F5 BIG-IP products help organisations extend the benefits of virtual machines beyond traditional resource limitsUNITED KINGDOM, OCTOBER 9, 2012
– F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today at VMworld® 2012 Europe announced support for VXLAN functionality, enabling organizations to seamlessly support software defined networking (SDN) initiatives by combining VMware and F5 solutions. F5® BIG-IP® products can natively take advantage of the benefits of VXLAN in the latest VMware environments, based on VMware vSphere® and vCloud Director®. In addition, F5 is announcing its intent to add VXLAN virtual tunneling endpoint capabilities to its BIG-IP products, providing the ability to natively encapsulate and decapsulate VXLAN packets. This innovation will further enable organisations to reliably scale cloud environments and streamline operations.
Building on F5’s partnership with VMware- including recently announced participation in the VMware Ready™ for Networking and Security Program- these collaborative technology efforts help joint customers realise additional value by deploying the companies’ solutions in concert. Organisations can select either physical BIG-IP devices or BIG-IP virtual editions to leverage the full suite of F5’s ADN services, such as security, acceleration, and optimisation technologies, while realising the added efficiency of a VXLAN-based network.
“F5 solutions occupy strategic points of control in the network, putting us in a great position to collaborate with VMware in optimising customers’ virtualisation and cloud infrastructures,” said Jim Ritchings, SVP of Business Development at F5. “The BIG-IP platform serves as an ideal gateway to help organisations achieve the full benefits of F5’s ADN services in their SDN deployments. To further this aim, F5 will continue to enhance its BIG-IP virtual editions in the coming months by increasing current throughput performance levels by up to 200 percent. Today’s announcement and F5’s ongoing investments in innovation underscore our commitment to customers’ cloud initiatives with VMware.”
Organisations are pursuing increasingly dynamic IT deployment models, with SDN and related technologies currently top-of-mind. F5 provides solutions that ensure scalability, security, and manageability across customers’ IT environments to help make software defined data centers a reality. A key element of F5’s approach is the ability to seamlessly interoperate with different network topologies, including both traditional VLANs and other emerging SDN frameworks like VXLAN.
VXLAN provides a way for organisations to decouple virtual domains from the underlying networking and virtualization infrastructure, enhancing overall system flexibility, scalability, and resilience. With VXLAN, customers can create isolated multi-tenant broadcast domains across the existing data center fabric. This approach enables organisations to create elastic, logical networks that span physical network boundaries to better serve geographically dispersed systems. It overcomes the traditional limitations of VLAN-based topologies for maximized scalability and flexibility, as well as optimised performance for users, regardless of location.
In deploying BIG-IP solutions with VXLAN-based networks, customers will be able to:
Simplify the Expansion of Virtual Networks
With BIG-IP solutions as the bridge, organisations will be able to extend their existing networks and transition from using VLAN to using VXLAN-based topologies. This allows for controlled, gradual migrations of resources and systems, helping customers be confident that adopting VXLAN will serve their needs. It will also enable applications running in a VLAN environment to expand into a VXLAN network for added flexibility as needed.
Apply Services across Heterogeneous Networks for Optimised Performance
F5’s BIG-IP platform can serve as a networking gateway for all ADN services, making them available to application workloads irrespective of the underlying network topology. For example, BIG-IP products can provide services in a unified, predictable manner for applications running across heterogeneous cloud environments that use different protocols. In addition, F5 can provide security, acceleration, and optimisation capabilities to complement SDN technologies and intelligently deploy services effectively throughout the IT infrastructure—for any workload, on any server, anywhere.
Improve Application Mobility and Business Continuity
Because VXLAN-based networks are functionally isolated from one another, the IP addresses of virtual machines do not need to change when they are migrated between data centers or clouds. This drastically improves application mobility for disaster recovery, business continuity, and scalability scenarios. With VMware and F5, joint customers can retain the valuable ADN services their users depend on, even as virtual machines are moved or reprovisioned.
“As customers embrace private, public, and hybrid clouds, we are working to help them overcome traditional network limitations in order to achieve greater efficiency, mobility, and network automation for their virtual workloads,” said Parag Patel, VP, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware. “Combining VMware vCloud® Suite 5.1 with VXLAN functionality and F5’s BIG-IP platform will help customers accelerate their adoption of the cloud without sacrificing system flexibility or resilience.”
“Though not entirely a new concept, SDN has recently captured the attention of enterprise and cloud IT,” said Rohit Mehra, Director of Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. “While current deployments still have to catch up with SDN’s promise and business potential, they do signal new ways for IT to improve the agility and efficiency of applications, along with the underlying data center infrastructure. In the near-term, organisations pursuing SDN will benefit significantly from integration initiatives between technology leaders such as VMware and F5.”
Currently, F5’s BIG-IP solutions can natively support VXLAN functionality. Virtual tunneling endpoint capabilities for VXLAN will be available in BIG-IP solutions during the first half of calendar year 2013.