Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog

Containers Expo Blog: Product Review

F5 Brings Scalability and Performance Enhancements to VMware View 4.5

This solution can save time by eliminating the need for much of the manual configuration

F5 Networks brings added oomph to VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure deployments with its Application Ready Solution for VMware View 4.5, an add-on capability for F5’s BIG-IP Edge Gateway that consists of a set of best practices, guidelines and policies for speeding deployment and optimizing performance. This solution, which is part of a line of application-specific add-ons from F5, can save time by eliminating the need for much of the manual configuration associated with pushing out a new application to the field.

The BIG-IP Edge Gateway is offered as a hardware appliance that incorporates multiple hardware and software technologies designed to improve connectivity between remote users/sites and the data center by optimizing throughput and reducing latency through improved packet compression, packet de-duplication and local caching.

Perhaps the biggest demand for WAN optimization solutions comes from the consolidation market, where enterprises are looking to roll branch offices into the data center and consolidate desktop PCs with a shift toward offering PCs as a service. Those transformations increase the demand placed on data center resources and increases the demand for bandwidth.

Increased traffic demand is usually met by purchasing additional bandwidth. However, that can prove to be an expensive and inefficient way to move data to remote offices or mobile workers. The better solution is to first maximize the throughput of any existing connectivity options in place, and that is the goal of a WAN optimization and acceleration product.

Based on my tests, the F5 solution offers a solid option for achieving this goal in the context of VMware View 4.5 deployments. What’s more, I saw no challenges with using a BIG-IP Edge Gateway to replace independent VPN hardware, act as a single sign-on solution appliance, shape traffic, accelerate applications and improve connectivity management and provide access policies.

Testing the BIG-IP Edge Gateway
I took a detailed look at F5’s BIG-IP Edge Gateway appliance to see how the technology works and what benefits it can offer in the real world. F5 offered me access to two devices, one located in Seattle, the other one located in London, using both remote desktop access and the product’s browser-accessible consoles. I was also able to examine a physical device at F5’s Seattle offices and attend some basic training on how to deploy and use the BIG-IP Edge Gateway.

As the product name implies, the unit is installed at the edge of the network, becoming the communications sentry or gateway between remote/external users and the network. The product incorporates many features, including a high performance SSL VPN, which adds a layer of security to remote access, without complicating things for the user. I found it quite simple to install the client application, which was also very easy to use. As a matter of fact, the client application simplifies access to the data center and could prove to be a real time saver for remote users.

Typically, a device that is chock full of features and capabilities can be difficult to manage and troubleshoot; however, F5 has moved far away from the days of RS232-based consoles, telnet and a CLI, and now offers a management GUI. I found the GUI-based management intuitive— the device offers context-sensitive help, ample deployment wizards and a coherent dashboard design that eases deployment, setup and usage. Nonetheless, don’t kid yourself, the BIG-IP Edge Gateway is not a plug-and-play solution; you must understand network design and concepts to properly use the device.

VMware View Enhancements
I looked at the new features offered for View 4.5, which are geared toward performance and ease of use. First and foremost is single sign-on capabilities. With SSO, I was able to configure the desktop client to access a VMware View session with a single set of credentials. Behind the scenes, I was able to define the various sign-on credentials and relationships needed to initiate a session; those credentials were associated with a user’s master set of credentials, allowing the user to sign on and access his or her VMware View session with a single log-on and password. That eliminates the need to separately log into a VPN, remote access client, the server and VMware View— a major time saver.

In practice, the BIG-IP Edge Gateway caches sign-on credentials and enables authentication pass-through during the log-on process. If the connection drops, the user will automatically be re-authenticated; this helps to keep sessions live and prevents disconnects from leaving active View sessions in limbo, until an administrator manually shuts them down. Another benefit is that the user experiences a faster, easier log-on–removing one of the biggest complaints associated with VDI.

The BIG-IP Edge Gateway provides enhanced support for the PCoIP display protocol, which is used by VMware View 4.5. Those enhancements include a DTLS (Datagram Transport Layer Security) feature, which improves the security of  PC over IP communications transport, without impacting performance. Further enhancing connectivity is the BIG-IP Edge Gateway’s support of automatic TCP fallback, which maintains a connection between the client and the VMview session if a high-performance UDP (User Datagram Protocol) tunnel cannot be established. Under testing, the performance enhancements were readily apparent; screen updates and key strokes exhibited no lag over a simulated WAN connection, showing that the optimization does indeed benefit remote users of VMware View 4.5.

The BIG-IP Edge Gateway offers enhanced scalability for VMware View 4.5 solutions, thanks to the products LTM (Local Traffic Manager), which optimizes local traffic and allows the server to offload CPU-intensive functions, such as load balancing, health monitoring, session persistence, and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) server functions used by VMware View connection brokers. For the most part, LTM is automated and required very little setup on my part and offered features that allow VMware View hosts to handle more connections and support more active sessions, as well as improving traffic performance.

By Frank Ohlhorst

More Stories By Alane Moran

Alane Moran is the Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at F5 Networks. Through her interaction with industry pundits, journalists and partners around the globe, Alane works to convey F5’s unique value proposition, helping the market mature from simple ‘load balancing’ to today’s mission critical ‘application delivery’ market.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
Scala Hosting is trusted by 50 000 customers from 120 countries and hosting 700 000+ websites. The company has local presence in the United States and Europe and runs an internal R&D department which focuses on changing the status quo in the web hosting industry. Imagine every website owner running their online business on a fully managed cloud VPS platform at an affordable price that's very close to the price of shared hosting. The efforts of the R&D department in the last 3 years made that pos...