iApp–How they help business

In yesterday’s post I talked about how iApp templates contain a set of instructions that defines the user interface and how the system will act on information gathered from the user. Today let’s talk about how iApps can help business.

Most of you are familiar with the steps it takes to configure a simple http service on a BIG-IP device. Create a virtual server, create a pool, add nodes and health monitors, and select load balance method. It’s old school, load balancing 101. That was fine back in the .com heyday but Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) and applications themselves have changed a lot since then.

Mission critical applications are now accessible via multiple client device types, and over the Internet and through insecure wireless networks. This not only opens the door to security vulnerabilities but it also effects end-user experience and productivity since most of these application were not designed to run optimally in these conditions. Applications themselves have also become componentized with more granular server roles (HTTP server, middleware, session state like memcached, SQL, etc) that use the network to communicate, enabling organizations to provide better scalability and redundancy for key operations if they plan accordingly.

What is clear with these developments is the network has become critical in delivering applications successfully and those organizations who understand how to leverage it to their strategic advantage can gain significant benefit. iApp templates are the enabling technology to do just that!

How? In most IT organizations you have a network team that deals with circuits, bandwidth, routes and some levels of security. Then you have an application team that focuses on development and administration tasks like account management, delivering new services and enabling business. A problem lies in that as the use of the application and the applications themselves become more and more dependent on the network for their success, the knowledge gap between these two groups limit an organization’s ability to deliver effective services. IT organizations just don’t know what the application is sending across the wire.

This knowledge gap can’t easily be filled with additional training or certifications, because they just don’t exist. F5 filled this gap with our application deployment guidance years ago, but now with iApps we built it into our products and extended it even further: pick an iApp, answer the questions, and that's it -- you're deployed optimally.

Tomorrow we will look at a few iApp examples and talk more about key features and benefits.

Published Sep 22, 2011
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