How I did it - "Visualizing Data with F5 TS and the Elastic ELK Stack"

With the F5 BIG-IP and Telemetry Streaming I have the ability to send BIG-IP metrics to a variety of third-party analytics vendors. One of the more popular of these is Elastic. Elastic's ELK Stack, (acronym for Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) provides a platform where I can store, search, analyze and visualize my BIG-IP telemetry data. With said, here's an overview of "How I did it"; integrating and visualizing data with the ELK Stack.

P.S. Make sure to stay for the movie.

Application Services 3 Extension (AS3)

There are several resources, (logging profiles, log publishers, iRules, etc.) that must be configured on the BIG-IP to enable remote logging. I utilized AS3 to deploy and manage these resources. I used Postman to apply a single REST API declaration to the AS3 endpoint.

Telemetry Streaming (TS)

F5's Telemetry Streaming, (TS) service enables the BIG-IP to stream telemetry data to a variety of third-party analytics providers. Aside from the aforementioned resources, configuring TS to stream to a consumer, (Logstash in this instance), is simply a REST call away. Just as I did for AS3, I utilized Postman to post a single declaration to the BIG-IP.

Elastic (ELK) Stack

Configuring the ELK stack to receive and ingest BIG-IP telemetry is a fairly simple process. Logstash, (the "L" in ELK) is the data processor I used to ingest data into the stack. To accomplish this, I applied the sample Logstash configuration file. The configuration file specifies, (among other items) the listener port, message format, and the Elasticsearch index naming format.


Getting telemetry data into Elasticsearch is great but only if you can make use of it. If I'm going to utilize the data, I need to visualize the data; (should probably trademark that). For visualization, i created a couple sample dashboards. The dashboards, (community-supported and perhaps not suitable for framing) report various relevant BIG-IP performance metrics and WAF incident information.

F5 BIG-IP Advanced WAF Insights

F5 BIG-IP Performance Metrics

Check it Out

Rather than walk you through the entire configuration, how about a movie? Click on the link (image) below for a brief walkthrough demo integrating F5's BIG-IP with Elastic's ELK stack using F5 Telemetry Streaming.


Try it Out

Liked what you saw? If that's the case, (as I hope it was) try it out for yourself. Checkout F5's CloudDocs for guidance on configuring your BIG-IP(s) with the F5 Automation Toolchain.The various configuration files, (including the above sample dashboards) used in the demo are available on the GitHub solution repository Enjoy!

Published Oct 15, 2021
Version 1.0

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