F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced support for leading virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions, including Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and others. For customers using VDI technologies, F5 offers a unified and comprehensive approach to manage and accelerate network traffic, optimize performance, and centralize access and security policies.

Leveraging Existing Infrastructure
VDI solutions offer an alternative to the increasing cost, maintenance, and security concerns associated with company-supplied PCs. However, VDI solutions can also increase infrastructure costs, introduce scaling challenges in large deployments, and reduce performance due to the inherent latency of wide area networks (WANs). Unlike other proprietary solutions, F5® BIG-IP® products do not require changes to the delivery infrastructure, thus offering the perfect complement to all VDI deployments.

“Many organizations aren’t aware that they can overcome the most significant challenges of VDI deployments by leveraging their existing network infrastructure, specifically, their BIG-IP advanced application delivery controllers,” said Erik Giesa, SVP of Product Management and Product Marketing at F5 Networks. “BIG-IP products are unique in that they integrate authentication, directory services, SSL offloading, and other services throughout the desktop infrastructure so organizations can optimize virtual desktop delivery with fewer resources, while also supporting network and application access control for non-VDI enabled applications. Unlike the current alternatives, BIG-IP gives organizations the flexibility to implement a VDI solution that best meets their needs today, as well as tomorrow, while keeping infrastructure costs down.”

BIG-IP Enhances VDI Deployments

BIG-IP solutions help organizations make the most of their VDI deployments by delivering the following benefits:

  • Superior Performance and User Experience – With a large number of virtual desktops, corporate networks can see a considerable increase in traffic due to greater amounts of data being transferred between clients and desktops in the data center. When clients access their desktops using a WAN or the Internet, performance can quickly deteriorate. BIG-IP solutions improve VDI performance by reducing server load, optimizing TCP connections, and intelligently managing both local and global traffic. In addition, BIG-IP provides Quality of Service and supports Multi-Stream ICA, improving the performance of latency-sensitive traffic such as VoIP.
  • Infrastructure Savings – Many add-on components are often needed to maximize the performance of VDI deployments, which can rapidly increase costs. Because BIG-IP integrates easily into most existing infrastructures, it can substantially reduce the ancillary costs associated with new VDI deployments. For Citrix XenDesktop deployments, BIG-IP v11.1 provides additional savings with its integrated web interface service, which eliminates the need for Citrix web interface servers and ticketing servers.
  • High Availability and Scalability – In addition to offloading computationally intensive tasks from servers and optimizing TCP, BIG-IP’s intelligent traffic management features enable it to route users away from data centers that are overloaded or experiencing downtime. This not only improves availability but also enables organizations to easily scale their VDI deployments as their needs change.
  • Improved Security – For most organizations, security is a paramount concern as more workers want access to corporate resources using personal devices such as smartphones and tablets. BIG-IP significantly enhances security of VDI deployments by enabling IT to apply unified access and security policies across all devices and users, both internal and external.
  • Quick Deployment and Simplified Management – BIG-IP solutions include native iApps™ templates for VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop. Because iApps templates markedly shorten deployment time, reduce the chance of manual configuration errors, and make it easier to manage VDI deployments across multiple data centers, BIG-IP also helps reduce operating expenses.

Availability
Support for VDI solutions is available today in version 11 of various BIG-IP products, including BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM™), BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager™ (GTM™), BIG-IP Access Policy Manager™ (APM™), and BIG-IP Edge Gateway™. Integrated web interface service and support for Citrix Multi-Stream ICA are new features of BIG-IP version 11.1 products, also available today. No additional licensing is required to support VDI.

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