Lab 4: Introduction to F5 iApps and FAST Templates

F5 iApps are a powerful features on every BIG-IP system that provides a better way to architect application delivery. iApp technology abstracts the many individual components required to deliver an application grouping resources together in templates associated with a specific application. iApps have been available on the BIG-IP system for a number of years, and consist of three main components:

  • Application Services
  • Templates
  • Devcentral Ecosystem

Recently F5 introduced the next phase of evolution for the BIG-IP ADC platform known ad FAST (F5 Application Services Templates). FAST technology was developed for the following reasons:

  • Replacement for deprecated iApp templates
  • Consistent, cross-platform declarative APIs
  • Seamless integration and insertion into CI/CD pipelines
  • Modern development languages like Node.js and Python
  • Templates and automation
  • Declarative Interface
  • JSON Schema
  • Less error prone

In short, FAST will enable and empower customers while they navigate their digital transformation journey, and ensure their apps are available, performant, and secure.


Task 1 – Configure the F5 NIST iApp. F5 provides a number of different iApp Templates many of which require multiple F5 modules such as Access Policy Manager and Application Security Manager to be provisioned. The F5 NIST iApp only requires LTM to be provisioned and is relatively simple to deploy and appply.


  1. The F5 NIST sp800-53 iApp has already been uploaded to BIG-IP01

  2. From the Navigation pane, Under the iApps menu, click on Templates object. Click on the f5.nist_sp800-53.v1.0.0 iApp template to view the properties. The NIST iApp only requires the LTM module. Please review each section of the iApp and become familiar with the various components of an iApp.

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  3. For this part of the lab we will provision a new application service leveraging iApp templates. The purpose of the template is to configure a BIG-IP system to be compliant with security controls outlined in the NIST SP800-53 special publication.

  4. Within the iApps menu, click on Application Services then click on the + sign to the right of Applications.

  5. Name the Application NIST, click the down arrow to the right of Template and select the f5.nist_sp800-53.v1.0.0 iApp.

  6. Under the Usage Banner -- AC-8 enter a custom banner message.

  7. Enter time.google.com in the NTP Server field.

  8. Leave all other fields with their default settings.

  9. Click Finished

  10. Now that the NIST iApp has been applied to the BIG-IP system it's possible to modify the application service if necessary. Access Application Services under the iApps menu and then click on NIST. Once the service opens select Reconfigure to make changes.


Task 2 - Introduction to FAST F5 Application Services Templates


F5 FAST Documentation can be found at https://clouddocs.f5.com/products/extensions/f5-appsvcs-extension/latest/

F5 FAST templates are hosted on Github at the following URL - https://github.com/F5Networks

The f5-appsvcs-3.21.0-4.noarch.rpm F5 Fast Template file has already been uploaded to the BIG-IP devices


  1. From the Windows 10 Jumphost ssh into each BIG-IP and enter the following command: touch /var/config/rest/iapps/enable

    BIGIP01 10.1.1.4 and BIGIP02 10.1.1.6 U: root / P: admin.F5demo.com.

  2. (Already completed) The rpm import process is normally accomplished by clicking the iApps menu, then clicking Package Management LX, and then import and selecting the rpm file. This is a required step to leverage F5 FAST.

    Note: You should see the f5-appsvcs template is the list.

  3. On the Windows 10 Jump Host launch Postman

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  4. Click Create a request in the center of the application.

  5. The request type should default to GET and we will need to change that to a POST request

  6. Enter the following within request URL in Postman https://10.1.1.4/mgmt/shared/appsvcs/declare

  7. Click on the Authorization tab and change type to Basic Auth.

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  8. Enter the BIG-IP credentials U: admin / P: admin.F5demo.com

  9. Click on the Body section in Postman, then click raw and change the orange Text to JSON

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  10. Open the text file on the Desktop named Hello_World.

  11. Copy the contents of the Hello_World file.

  12. Paste the contents of the Hello_World text file

  13. Click the SEND button in Postman

  14. Examine the response Body below the request and you should see a "code": 200 response.

  15. Log back into BIG-IP01 web interface and select the Sample_01 partition at the top right of the screen.

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  16. Open the Virtual Server list under Local Traffic and you will see a new Virtual Server named service.

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  17. Open the Network Map under Local Traffic and you should see the Virtual Server service has an associated pool named web_pool with two pool members.

  18. Change the partition at the top right back to Common.


Completion of this task illustrates a simple Hello World FAST Template and the completion of the LTM Essentials lab. For more information on FAST please refer to the documentation link below.