SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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F5 Enhances Synthesis Architecture to Extend Reach of Software Defined Application Services

F5 Networks, Inc.:

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • New F5 offerings enhance the delivery of Software Defined Application Services (SDAS) to provide optimization, security, reliability, and management capabilities for all applications across any data center or cloud infrastructure.
  • F5’s Synthesis architecture combines complementary technologies to form a high-performance services fabric, making it easier for customers to intelligently orchestrate valuable device, application, and network services, and scale IT solutions with a variety of virtual and physical solutions.
  • New functionality gives F5 solutions the broadest set of application services on the market, aimed at improving application service velocity, adding IT agility, reducing TCO, and deploying flexible technologies that enable current investments to pay dividends in the future.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) announced today new offerings that enhance the benefits of the F5 Synthesis architecture model. F5® technologies are designed to help organizations quickly deploy applications and streamline the mix of services needed to ensure success for security, data center, cloud, and mobility initiatives. F5’s broad solution portfolio enables customers to seamlessly scale environments, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Specifically, F5 is announcing:

  • New BIG-IP® version 11.5 software for enhanced application delivery services and security
  • The industry’s most capable virtual solutions (now with throughput levels of 25 Mbps to 10 Gbps) to support hybrid and virtual appliance deployments across the broadest set of hypervisors
  • Expanded VIPRION® offerings, with the new 2250 performance blade providing the highest multi-tenant density in its class, efficient consolidation of application services, and dynamic resource scaling with no operational disruption
  • BIG-IQversion 4.2 software for simplified management and comprehensive orchestration, and the new BIG-IQ Device solution that provides enhanced configuration capabilities for physical and virtual BIG-IP devices
  • Network virtualization capabilities that give F5 the broadest range of support for SDN technologies in the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) market, including full traffic management and gateway support for Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV), and others
  • Updated licensing and pricing options, including an expanded presence in the AWS Marketplace for enhanced deployment flexibility

Building on the first F5 Synthesis launch in late 2013, these offerings expand F5’s open and extensible framework to elegantly combine reliability, security, and optimization capabilities, among other valuable application services. To reinforce the company’s vision, F5 Synthesis provides a growing library of reference architectures that center on specific solutions for common business challenges. These reference architectures provide prescriptive deployment guidance for F5 technologies, accelerating time to market by enabling rapid service implementation through a suite of Software Defined Application Services(SDAS).

Earlier this month, a new F5 reference architecture for VMware Horizon View was announced. F5 will also introduce additional reference architectures aimed at the security and service provider markets in line with activities around the upcoming RSA and Mobile World Congress events.

KEY BENEFITS

To comprehensively support applications, SDAS provide critical layer 4-7 capabilities, delivering a powerful complement to organizations’ existing layer 2-3 network and compute-focused initiatives such as SDN, with a special focus on enabling Software Defined Data Centers. Only F5 provides intelligent programmability, visibility, and extensibility for application services through technologies like iRules®, iControl®, iApps®, iCall, iHealth®, and REST APIs. In addition, F5 Global Services offerings facilitate the implementation, maintenance, and optimization of customers’ solutions to maximize the value of F5 deployments.

Enhanced Technology Capabilities through a Growing Partner Ecosystem

F5’s new solutions further enable a growing ecosystem of technology partners to collaborate on holistic, integrated provisioning and orchestration systems that address service velocity requirements across compute, network, and application resources.

“Like Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), F5 Synthesis is focused on efficiently delivering applications by taking a fabric-based approach to networking and services architectures. With our growing technology partnership, we see many opportunities to combine the capabilities of Cisco ACI with F5’s layer 4-7 application services to automate and centrally orchestrate ADC-enabled data centers. Currently, both companies are jointly developing Cisco Validated Design (CVD) frameworks around Cisco ACI that take advantage of F5 Synthesis offerings and illustrate the customer benefits of deploying ACI and Cisco APIC controllers in concert with F5 BIG-IP physical and virtual appliances.”

Soni Jiandani, SVP, Marketing, Cisco

“Aligned with Microsoft’s datacenter transformation approach, F5 Synthesis aims to blend hardware, software, and services into offerings that are quick to deploy and easy to manage. Through jointly engineered integration, F5 delivers solutions that embrace and extend Microsoft’s SDN offering with Hyper-V Network Virtualization and Microsoft System Center, including the addition of management, orchestration, and monitoring capabilities. Looking forward, we see F5 as well positioned to further enhance the capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure offerings to deliver great agility and flexibility to our joint customers.”

Mike Schutz, General Manager, Windows Server, Management and Appliances Marketing, Microsoft

Application-Driven Elasticity with F5’s High-Performance Services Fabric

F5 application services take advantage of an all-active and multi-tenant services fabric to combine the performance, security, and availability gains of many technologies in a scalable, easy-to-manage fashion. The combination of performance, scale, and multi-tenant capabilities offered by F5 is unmatched by competitors. F5 solutions enable device-based and virtual resources to be shared between all applications—removing the limitation of tying specific hardware to the needs of only a few priority apps. Standardizing on F5 platforms helps organizations effectively deploy application service topologies in a reliable, consistent manner in both data center and cloud environments. Customers can choose the F5 solutions, third-party hypervisors, and cloud resources that will best suit their needs, while maximizing infrastructure resilience and flexibility.

