System Overview

F5® Distributed Cloud SaaS service is comprised of three main components and this terminology may be used in the rest of the concepts section.

Figure: Components of F5 Distributed Cloud Services System
  1. Centralized Control and Management Plane - this component runs in a combination of F5 Distributed Cloud's global infrastructure as well as public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP. This is the main component and the portal (also called F5® Distributed Cloud Console) of the SaaS service that users interface with using APIs or their browser. This component provides a multi-tenanted solution to manage the lifecycle of the infrastructure, applications, services, and observability. Customers interface to this centralized SaaS portal through APIs or using their browser.

  2. Site - This could be a customer location like AWS, Azure, private cloud, or an edge site. In order to run F5 Distributed Cloud Services (eg. F5® Distributed Cloud Mesh or F5® Distributed Cloud App Stack), the site needs to be deployed with one or more instances of F5 Distributed Cloud Node, a software appliance that is managed from Console. This site is where customer applications and F5 Distributed Cloud services are running. Theoretically, there could be more than one site in a customer location and these sites may optionally connect to each other directly using site-to-site tunnels. These customer sites automatically connect to our global network by setting up redundant IPSEC or SSL tunnels to the Regional Edge sites.

  3. Regional Edges (RE) in F5 Distributed Cloud Global Infrastructure - F5 Distributed Cloud points of presence with their own highly meshed backbone are used to provide customer services (eg. Mesh or App Stack). These points of presence are also used to connect multiple customer Sites to each other. These REs can also be used to expose customer services to the public internet. These RE sites can also be used to run customer applications so that they are closer to end consumers on public Internet or their distributed application locations.