances and voila you are in the never ending spiral that claims more attention than your core business.
This market has been exploited by F5's BIG-IP solution with its TMOS "operating system". This is an infrastructure that contains several components (Traffic Management Operating System ).
The load balancing was the first step but the system has been expanded.
Centos Linux handles the system management functions in TMOS. In older versions it was handled by FreeBSD (Unix).
TMOS encompasses a collection of operating systems and firmware, all of which run on BIG-IP hardware appliances or within the BIG-IP Virtual Edition.
As you can see the F5 marketing team has made it a task to make everything look complex and difficult to understand.
Today the Hardware or Platform is referred to as BIG-IP and the software as TMOS.
Before Version 9 the entire enchilada was referred to as BIG-IP controller.
Well so much for F5 marketing and their efforts to look sophisticated through obfuscation.
BIG-IP is a solution that contains:
- LTM - Local Traffic Manager
ASM - Application Security Manager (Firewall)
APM- Access Policy Manager
AFM- Advanced Firewall Manager
AAM- Aplication Acceleration Manager (accelerates and optimizes application performance)
IPI- Blocking bad IP addresses and fishing prevention and botnet prevention
BIG-IP DNS - Distributes DNS and application requests based user, network and cloud performance conditions.
BIG-IP can be handled by BIG-IQ that handles BIG-IP devices and application services.
BIG-IP has become BIG business and F5 was on Fortunes list of the 100 fastest growing companies in 2011.
A quick nmap scan shows that Siemens, Bosch and General Motors use it (Bosch seems to use an old FreeBSD version).
In 2016 F5 was named as best place to work by Glassdoor