With F5’s new offerings, customers gain improved application performance through:

  • Unparalleled application fluency – Advanced protocol handling, such as MPTCP and mobile TCP optimization, plus application profiles for MS SQL, FIX, and BER/DER encoding capabilities
  • Optimized application delivery – WebP conversion feature for 26% smaller images and a per-application dedicated cache leveraging HTML5 Local Storage capabilities
  • The industry’s broadest hypervisor support – Including support for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, VMware ESXi 5.5, Citrix Xen 6.2 and Community Xen 4.2, KVM on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, CentOS 6.4, Ubuntu 13.04, and Debian 7.1
  • SSD-enabled appliances and blades – Increased vADC guest density (over 2x competitors’ solutions) and improved performance to further benefit application services
  • Simplified DNS deployment capabilities – Efficient configuration management and optimized DNS resolving

Intelligent Services Orchestration to Better Manage Application Resources

With the number of enterprise applications growing rapidly, complexity around scalability, consolidation, security, and performance can be a roadblock for the efficient orchestration of services. As a management solution for F5’s high-performance services fabric, BIG-IQ enables customers to simply configure and automate how services respond to changing business needs and conditions. BIG-IQ solutions can spin virtual ADCs up and down on demand, as applications and users require more or less resources. F5’s new BIG-IQ technologies provide improved services orchestration with automation, lifecycle management, and dynamic provisioning capabilities for services in data center, cloud, and hybrid environments. Moreover, F5’s services fabric can be deployed with adjacent technologies from F5’s growing ecosystem of partners like AWS, Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, and others.

Highlights of F5’s enhancements for services orchestration and management include:

  • BIG-IQ Cloud – Cloud connector capabilities now enable federation of BIG-IP solutions across data centers and clouds supported by AWS, VMware, and OpenStack technologies
  • BIG-IQ Security – Simplified firewall policy management with stronger security and automation features saves time and minimizes the chance of manual configuration errors
  • New BIG-IQ Device – Enhanced management and monitoring capabilities for BIG-IP deployments with automated discovery, licensing, inventory, and UCS backup and restore capabilities

Simplified Business Models to Reduce Costs and Complexity

Today’s organizations seek elegant ways to deploy and scale a broad set of physical, virtual, and cloud-based solutions without sacrificing future flexibility. F5® technologies provide customers with a range of simplified purchasing and deployment options, all designed to scale. This enables customers to move from managing traditional reliability models to a strategic, services-based approach that focuses on application-level service provisioning, automation, and orchestration to better align application services with business and user expectations.

New ways F5 is making it easier for customers to deploy and scale impactful technologies include:

  • Expanded utility billing options on the AWS Marketplace – F5 customers can deliver application services in the cloud while paying only for the resources they use
  • Streamlined license management for F5 Virtual Edition (VE) license pools – BIG-IP VEs can be provisioned/deprovisioned as needed, with BIG-IQ able to manage licenses for all VEs in a given pool
  • Integrated deployment options for BIG-IP/ScaleN, BIG-IQ, and F5’s Good, Better, Best tiered licensing offerings – The industry’s most scalable and flexible platforms reduce the cost of deploying multiple application services without compromise

ADDITIONAL QUOTES

“F5 Synthesis enables intelligent application services to better support technologies throughout the IT infrastructure. With the BIG-IP platform and simplified ‘Best’ tiering of F5 offerings, we’ve been able to add new services—including security and disaster recovery capabilities—in a straightforward, cost-effective manner. F5’s partnership ecosystem includes notable technology vendors, giving the company the expertise to provide guidance on how to comprehensively architect systems.”

Ronaldo Möntmann, Director of Technology and Infrastructure, Broward Health

“With enhancements across our portfolio, we’re making it easier for organizations to deliver seamless application services without relying on point solutions or isolated resources to support the applications that drive business results. Because F5’s integrated security, acceleration, and availability capabilities can be implemented across a flexible services fabric, customers can orchestrate and tailor their systems to efficiently support all types of IT deployments.”

Manny Rivelo, EVP of Strategic Solutions, F5

SUPPORTING RESOURCES

AVAILABILITY AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The F5 solutions mentioned in this announcement are generally available now, with the exception of SSD-enabled BIG-IP appliances, which will be available in the first quarter of calendar year 2014. The new BIG-IQ Device offering can be deployed via software or as a hardware-based management solution, with the BIG-IQ 7000 platform. Please contact a local F5 sales office for additional information and product availability in specific countries. New F5 solutions for AWS will be added to the AWS Marketplace on an ongoing basis.

ABOUT F5

F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) provides solutions for an application world. F5 helps organizations seamlessly scale cloud, data center, and software defined networking (SDN) deployments to successfully deliver applications to anyone, anywhere, at any time. F5 solutions broaden the reach of IT through an open, extensible framework and a rich partner ecosystem of leading technology and data center orchestration vendors. This approach lets customers pursue the infrastructure model that best fits their needs over time. The world’s largest businesses, service providers, government entities, and consumer brands rely on F5 to stay ahead of cloud, security, and mobility trends. For more information, go to f5.com.

You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technology.

F5, F5 Synthesis, Software Defined Application Services, SDAS, BIG-IP, BIG-IQ, VIPRION, iRules, iControl, iCall, iApps, iHealth, ScaleN, and DevCentral are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.

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