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F5 Unlocks True Potential of 'On-Demand IT'

New BIG-IP release helps extend enterprise data center architecture to the cloud through holistic ecosystem

F5 Networks has introduced its BIG-IP Version 10.2 software to help extend enterprise data centre architecture to the cloud, and enable enterprises and service providers to realise the potential of 'On-Demand IT' through a dynamic services model. To help customers unlock the power of 'On-Demand IT,' F5 is detailing a comprehensive approach that integrates disparate technologies for application delivery, security, optimisation, data management, and infrastructure control—all critical technologies needed to realise the true flexibility and agility of virtualisation and cloud computing solutions. Today's announcement builds on F5's strategy to unify application delivery and data services within its rich solution portfolio.

Harmonizing Enterprise Virtualisation and Cloud Computing Projects to Maximize Value
The true benefits of virtualisation and cloud computing projects are achieved when organisations move beyond addressing single initiatives—such as data centre consolidation, green IT, IT/business alignment—and move toward a holistic architecture that integrates these initiatives and creates new, more efficient ways of implementing technologies in concert with one another.

"The cloud is evolving as the next generation of IT," said Erik Giesa, VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at F5. "Whether a business is planning to deploy a private cloud or take advantage of external public cloud services, it needs to put its enterprise requirements first and leverage an integrated architecture for on-demand mobility, orchestration, and automation. F5 is committed to helping customers utilise their existing infrastructures, while extending and reusing them to enable a common cloud architectural model—regardless of where IT resources actually reside."

Extending Unified Application Delivery, Access Control, and Optimisation into the Cloud
F5's holistic approach, which integrates multi-vendor solutions into a unified whole, is the cornerstone of its dynamic services model. For example, F5's delivery of a virtual Application Delivery Controller (ADC) platform in combination with physical ADCs gives customers the unique ability to seamlessly extend their current operational model into multiple data centres, hosting providers, and cloud environments on demand, while utilising the same trusted configuration, features, and control that they have developed over years of application delivery deployment.

With F5's unified application delivery architecture, enterprise customers can easily implement centrally managed security enforcement policies that provide user access according to specific IT requirements and business needs. And F5's new BIG-IP Edge Gateway™ solution enables enterprise customers to simplify the management of application services—such as access, security, and optimisation—within a dynamic services model that leverages both traditional data centre and cloud computing environments.

"Many IT organisations won't even consider moving applications into the cloud if it means giving up visibility and control. This creates a significant challenge for companies that want to leverage the value of a public cloud, but manage it as if it were their own," said Pat O'Day, Chief Information Officer at BlueLock. "With the F5 solution, they can take all the context and control that they currently have in their existing infrastructures and apply it to applications that they move into the cloud, which allows them to take advantage of the cloud in a very non-threatening way. The F5 solution essentially neutralizes the layer 2/3 network configuration differences between the customer data centre and the cloud data centre, so the cloud just becomes an additional resource—an extension—of their private data centre."

Enhancing the Value of Application Delivery with Integrated Partner Solutions
F5's vision of a dynamic services model is further buoyed by its ongoing collaboration with technology partners like Microsoft, VMware, and Gomez. These partnerships help integrate virtualisation management and end-user performance monitoring and management solutions within an overall dynamic control plane. This collaborative approach provides customers with the tools they need to improve the end-user experience for joint customers, and gives enterprises leveraging virtualisation and cloud models the means to reliably measure real-time performance levels for tracking SLAs.

"Application Delivery Networking plays a vital role in unlocking the power of cloud computing," said Parag Patel, VP, Alliances, VMware. "VMware vSphere™ complements BIG-IP to help enable customers to implement private cloud computing today. Whether it's provisioning application and networking resources automatically on-demand, or automatically migrating virtual machines over distance, VMware and F5 deliver solutions that enable the kind of flexibility necessary for cloud projects to succeed."

"The notion of a dynamic services model that acts as the ultimate, final layer of virtualisation between users, the applications, and data provides immense flexibility and control to the enterprise," said Tom Meusel, Vice President of Worldwide Channels at Gomez, the Web Performance Division of Compuware. "For Gomez, it provides a way to integrate with the infrastructure and not just the application, allowing our services to be applied across any web application, anywhere in the world, even as these web applications are created and moved on demand."

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