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F5, VMware team on software-defined data centre tech

Partnership to allow orchestration of layer 2 to 7 network services in the SDDC

F5, VMware team on software-defined data centre tech
F5: Traditionally, provisioning services for new applications, or changing parameters, is a long, manual process

F5 Networks and VMware this week announced that they would allow interoperability between F5's BIG-IQ management platform and the VMware NSX network virtualisation platform.

This would allow rapid orchestration of layer 2 to 7 network and application services in what VMware calls the software-defined data centre (SDDC), the two companies said in a statement. The idea is to allow customers to combine the NSX platform's network service automation with F5's application delivery service management.

"Many organisations have VMware and F5 solutions in their infrastructures, and our goal is to make it even easier for customers to reap additional benefits by combining the companies' technologies," said Manny Rivelo, executive vice president for strategic solutions at F5.  

"The F5 Synthesis framework and software-defined application services provide an ideal fit for VMware-based data centre initiatives. Looking forward, we see many opportunities to build on existing partnership efforts to help customers add capabilities without complexity and maximize the effectiveness of data centre and cloud deployments."

The two companies said that, traditionally, provisioning services for new applications, or changing parameters, is a long, manual process. But with a combined VMware and F5 solution, enterprises can use BIG-IP services from within the NSX manager as part of the normal virtual machine deployment process. This would reduce provisioning time from days to minutes, the two vendors claimed.

The F5 and VMware NSX technologies interoperate with management plane-level REST-based APIs that are used by F5 BIG-IP to register and deploy application services that can be consumed by F5 users in their software-defined data centre, the statement said.

The NSX traffic steering capability enables traffic to be redirected to the F5 service. This combination allows F5 iApps to be leveraged by NSX, and to be consumed as vendor templates that F5 customers can instantiate with application-specific parameters.

"Customers will be able to extend the use of F5's layer 4 to 7 services through a software-defined application services model into the SDDC," explained Hatem Naguib, vice president of networking and security at VMware.

"The interoperability between VMware NSS network virtualisation and F5's application delivery architecture-and the unique ability to provision and consume iApps-allows our mutual customers to create more agile data centres."

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