F5 VP of Technology and ISV Alliances, Calvin Rowland, said the solution was particularly important for enterprise customers, Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers, Software-as-a-Service providers, and independent software vendors (ISVs) who were adopting Software Defined Networking (SDN) for improved manageability and flexibility in their layer 2-3 network fabric.
“The F5 solution complements SDN by providing a strategic point of control for making application level (layer 4-7) decisions across the data, management, and control planes.”
Rowland said the same network-based services that the BIG-IP platform provided—such as local and global load balancing, advanced traffic steering, access control, and application security and acceleration—could now also be used to deliver applications in the Microsoft cloud and virtualised network environments, with solution enabled by BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager Virtual Edition running on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
“Windows Server 2012 SDN was built from the ground up to create new opportunities for networking providers to bring innovative solutions to market. “F5 Networks has taken advantage of this architecture to help customers accelerate cloud deployments when they use BIG-IP LTM VE running on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.”
Rowland said the release of the latest solution marked an important milestone for F5. “We are bringing together the application delivery capabilities needed to deliver applications into any environment, using the BIG-IP platform in close two-way communication with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V hosts and Microsoft System Centre 2012 SP1. This gives customers additional flexibility to operate across both physical and virtual networks.”
And, Rowland said the solution opened up many new deployment scenarios because it helped customers more easily move virtual machines (VMs) within or across data centres for more cost-effective utilisation of shared infrastructure. “With SDN, customers no longer have to deal with the constraints of traditional networking environments where VMs are mapped to physical IP addresses and switches must be configured manually to ensure proper packet routing. “
“Furthermore, when VMs are moved, the rich set of ADN services provided by the BIG-IP platform moves with them. For example, when a line-of-business web application is moved to another data centre, the security policy, access control, acceleration, global load balancing, and application firewall protections specific to that application automatically move with it. Workloads can also be scaled out from on-premises to off-premises environments as capacity needs, performance requirements, or cost concerns dictate.
“This ease of movement enables customers to take advantage of hosting providers for backup data centre services as an alternative to building their own secondary sites. Customers that use hosting providers can also benefit from the flexibility and pay-as-you-go models that cloud environments offer,” Rowland said.
Rowland said the Network Virtualisation Solution for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V would be available in the first quarter of next year, with pricing and licensing details yet to be announced.