F5 Solutions Combine with VXLAN to Support Software Defined Networking

Network Virtualization — By on Thursday, October 11th, 2012

F5 BIG-IP products help organizations extend the benefits of virtual machines beyond traditional resource limits

VMworld Europe 2012
BARCELONA, Spain: F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today at VMworld® 2012 Europe announced support for VXLAN functionality, enabling organizations to seamlessly support software defined networking (SDN) initiatives by combining VMware and F5 solutions. F5® BIG-IP® products can natively take advantage of the benefits of VXLAN in the latest VMware environments, based on VMware vSphere® and vCloud Director®. In addition, F5 is announcing its intent to add VXLAN virtual tunneling endpoint capabilities to its BIG-IP products, providing the ability to natively encapsulate and decapsulate VXLAN packets. This innovation will further enable organizations to reliably scale cloud environments and streamline operations.

Building on F5’s partnership with VMware—including recently announced participation in the VMware Ready™ for Networking and Security Program—these collaborative technology efforts help joint customers realize additional value by deploying the companies’ solutions in concert. Organizations can select either physical BIG-IP devices or BIG-IP virtual editions to leverage the full suite of F5’s ADN services, such as security, acceleration, and optimization technologies, while realizing the added efficiency of a VXLAN-based network.

“F5 solutions occupy strategic points of control in the network, putting us in a great position to collaborate with VMware in optimizing customers’ virtualization and cloud infrastructures,” said Jim Ritchings, SVP of Business Development at F5. “The BIG-IP platform serves as an ideal gateway to help organizations achieve the full benefits of F5’s ADN services in their SDN deployments. To further this aim, F5 will continue to enhance its BIG-IP virtual editions in the coming months by increasing current throughput performance levels by up to 200 percent. Today’s announcement and F5’s ongoing investments in innovation underscore our commitment to customers’ cloud initiatives with VMware.”

Overview
Organizations are pursuing increasingly dynamic IT deployment models, with SDN and related technologies currently top-of-mind. F5 provides solutions that ensure scalability, security, and manageability across customers’ IT environments to help make software defined data centers a reality. A key element of F5’s approach is the ability to seamlessly interoperate with different network topologies, including both traditional VLANs and other emerging SDN frameworks like VXLAN.

VXLAN provides a way for organizations to decouple virtual domains from the underlying networking and virtualization infrastructure, enhancing overall system flexibility, scalability, and resilience. With VXLAN, customers can create isolated multi-tenant broadcast domains across the existing data center fabric. This approach enables organizations to create elastic, logical networks that span physical network boundaries to better serve geographically dispersed systems. It overcomes the traditional limitations of VLAN-based topologies for maximized scalability and flexibility, as well as optimized performance for users, regardless of location.

In deploying BIG-IP solutions with VXLAN-based networks, customers will be able to:

Simplify the Expansion of Virtual Networks

With BIG-IP solutions as the bridge, organizations will be able to extend their existing networks and transition from using VLAN to using VXLAN-based topologies. This allows for controlled, gradual migrations of resources and systems, helping customers be confident that adopting VXLAN will serve their needs. It will also enable applications running in a VLAN environment to expand into a VXLAN network for added flexibility as needed.

Apply Services across Heterogeneous Networks for Optimized Performance

F5’s BIG-IP platform can serve as a networking gateway for all ADN services, making them available to application workloads irrespective of the underlying network topology. For example, BIG-IP products can provide services in a unified, predictable manner for applications running across heterogeneous cloud environments that use different protocols. In addition, F5 can provide security, acceleration, and optimization capabilities to complement SDN technologies and intelligently deploy services effectively throughout the IT infrastructure—for any workload, on any server, anywhere.

Improve Application Mobility and Business Continuity

Because VXLAN-based networks are functionally isolated from one another, the IP addresses of virtual machines do not need to change when they are migrated between data centers or clouds. This drastically improves application mobility for disaster recovery, business continuity, and scalability scenarios. With VMware and F5, joint customers can retain the valuable ADN services their users depend on, even as virtual machines are moved or reprovisioned.

Availability
Currently, F5’s BIG-IP solutions can natively support VXLAN functionality. Virtual tunneling endpoint capabilities for VXLAN will be available in BIG-IP solutions during the first half of calendar year 2013.

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