Virtualization Technology News and Information
F5 Extends Power of Intelligent Automated Storage Tiering to the Cloud

F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced major enhancements to its Data Solutions portfolio, including the ARX Cloud Extender solution, which supports a variety of cloud storage providers and object storage platforms; an ARX Virtual Edition (VE) appliance, which delivers the power of ARX as a flexible virtual machine; and the F5 iControl file services solution, which provides an open storage management API.

These enhancements help customers seamlessly extend the file storage infrastructure from the data center to the cloud, accelerate their return on investment for intelligent automated storage tiering, and provide more flexible deployment options for F5 Data Solutions. As a strategic point of control in the file storage infrastructure, ARX and its intelligent file services enable customers and third-party vendors to create more powerful and granular file data management policies to improve business operations and reduce costs.

“The real problem for organizations isn’t just that the volumes of information keep expanding rapidly, it’s that they need to continually improve the way this information is classified and organized,” said Richard Villars, Vice President of Storage and IT Executive Strategies at IDC. “Solutions like F5’s open API for the ARX platform make it easier for storage systems partners and customers to design and implement information management solutions that reduce costs, boost performance, and better monetize information assets.”

“F5’s API initiative for ARX will enable our partners and customers to realize the same kinds of benefits that our iControl API has long provided on the network side for BIG‑IP Application Delivery Controllers,” said Kathleen Ferraro, VP of Data Solutions Product Management and Marketing at F5. “iControl offers direct access to the power of F5’s Application Delivery Controllers, enhancing their value as strategic points of control in the IT infrastructure. In the same way that it has changed the game in Application Delivery Networking, it will change the game in storage.”

Highlights of the new ARX capabilities include:

  • Support for Cloud Storage
    F5 has extended ARX’s intelligent, automated storage tiering capabilities to support cloud storage services, making it easier for companies to seamlessly integrate cloud storage into an existing infrastructure. To simplify access to data, files stored in the cloud are presented as if they reside locally in the data center. To maximize the amount of data tiered to the cloud while minimizing IT overhead and cost of access, customers can create customizable policies that automatically identify and migrate appropriate files to cloud storage. The new solution is fully qualified for use with Amazon S3, Iron Mountain VFS cloud storage, and NetApp StorageGRID. Additional service providers are in qualification.
  • Virtual Platform
    With the introduction of ARX VE, the solution will be available as a virtual appliance in addition to physical, hardware based offerings. This extends the benefits of ARX beyond centralized data centers, and provides a variety of flexible deployment options. Using ARX VE, branch offices and smaller organizations can enjoy performance benefits of the ARX product line that have previously been associated with larger, physical deployments. ARX VE will be available via three distinct deployment options: a trial version for demonstration purposes, a full version suitable for production environments, and through OEM partners.
  • iControl File Services API
    F5’s iControl file services API allows software vendors and customers to integrate ARX’s file virtualization capabilities to enhance their existing data management solutions and enable entirely new applications. Through the API, customers can use ARX’s real-time change notification capability to improve the scalability, responsiveness, and efficiency of a range of third-party applications such as search index, backup, audit, and quota management tools. For easier and more practical adoption across a wide range of organizations, this API includes support for .NET, Java, and Python development languages. To help organizations ramp up quickly, extensive documentation and developer resources will be available through DevCentral, F5’s technical community of over 70,000 IT professionals worldwide.


The iControl file services API is available now and is included with F5’s ARX platforms. F5’s ARX Cloud Extender will be available in Q4 of calendar year 2010 and ARX Virtual Edition will be available in Q1 of calendar year 2011.

Published Monday, December 06, 2010 6:39 AM by David Marshall
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