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F5 BIG-IP Solutions Integrated with VMware vCenter Server

Supports More Rapid Alignment of IT to Business Requirements

F5 Networks, Inc., a provider Application Delivery Networking (ADN), has announced integration between its BIG-IP solutions and VMware vSphere 4 and VMware vCenter Server, together creating a scalable and extensible platform that allows IT administrators to improve organizations' control over virtual environments. Working in concert, VMware vCenter Server and F5 BIG-IP solutions enable customers to dynamically provision application resources, reduce costs, and maximize the automation and agility of their IT infrastructures.

"With F5 and VMware vSphere 4, we're able to provide a flexible service platform to support clients' IT and cloud initiatives," said Pat O'Day, CTO at BlueLock, a managed technology services company providing virtual cloud resources through an infrastructure-as-a-service model. "Our clients rely on automated service provisioning to increase efficiency and keep operation costs down. Leveraging integration between F5's BIG-IP and VMware vSphere 4, BlueLock's supporting architecture can scale virtual resource pools effortlessly as demand fluctuates, or as network and application conditions change. Our clients only pay for the resources they use. This model delivers real value and efficiency when compared to a traditional approach, where in-house systems are built to handle peak demand levels they seldom reach."

Integration with VMware vCenter Server is made possible through F5's open API, iControl, which enables rapid integration with third party management systems. Due to the flexibility of iControl, organizations can tailor their networks to be more responsive to the dynamic changes happening in the virtual infrastructure. Together, VMware vCenter Server and F5 BIG-IP systems provide a resilient platform that can continually optimize application delivery and enable IT organizations to more rapidly align with business needs by adapting to changes in business requirements or the overall IT environment.

"VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter Server help customers respond rapidly and easily to application demands," said Shekar Ayyar, VP, Infrastructure Alliances at VMware. "F5 BIG-IP solutions extend this agility to the network to enable consistency in application state throughout the data center and in private clouds, enabling faster responses with less manual intervention."

VMware vCenter Server and F5's BIG-IP System: Automation Leads to IT Agility
VMware vCenter Server enables customers to dynamically provision application resources in response to fluctuating user demand. However, until now, configuring the application delivery network to recognize and respond to those changes has been a manual process. This integration enables VMware vCenter Server to provide specific instructions on how F5 solutions should handle application traffic for newly provisioned or deprovisioned virtual machines. Instructions can include adding or removing virtual machines from BIG-IP's load balancing pool or even holding connections until the virtual machines are confirmed to be responsive. Instructions can even be given in the event that virtual machines are consolidated onto a reduced number of hosts by VMware Distributed Power Management. This automation minimizes the need for manual intervention and greatly reduces the possibility of configuration errors.

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager and F5's BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager
BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager
(GTM) complements VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager by extending Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery automation functionality to the network, reducing IT administration time and effort, and substantially mitigating the risk of human error. In the event of site failure, BIG-IP GTM works with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager to redirect application traffic to an alternative data center or to the cloud, and ensure that applications remain available.

"With virtualization, applications are becoming more dynamic and responsive to variable business and technical environments," said Jim Ritchings, VP of Business Development at F5. "However, there is more to delivering an application to an end user than simply the application instance itself. The rest of the infrastructure that connects applications and users must be as responsive and flexible as the applications to ensure maximum resource availability and efficiency. F5's integration with VMware vCenterTM Server helps ensure business value and IT agility for organizations of all sizes."

For additional information on the benefits of deploying F5 and VMware solutions together, please visit www.f5.com/solutions/applications/vmware/virtualization.

For more about deploying BIG-IP solutions with vCenter, check out the deployment guide at www.f5.com/pdf/deployment-guides/vmware-infrastructure-dg.pdf.

For more about deploying BIG-IP solutions with vCenter Site Recovery Manager, check out the solution brief at www.f5.com/pdf/solution-center/vmware-srm-sb.pdf.

More Stories By Holly Hagerman

As a senior partner at Connect Public Relations, Holly Hagerman directs public relations processes within the organization and provides strategic counsel to our clients. Hagerman has more than 17 years of experience leading strategic PR programs for network infrastructure, PC peripheral and telecommunications companies, including Lexmark International, Internet Security Systems, F5 Networks, AskMe.com, Efficient Networks, and Siemens Information and Communication Networks. Hagerman specializes in developing communication programs that reach diverse audiences -- from business and financial media to industry influencers and vertical market media. She has vast experience building multi-faceted PR programs that include executive visibility, message development, media and analyst relations, product evaluations, corporate profiles, IPOs, and acquisitions.

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