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INDEX.PHP: Creating a unified network platform based on F5 solutions: the case study of Ukrtelecom

 

Industry: telecommunications company
Main tasks: find a replacement for the previous equipment, choose reliable solutions, get fast technical support, be able to develop the internal network with products from one vendor
Vendor: F5
Products and solutions: F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM), F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)

Customer

Ukrtelecom is one of the largest telecommunications companies in Ukraine, offering its customers in all regions of the country almost all types of modern telecommunications services. It has the largest Internet coverage and the most extensive optical network.

As of the beginning of 2021, Ukrtelecom’s Internet access network covered 3322 settlements, with more than 2000 territorial communities, medical and educational institutions connected to the operator’s optical Internet network. Ukrtelecom was recognized as #1 in GPON development in 2022-2023 by Speka media.

Task

The life cycle of Cisco hardware previously used by Ukrtelecom for application publishing and load balancing has ended. Therefore, it was necessary to find a replacement solution that the manufacturer would support, meet modern requirements, be easy to configure, and operate stably.

With the help of new solutions, the customer wanted to unify the network platform, as previously it was a set of products from different vendors, which complicated administration.

Moreover, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for remote access has increased significantly, but the previous remote access solution was outdated and unscalable.

Solution

Recognizing the need, Ukrtelecom started looking for the best solution for itself, comparing the pros and cons of the available offers, and came to F5 solutions. In different configurations, the products met all the customer’s requirements and were more cost-effective in some features compared to competitors. Ukrtelecom contacted BAKOTECH to implement F5 solutions in its infrastructure.

Result

For 3 years of working with F5 solutions, Ukrtelecom hasn’t encountered any hardware or software problems. The customer claims that despite all the internal nuances of the infrastructure, the vendor’s solutions work reliably and stably, and the small number of support requests were rather consultative and related to optimizing the already working products. F5 has an extensive knowledge base and community around it, where you can always find answers to your questions.

After the implementation of BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), the customer began to build out the network platform with other F5 solutions, as the life cycle of other vendors’ products was coming to an end. Ukrtelecom employees were able to manage the solutions from a single console and distribute equipment administration across departments.

Ukrtelecom also chose BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM) for remote access. The module was quickly integrated, thus providing employees with the required number of accesses following information security policies. Within a few days, Ukrtelecom employees were capable of creating 2 geo-branched nodes and providing more than 1500 connections to the corporate network using SSL VPN. Later on, they were able to stop using SSL VPN by creating their web portal and switching to direct access.

“I like F5 because you know that you will get exactly what you want to get.” — Pavlo Lyga, Lead Networks Engineer, Ukrtelecom.

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Learn more about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager: https://f5.bakotech.com/ltm

Learn more about F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager: https://f5.bakotech.com/apm