Configuring BIG-IP AFM: Advanced Firewall Manager


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This course uses lectures and hands-on exercises to give participants real-time experience in setting up and configuring the BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) system. Students are introduced to the AFM user interface, stepping through various options that demonstrate how AFM is configured to build a network firewall and to detect and protect against DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Reporting and log facilities are also explained and used in the course labs. Further Firewall functionality and additional DoS facilities for DNS and SIP traffic are discussed.


Major Course Changes since v14.1

The Configuring AFM v14 course broadly follows the chapter structure of the previous version of this course, with edits for changes in creating and editing network firewall rules and configuring DoS detection and protection. The Intrusion Protection System chapter has been removed awaiting feature changes in a future release.


•Configure and manage an AFM system
•Configure AFM Network Firewall in a positive or negative security model
•Configure Network Firewall to allow or deny network traffic using rules based on protocol, source, destination, geography, and other predicate types
•Prebuild firewall rules using lists and schedule components
•Enforce firewall rules immediately or test them using policy staging
•Use Packet Tester and Flow Inspector features to check network connections against your security configurations for Network Firewall, IP intelligence and DoS features
•Configure various IP Intelligence features to identify, record, allow or deny access by IP address
•Configure the Device DoS detection and mitigation feature to protect the BIG-IP device and all applications from multiple types of attack vectors
•Configure DoS detection and mitigation on a per-profile basic to protect specific applications from attack
•Use DoS Dynamic Signatures to automatically protect the system from DoS attacks based on long term traffic and resource load patterns
•Configure and use the AFM local and remote log facilities
•Configure and monitor AFM’s status with various reporting facilities
•Export AFM system reports to your external monitoring system directly or via scheduled mail
•Allow chosen traffic to bypass DoS checks using Whitelists
•Isolate potentially bad clients from good using the Sweep Flood feature
•Isolate and re-route potentially bad network traffic for further inspection using IP Intelligence Shun functionality
•Restrict and report on certain types of DNS requests using DNS Firewall
•Configure, mitigate, and report on DNS based DoS attacks with the DNS DoS facility
•Configure, mitigate, and report on SIP based DoS attacks with the SIP DoS facility
•Configure, block, and report on the misuse of system services and ports using the Port Misuse feature
•Build and configure Network Firewall rules using BIG-IP iRules
•Be able to monitor and do initial troubleshooting of various AFM functionality


This course is intended for network operators, network administrators, network engineers, network architects, security administrators, and security architects responsible for installation, setup, configuration, and administration of the BIG-IP AFM system.


Students must complete one of the following F5 prerequisites before attending this course:

Administering BIG-IP instructor-led course
F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator
The following free web-based courses, although optional, will be very helpful for any student with limited BIG-IP administration and configuration experience. These courses are available at F5 University:

Getting Started with BIG-IP web-based training
Getting Started with BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) web-based training
Getting Started with BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) web-based training
The following general network technology knowledge and experience are recommended before attending any F5 Global Training Services instructor-led course:

OSI model encapsulation
Routing and switching
Ethernet and ARP
TCP/IP concepts
IP addressing and subnetting


v14.1 Course Outline

Chapter 1: Setting up the BIG-IP System

Introducing the BIG-IP System
Initially Setting Up the BIG-IP System
Archiving the BIG-IP Configuration
Leveraging F5 Support Resources and Tools

Chapter 2: AFM Overview and Network Firewall

AFM Overview
AFM Release History
AFM Availability
What do you see?
Network Firewall
AFM Contexts
AFM Modes
AFM Packet Processing
AFM Rules and Direction
Rules Contexts and Processing
Configuring Network Firewall
Network Firewall Rules
Redundant and Conflicting Rules
Stale Rules
Lists and Schedules
Rule Lists
Address Lists
Port Lists
Policy Status and Firewall Policy Management
Inline Rule Editor

​Chapter 3: Logs

Event Logs
Logging Profiles
Log Throttling
Traffic Flow Statistics
Logging and Logging Profiles
BIG-IP Logging Mechanisms
Log Destination
Custom Search
Logging Global Rule Events
Log Configuration Changes
Other Log Files
SNMP Traps

Chapter 4: IP Intelligence

Feature 1 Dynamic Black and White Lists
Black List Categories
Feed Lists
IP Intelligence Policies
IP Intelligence Log Profile
IP Intelligence Reporting
Troubleshooting IP Intelligence Lists
Feature 2 IP Intelligence Database
IP Intelligence iRule

Chapter 5: Device DoS

Denial of Service and DoS Protection Overview
Configuring Device DoS
Configuring Device DoS Vectors
Variant 1
Rate and Leak Limit
Variant 2
Auto-Threshold Configuration
Variant 3
Bad Actor and Blacklist Attacking Address
Device DoS Profiles
DoS Protection Profile

Chapter 6: Reports

General Reporting Facilities
Report Export
Network Screens
DoS Screens
Time Periods, Settings, Export, and Delete Options
Firewall Manager

Chapter 7: DoS White Lists

White Lists
Source Address List

Chapter 8: DoS Sweep Flood Protection

Sweep Flood

Chapter 9: IP Intelligence Shun

IP Intelligence Shun
IP Intelligence Policy

Chapter 10: DNS Firewall

DNS Firewall
DNS Query
DNS Opcodes

Chapter 11: DNS DoS

DoS Protection Profile
Device DoS

Chapter 12: SIP DoS

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
Transactions and Dialogs
DoS Protection Profile
Device DoS
SIP iRules

Chapter 13: Network Firewall iRules

Network Firewall iRules
iRule Events
Use Cases
Recommended Practice
More Information

Chapter 14: DoS iRules

DoS iRules
iRule Events
Use Cases
More Information
NAT and private IP addressing
Default gateway
Network firewalls
The following course-specific knowledge and experience is suggested before attending this course:

HTTP and DNS protocols

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