Using F5® tunneling technologies, you can set up tunneling from devices on different Layer 2 networks, or scale multi-site data centers over Layer 3 pathways. When you know the IP address of the devices at both ends of the tunnel, you can create a point-to-point encapsulation tunnel between a BIG-IP® system and another device. When multiple devices feed into a BIG-IP system, you can create a tunnel by specifying only the IP address on the BIG-IP device.
The BIG-IP system provides the following tunneling protocols, available using the browser-based Configuration utility or the Traffic Management shell (tmsh) command-line utility, and iControl®.
Point-to-point IP encapsulation tunnels carry traffic through a routed network between known devices. For example, you can create a GRE tunnel to connect a BIG-IP system to a remotely located pool member.
Illustration of a point-to-point GRE tunnel
In a network that has multiple devices connected to a BIG-IP system, you can create an IPIP or GRE encapsulation tunnel between the BIG-IP system and the remote devices without having to specify a remote (or source) IP address for every device. The use cases include situations where the source IP address is unknown or difficult to discover.
Illustration of an IPIP tunnel between a BIG-IP system and multiple unspecified devices