Have you been hit by any supply chain issues yet? Personally, I’ve had to make some limited choices or had to walk away empty handed at least a half dozen times this last year, whether it was a microwave, a dishwasher, or a mountain bike. The issues are not isolated to a few industries—they’re everywhere. And as much as we’d like to be, F5 is not immune to these challenges. With chip shortages affecting the world of IT lately, we know this has hit home for either your planned deployments or one of your peers.
The Standby Queue
Waiting, like most things, is nothing new under the sun. Those of us in tech arequite familiar with queuing for packets and flows as well, prioritizing where possible those that demand real time handling (live audio/video) and those that can manage some delay (mail, dns, html). There are protocols and products over the years that exist to handle these scenarios. There are also companies that have made reducing the wait for the human element into an art form. Disney is one of those companies, and they have been at this challenge for decades. If you have not seen the Disney’s FastPass: A Complicated History documentary on the Disney queuing problem, then stop now and run (seriously do not walk...RUN!) and enjoy the show. I will wait.
Welcome back! So after all that time, and all that money, Disney is still trying to solve the problem of supply and demand. Theirs is a particularly hard problem to solve because the breadth of their park and ride demand is so fluid.
I also read recently about the impact Walmart made to supply chain designs on industries, beginning with grocery/retail but spreading elsewhere. The advances in just-in-time products as directly driven by regional needs led to a reduced need for capacity for inventory at every level of the supply chain. That saves everyone money, but it also reduces the flexibility of the supply chain in catastrophic events, such as the pandemic we’ve fought through these past two years. The margins in the system are simply not designed for this, and we’re still seeing the effects today. This all makes for fascinating reading and viewing, but does little to bring hope…but for your BIG-IP deployment needs, I can assure you there’s good news!
Your Fast Pass Options
Disney’s answer to some of the standby chaos from fluid demand is to offer a fast pass on busy rides. And whereas the ride here in BIG-IP options might be a little different than you intended, the end result is fantastic nonetheless. Here are a couple options to your supply chain woes in the forms of BIG-IP Fast Passes!
This one is a gimme: no new hardware required. Whether you use your own general compute or private/public cloud options, you get the power of BIG-IP software with a reassessing of number of instances needed to equal the purpose-built hardware (there are a few options with SmartNICs and crypto that VE can take advantage of to help with the number of instances.) True, there are some scenarios where you want the power of F5 hardware, but there are plenty of use cases where VE shines on its own, so make sure to investigate each application and assess accordingly.
VELOS and rSeries
For those scenarios where nothing short of hardware will suffice, I encourage you to check out the new F5 VELOS chassis and F5 rSeries appliances. These new platforms offer tremendous increases in performance, future-proof several architecture scenarios, and are not as impacted by the supply chain issues we’re seeing worldwide. For details on rSeries (and VELOS indirectly due to shared F5OS on both platforms) please check out the last episode of The Core where Jim McCarron and I discusses rSeries.