F5 Extends Application Delivery Services in the Cloud with BIG-IQ™
New software-based management products provide superior automation, orchestration, and control of enterprise-class application services in public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. F5 Networks, Inc. (Seattle, USA) have announced BIG-IQ™ Cloud, a new software-based management solution that enables customers to deploy application delivery and network services in a consistent, fast and repeatable manner across public and private clouds, traditional data centers, and hybrid environments.
With an extensible, modular architecture, BIG-IQ offers an intelligent framework that centralizes management of the application control plane to provide intuitive, flexible, and scalable management capabilities for the F5 BIG-IP® product family. This solution is a key milestone in supporting F5’s goals of delivering application-layer SDN services and bringing superior application intelligence and programmability to software defined data centers.
“Organizations are pursuing a wide variety of on-premises and off-premises cloud solutions to bolster efficiency and reduce costs,” said Jason Needham, VP of Product Management and Marketing at F5. “With BIG-IQ Cloud, F5 customers can seamlessly configure and automate application delivery services—such as availability and optimization—in cloud and hybrid infrastructures. In line with our vision for application-layer SDN, BIG-IQ Cloud offers customers an effective way to dynamically scale services, infrastructure, and application resources in concert.”
Today’s organizations are looking to move their applications to the cloud as a means to increase infrastructure agility and reduce costs. However, many enterprises have found that dedicated orchestration and management tools are needed to fully realize the benefits of this transition while maintaining visibility across their systems.
BIG-IQ™ Cloud represents a unique approach in addressing these challenges as organizations integrate their application architectures with emerging cloud solutions. By leveraging the rich application intelligence and visibility inherent in F5’s market-leading BIG-IP® solutions, BIG-IQ Cloud extends valuable services and control capabilities to the management plane.
Key capabilities of BIG-IQ Cloud include:
- Orchestrated application delivery and network services – With BIG-IQ Cloud, services can be federated across cloud systems to simplify management. For example, BIG-IQ Cloud can be integrated with VMware network virtualization to simplify the process of provisioning application delivery and network services as part of a VMware workflow. The solution’s REST API enables users to integrate F5 technologies with existing management and cloud orchestration tools to create customized solutions for enhanced infrastructure and resource control. Additionally, network virtualization controller vendors can integrate their technologies with BIG-IQ via northbound APIs to coordinate and provision application delivery and network services.
- Self-service and automated service provisioning capabilities – With BIG-IQ Cloud, application services can be rapidly provisioned and made available to new users and systems in a matter of minutes. Without automation tools like those offered in BIG-IQ Cloud, IT configurations can take weeks to implement manually. And, using F5® iApps™ templates, customers can easily create, update, and optimize services to suit their specific application mix, business priorities, and available IT resources.
- Multi-tenant self-service portal for health monitoring – With its convenient management dashboard, BIG-IQ Cloud enables organizations to provide differentiated application delivery and network services while monitoring application health status. Administrators gain the visibility to effectively troubleshoot issues and assist in fault isolation analysis. This is essential for organizations extending their applications into public cloud environments where visibility is required to pinpoint any cause of poor performance or application issues. Moreover, this approach also allows cloud providers to differentiate or tier the application services they offer to customers, increasing providers’ visibility into resource usage and opening up new revenue opportunities.
Taken together, these capabilities provide enterprise customers and cloud providers with a single, consistent, and actionable view of application delivery and network services, regardless of where these services are implemented. As a result, organizations can simplify IT operations and considerably reduce the amount of time needed to tailor their application delivery systems for the cloud. Customers realize improved productivity with smoother application deployments, simplified management, and a reduction of manual tasks—which in turn lessens the chance of potentially costly configuration errors.