Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

VE as in Very Exciting. ARX VE Trial

The limiting factor in the adoption of file virtualization has been, in my opinion, twofold

The limiting factor in the adoption of file virtualization has been, in my opinion, twofold. First is the FUD created by the confusion with block-level virtualization and proprietary vendors wanting to sell you more of their gear – both of which are rapidly disappearing – and second is the unknown element. The simple “how does this set of products improve my environment, save me money, or cut manhours?” Well now this issue is going to rapidly go away also, because you can find out easily enough.

image Those of you who follow my writing know that I was a hard sell for file virtualization services. In fact, until I had a device in my environment and running, giving me a chance to tinker with it, I remained a bit skeptical even after understanding the use cases. The reasons are probably well-known to many in IT… What does file virtualization offer that the independent NAS boxes don’t cover in one way or another. The answer that I came to was something we here at F5 call strategic points of control. The ARX in my environment allowed me to utilize the back-end NAS devices/file servers to the maximum while alleviating quite a bit of “out of disk space” concern. This is simply a case of the ARX seeing across NAS devices and giving the ability to move things to less utilized space without client machines having to even know they moved. This goes a lot further than simple disk space utilization and allows tiering and enhanced automated backup.

image But I digress. My point is that, much like you and I cannot know what it is like to walk in space, I didn’t “get it” until I had my hands on the tool and could toy with it. Oh I conceptually understood the benefits, but wasn’t certain of the ROI for those benefits versus the cost of the device. Having one to configure and implement changes through was what it took for me to fully understand what benefits file virtualization had to offer in my environment.

Today our Data Solutions Group introduced a new version of F5 ARX – F5 ARX VE Trial or ARX Virtual Edition Trial. Yes indeed, now, assuming you have the right environment, can download a copy of ARX and kick the tires, see for yourself what I found in our network – that file management, replication, and tiering are all enabled by the F5 ARX line of products at a level that makes life easier for storage admins, desktop support, security, and systems admins.

Of course, no software exists in a vacuum, so I’ll cover the minimum requirements here, then talk about issues and differences from an ARX appliance.


Image Courtesy of NASA

Requirements are not too strenuous, and shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. First, it is a VM, so you’ll need VMWare. Specifically you’ll need VMWare ESX 4.0 Update 2 or VMWare ESX 4.1. The VMware install must be able to offer the ARX VM one virtual processor, two gigabytes of memory, and forty gigabytes of disk space inn order for it to run. And finally, you’ll need Internet access – either directly from  the VM, or via a management machine. This is so you can get the license key from the F5 license server. You’ll want it to have routes to whatever subnets the storage your trying it out with are on, of course, and clients should have a route to it – or you won’t be doing much with it – but other than that, you’re set.

I know there are a lot of you out there who have wondered at my change of heart vis-a-vis file virtualization… Several of you have written to me about it in fact. But now is your chance to see why I went from wonder that this market exists to an advocate of putting your storage behind such a device. The trial is free, with a few limitations, so lets go over them here. Remember the point of this product is to try out ARX, not to put in a fully functional production VM. More on that later, for now, understand that the following limitations exist and should offer more than enough power for you to check it out: The biggest one, in my opinion, is that you are limited to 32,768 files per system. That means your test environment will have to be carefully selected – you’d be amazed how fast 32K files (not of storage, actual unique files) build up. Next is that you are really only going to have 32 mount points available on the ARX. This is somewhat less of an issue because from a single mount point at root you can get to the entire storage system. The documentation that I have does not mention NFS at all, so presumably it is not supported in the Trial version – but let me caveat that with “Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it isn’t there”. I’ll be installing and playing with this over the next couple of weeks, and pop back in to let you know what I find.

All in all, you can drop this into a VM, fire it up, and figure out just how much benefit you could get from file virtualization. That should be the point of a Trial version, so I think they hit the nail on the head.

As to upgrading in the future, there are some caveats. What you do in the Trial Edition won’t transfer to a production box for example, you’ll have to reconfigure. But it’s meant for testing only, so that’s not a huge limitation. I know when I first install any unfamiliar infrastructure element there is that first bit of learning time that creates clutter anyway, so losing that clutter shouldn’t be all bad. Unless you’re just better than me anyway :-).

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named "Media Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.