Virtualization Technology News and Information
F5 Simplifies Network Functions Virtualization for Service Providers

Today at its global Agility conference, F5 Networks introduced an enhanced network functions virtualization (NFV) offering for services that are easily and automatically deployed, scaled, managed, and decommissioned as service needs evolve. Available as part of a preconfigured, prepackaged solution, F5's new VNF Manager simplifies consumption of F5's leading portfolio of VNFs (based on BIG-IP capabilities) that are provisioned in service providers' software-defined networking environments.

With F5, organizations can take advantage of the complete lifecycle management of VNF services, unlocking essential scale and automation for newly virtualized networks without burdensome complexity. This approach is an ideal fit for mobile operators and service providers looking to software-based infrastructures as part of their network evolution. F5 also supports customers' existing orchestration solutions for streamlined integration via open and extensible APIs.

"Service provider organizations have plenty of options when it comes to virtualizing elements of their network, but what they haven't had previously is a package that delivers consumption-based pricing that can be tied directly to business outcomes," said James Feger, VP and General Manager of F5's Service Provider business. "Beyond just VNFs and basic service management, F5's new offering provides a preconfigured solution that gives customers push-button ease-of-use for capacity thresholds, along with service programmability and orchestration capabilities for specialized requirements."

Unlike competitors, F5 offers right-sized solutions that are simple to purchase, deploy, manage, and upgrade in a "pay as you grow" model with subscription and perpetual licensing options. To help maximize utilization, resources can be automated and tailored for current initiatives, empowering customers to create, spin up, spin down, and add capacity to F5 VNF services immediately and automatically-all through the integrated F5 VNF Manager.

Additional key solution benefits include:

  • Superior Business Agility - Service providers can introduce differentiated services with flexible VNF service layering and programmable service chaining to expand network capabilities without sacrificing control. Preconfigured solutions support auto-scaling, dramatically reducing the need for manual intervention (and the associated potential for errors).
  • Simplified Operations - Network planning, sizing, and deployments can be accelerated with F5's capacity-based consumption models and automation features, maximizing operational flexibility around elements such as the mobile core and virtual edge. In addition, the solution enables portable VNFs that can be easily moved as needed throughout the network.
  • Significant Cost-Savings - F5's automated, capacity-based NFV capabilities reduce the risk (and expense) of both underutilization and overprovisioning. This approach can also successfully limit the spend tied to testing, along with pre- and post-deployment lifecycle management.

Demonstrations of F5's integrated VNF capabilities are available in person at F5's Agility conference, taking place this week in Boston, Mass., as well as September's NFV and Carrier SDN: Automation and Monetization event in Denver, Colo.


F5's current portfolio of VNFs (based on BIG-IP capabilities) will continue to expand, with VNF solutions focused on Gi LAN Traffic Management and Gi Firewall generally available in September 2018, along with F5's VNF Manager. Additional offerings focused on 3GPP-aligned functions are also anticipated and will be announced as applicable.

Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 9:15 AM by David Marshall
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