F5 Networks, Inc. announced new solutions to make it easier for organizations to scale to the cloud, extend software defined networking (SDN) deployments, and add intelligence and programmability to IT environments. With a unified suite of physical and virtual products featuring F5’s innovative ScaleN architecture, organizations can seamlessly scale operations to realize the full value of virtualization, cloud computing, and on-demand IT.
With today’s announcement, F5 is introducing:
- BIG-IP v11.4 software, providing enhanced features including integration capabilities with SDN topologies based on VXLAN and NVGRE environments
- Increased programmability and control-plane extensibility with F5’s new iCall™ technology, providing the dynamic automation of event-driven policy decisions in the network
- Updated platform offerings, including the completion of the BIG-IP hardware refresh, on-demand licensing, and more powerful BIG-IP virtual editions with the industry’s broadest hypervisor support
Unifying Application Delivery Services: The Power of F5’s ScaleN Architecture
ScaleN intelligently allocates resources to scale systems up, down, in, and out as needed across physical and virtual solutions with complete device flexibility and resilience. Unlike other vendors’ offerings that scale capacity unpredictably, ScaleN™ technology enables organizations to manage resources dynamically by dedicating resources to a particular application, service, or instance. IT administrators are free to implement highly flexible systems that scale resources to any cloud or data center location based on what applications require, and then scale those resources back when no longer needed. Customers enjoy intelligent resource usage based on business policies and the ability to combine application delivery services with emerging SDN, cloud, and network virtualization initiatives.
In addition, only ScaleN provides a way to seamlessly consolidate infrastructures and maximize application availability without paying an associated performance penalty for adding new services. When comparing device performance levels and scalability, F5’s approach can scale infrastructures at one-fifth the cost of competitors’ products. The software- and hardware-based ADC products introduced today leverage ScaleN.
Integrating Technologies to Address IT’s Emerging Challenges and Opportunities
Today, enterprises and service providers are challenged with integrating disparate technologies into a comprehensive, efficient system. As organizations seek agility and cost savings, they need solutions that can seamlessly extend application infrastructures alongside new data center topologies like cloud models, network functions virtualization (NFV), and SDN. However, IT teams are wary of products that will add complexity, isolate infrastructure components, or make systems more difficult to manage.
Sitting between end-users and applications, F5 solutions provide greater control of the infrastructure, improve application delivery and data management, and give users secure and accelerated access to applications from their corporate desktops and smart devices. As a component of ScaleN, F5’s Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing™ (vCMP®) technology enables flexible resource allocation. Therefore, resources can be redirected to applications as needed, as opposed to remaining idle or segmented merely by device.
F5’s New Solutions Add Value to Companies’ Infrastructures
F5 offers integrated availability, acceleration, optimization, and security solutions that enhance the value of disparate technologies throughout IT infrastructures to simplify management and reduce the number of products needed to perform related network tasks. The BIG-IP system’s layer 4–7 services and ScaleN enable organizations to dynamically grow their application delivery infrastructure as needed, and enhance existing (and future) SDN, NFV, and cloud infrastructure solutions. F5’s new offerings help customers:
- Combine Dynamic Application Services on a Flexible Platform
F5® ScaleN technology enables organizations to integrate virtual and physical appliances, consolidate services, add capabilities, and scale application resources regardless of the specific underlying infrastructure pieces (data center, cloud, or otherwise). Only F5 gives customers total flexibility in how Application Delivery Networking (ADN) solutions are deployed. Specifically, today’s announcement adds new mid-range hardware platforms with the BIG-IP® 5000 and 7000 series, more robust 5 Gbps throughput BIG-IP virtual editions, and on-demand licensing across the BIG-IP hardware product line—all of which make it easier for customers to build and scale their infrastructures efficiently over time.
- Effortlessly Scale Network and Application Resources to Enhance SDN and Cloud Solutions
F5’s unified platform can easily support cloudbursting or hybrid infrastructure models where public or private cloud resources are called upon as needed. F5 solutions are scalable enough to plug into—and enhance—SDN technologies as they come to market and mature. Recently, F5 announced support for SDN solutions leveraging VXLAN and NVGRE network virtualization, and the company continues to expand capabilities around SDN. In addition, flexible licensing across BIG-IP products allows customers to purchase only the resources they need at a given time.
- Add Intelligence to the Network with Programmable and Automated Solutions
F5’s programmable iRules® technology helps organizations customize how they handle application and network events based on policies and user commands. The new iCall technology takes this approach one step further by allowing BIG-IP products to dynamically react based on the real-time status of the entire ADN infrastructure. Changes in the application delivery environment can be effectively responded to automatically, without user intervention. iCall is the market’s only extensible control plane-based solution that can manage application delivery in concert with other orchestration tools. As the network or application environment shifts, iCall modifies traffic delivery policies accordingly, automating changes such as dynamically redirecting application traffic to the cloud based on demand.
“For organizations pursuing emerging technologies like SDN, it’s critical to consider the needs of applications as part of those plans,” said Karl Triebes, EVP of Product Development and CTO at F5. “With the industry’s only integrated platform for application delivery and our unique ScaleN architecture, F5 provides the tools necessary to address growing application delivery requirements without sacrificing network flexibility or user experience. These new solutions empower customers to pursue the infrastructure model that best fits their needs, regardless of how specific data center, cloud, or SDN resources are deployed.”
“New tools in data center infrastructure, such as network virtualization and SDN, have huge potential for changing and optimizing how applications are delivered to our users,” said Jamie Grandfield, Network Architect at Hunt Regional Medical Center. “We’ve deployed VXLAN to help manage network virtualization in our VMware View environment. We chose F5 due to their deep integration with VMware and the ability to integrate with existing VXLAN deployments as well as future SDN solutions we may roll out as part of our long-term infrastructure planning projects. F5 allows us to bring application delivery and network management together through VMware tools, which helps us save OpEx by alleviating redundant network management work by our VMware administrators.”
BIG-IP v11.4 software and the BIG-IP 5000 and 7000 series hardware platforms are generally available now, with support for iCall, ScaleN, and other F5 technologies mentioned in this announcement. The 5 Gbps throughput version of BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager Virtual Edition is expected to be available by the end of this month. Please contact a local F5 sales office for availability in specific countries.