#v11 #vcmp #scaleN #iApp It’s time to bring the benefits of server virtualization, rapid provisioning and efficient, flexible scalability models to the network.
Many of you know I’m a developer by trade and gained my networking stripes after joining Network Computing Magazine around the turn of the century. I focused heavily on application-centric solutions (sometimes much to my chagrin; consider evaluating ERP solutions for a moment and I’m sure you’ll understand why) but I was also tasked with reviewing networking solutions. In particular, the realm of load balancing and application delivery fell squarely to me for most of my time with the magazine. Thus I’ve been following F5 for a lot longer than I’ve been on the
dark-side team, and have seen its solutions evolve from the most basic of network appliances (remember when SSL accelerators and load balancers were stand-alone?) to the highly complex and advanced application delivery service solutions offered today.
The last time F5 released a version this significant was v9, when it moved from a simple proxy-based appliance to a hardware-enabled, full-proxy architecture. It moved from a solution to being a platform upon which We could build out future solutions more easily and empowered customers by providing both a service-enabled control plane, iControl, and a programmable framework for better managing the diverse traffic needs of our very disparate vertical industry customer-base, iRules.
While version 10 was not a trivial release by any stretch of the imagination, it pales in comparison with the fundamental architectural changes and enhancements in v11. It isn’t just about new features and functionality – though these are certainly included – it’s about architecture (internal to BIG-IP and for data centers) and automation (internal to BIG-IP and for data centers). It’s about breaking the traditional high-availability (scalability) paradigm by taking advantage of virtualization inside and out. It’s about enabling a service-oriented view of policies and infrastructure that better fits within the cloud computing demesne. It’s about laying the foundation of an optimized data center architecture based on strategic points of control throughout the network that enable increased efficiency and reliability while simultaneously bringing the benefits associated with a service-focused architecture – reusability, repeatability and consistency – to the network.
I can’t, without writing more than you really want to read on a Monday, describe everything that makes v11 such a significant release. With that in mind, let me just touch on what I think is the most game-changing pieces of the newest version of BIG-IP – and why.
Now, you combine all three and provide the ability to synchronize service configurations across instances via an automated policy synchronization capability (also new to v11) and you now have capabilities in the application delivery infrastructure with similar benefits and abilities as those found previously only in the server / application virtualization infrastructure: automated, repeatable, manageable, scalable infrastructure services.
It takes us several giant steps toward the realization of stateful failure; a goal that has long eluded traditional infrastructure-based scalability architectures.
v11 also includes a wealth of security-related features and enhancements as well as global application delivery service support. It is, simply put, too big to contain in a single – or even several – posts. You’ll want to explore the new options and new capabilities and consider how they fit into a strategic view of your data center architecture as you continue the path toward IT as a Service. This version supports that transformation with a very service and application-centric view of infrastructure and application delivery services, and enables even more collaboration between components and customers; collaboration that is necessary to automate - and ultimately liberate – the data center of the future with a more agile, dynamic architecture.
So take some time to explore, ask questions, and find out more about v11. We are confident you’ll find that the ability to move more fluidly toward an agile infrastructure, toward IT as a Service, will be served well by the strategic trifecta of iApp, ScaleN and vCMP.