Virtualization Technology News and Information
F5 and VMware Solution Yields 10x Improvement in Long Distance Live Migration Performance Using VMware VMotion
F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced deployment guidance and test results that illustrate and validate the value of deploying F5 and VMware solutions in concert to extend live migration capabilities across long distances for VMware vSphere 4 environments in a secure, accelerated manner.

Building on the previous announcement and demo at VMworld 2009, these test results confirm that organizations can securely migrate live, virtualized web applications--and their associated storage--between data centers thousands of miles apart without downtime or user disruption using F5 and VMware products available today.

The integrated solution enables organizations to rapidly respond to changing application and business requirements by seamlessly migrating live applications across geographically dispersed data centers.


VMware VMotion is deployed in production by a significant number of VMware customers to migrate virtual machines and data. The joint F5 and VMware solution helps solve latency, bandwidth, and packet-loss issues, which historically have prevented customers from performing live migrations between data centers. Long distance virtual machine migration across distributed data centers typically required the operator to halt online sessions, suspend the image, migrate the image to the new data center, and then bring the virtual machine back online at the new data center. This process could require significant downtime. Moreover, once the virtual machine was back online at the new data center, clients with previously established sessions would still be unable to access the migrated application until they received an updated DNS record aligning with the new location. This new solution mitigates the impact of migrating virtual machines across long distances--allowing live migration and automatic redirection of sessions--thus making the experience seamless to users.

A flexible Application Delivery Network is the fundamental component required to extend live migration capabilities beyond a single data center. There are two key ADN components to the new solution:

-- BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module (WOM) secures and accelerates VMware VMotion and VMware Storage VMotion traffic up to 10x when compared to attempting long distance live migration without the solution--even over links that are subject to bandwidth, latency, or packet-loss issues. BIG-IP WOM encrypts and compresses data between BIG-IP devices, extending the effective distances of migrations and decreasing replication time for offline transfers.

-- BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager (GTM) enable local and global redirection of established and new web application sessions before and after the migration. This overcomes many of the networking hurdles that previously prevented organizations from migrating live applications between data centers.

Supporting Quotes

"VMware VMotion and Storage VMotion capabilities are significant differentiators for VMware vSphere," said Parag Patel, Vice President, Alliances at VMware. "F5's technology complements VMware solutions, making it possible to execute live workload migrations over greater distances. Combining VMware vSphere with BIG-IP solutions expands the many use cases possible, and adds to the value we're able to offer customers."

"According to recent ESG research, increasing server virtualization usage is the top overall IT priority facing organizations over the next 12 to 18 months," said Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "The mobility of virtual machines now provided by F5 and VMware will help companies distribute workloads across data centers, relocate applications closer to the end-user, and perform live data center migrations."

"F5 and VMware are working closely to integrate Application Delivery Networking and virtualization with the goal of making our customers' application infrastructures more resilient and responsive to business needs," said Jim Ritchings, VP of Business Development at F5. "This joint solution frees applications from infrastructure constraints for maximum flexibility and business agility. We look forward to continued collaboration and innovation with VMware to address the growing demand for flexible virtualization solutions."


F5's step-by-step solution deployment guide for long distance live migrations performed with VMware VMotion can be downloaded from This resource includes general guidelines on expected performance gains and the types of applications best suited to long distance live migrations with VMware VMotion.

All products integrated within the joint solution are available today from F5 and VMware, respectively.

To learn more about how F5 and VMware solutions help customers virtualize their infrastructures and improve IT agility, please visit

Published Monday, February 08, 2010 5:55 AM by David Marshall
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