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Speeds, Feeds and Boats

It’s great to be fast and furious, but if your infrastructure handles like a boat you can't take advantage of its performance

#vcmp It’s great to be fast and furious, but if your infrastructure handles like a boat you won’t be able to take advantage of its performance

We recently joined the land of modernity when I had a wild urge to acquire a Wii. Any game system is pretty useless without games, so we got some of those too. One of them, of course, had to be Transfomers: The Game because, well, our three-year old thinks he is a Transformer and I was curious as to how well the game recreated the transformation process.


The three-year old obviously doesn’t have the dexterity (or patience) to play, but he loves to watch other people play, people like his older brother. The first time our oldest sat down and played he noted that Bumblebee, in particular, handled like a “boat.” Oh, he’s a fast car alright, but making it around corners and tight curves or around objects is difficult because he’s not very agile when you get down to it. Jazz, for the record, handles much better. Handling is important, of course, because the faster you go the more difficult it is to maneuver and be accurate in your driving. Handling impacts the overall experience because constantly readjusting direction and speed to get through town makes it difficult to efficiently find and destroy the “evil forces of the Decepticons.”

Now while the infrastructure in which you’re considering investing may be fast and furious, with high speeds and fat feeds, the question you have to ask yourself is, “How does she handle? Is she agile, or is she a boat?” Because constantly readjusting policies and capacity and configuration can make it difficult to efficiently deliver applications.

VIPRION 2400 : High Speed, Fat Feeds and Agile to Boot

This week at Interop F5 announced the newest member of our VIPRION family, the VIPRION 2400 – a.k.a. Victoria. At first glance you might think the VIPRION 2400 is little more than a scaled down version of the VIPRION 4000, our flagship BIG-IP chassis-based application delivery controller. In many respects that’s true, but in many others it’s not.

That’s because at the same time we also introduced a new technology called vCMP (virtual Multi-Clustered Processing) that enables the platform with some pretty awesome agility internally which translates into operational and ultimately business agility. If the network can’t go virtual, then virtual must come to the network.

It’s not just having a bladed, pay-as-you-grow, system that makes VIPRION with vCMP agile. It’s the way in which you can provision and manage resources across blades, transparently, in a variety of different ways. If you’re an application-centric operations kind of group, you can manage and thus provision VIPRION-Vcmpapplication delivery resources on VIPRION based on applications, not ports or IP addresses or blades. If you’re a web-site or domain focused operations kind of group, manage and provision application delivery resources by VIP (Virtual IP Address) instead. If you’re an application delivery kind of group, you may want to manage by module instead. It’s your operations, your way.

What’s awesome about vCMP and the VIPRION platforms is the ability to provision and manage application delivery resources as a pool, regardless of where they’re located. Say you started with one blade in a VIPRION 2400 chassis and grew to need a second. There’s no disruption, no downtime, no changes to the network necessary. Slap in a second blade and the resources are immediately available to be provisioned and managed as though they were merely part of a large pool. Conversely, in the event of a blade failure, the resources are shifted to other available CPUs and memory across the system.

Not only can you provision at the resource layer, but you can split up those resources by creating virtual instances of BIG-IP right on the platform. Each “guest” on the VIPRION platform can be assigned its own resources, be managed by completely different groups, and is for all purposes an isolated, stand-alone version of BIG-IP. Without additional hardware, without topological disruption, without all the extra cables and switches that might be necessary to achieve such a feat using traditional application delivery systems.

VIPRION 2400 has the speeds and feeds necessary to support a growing mid-sized organization. Mid-sized from a traffic management perspective, not necessarily employee count. The increasing demands on even small and medium sized businesses from new clients, video, and HTML5 are driving high volumes of traffic through architectures that are not necessarily prepared to handle the growth affordably or operationally. The VIPRION 2400 was designed to address that need – both to handle volume and provide for growth over time, while being as flexible as possible to fit the myriad styles of architecture that exist in the real world.

The explosion of virtualization inside the data center in medium-sized businesses, too, is problematic. These organizations need a solution that’s capable of supporting the security and delivery needs of virtualized desktops and applications in very flexible ways. VIPRION 2400 enables these organizations to take advantage of what has traditionally been a large-enterprise class only solution and enable the implementation of modern architectures and network topologies that can greatly assist in virtualization and cloud computing efforts by providing the foundation of a dynamic, agile infrastructure.


VIPRION and vCMP ENABLE YOU TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MORE OF THE “50 Ways to Use Your BIG-IP System.” Share how you use your BIG-IP, get a free T-Shirt, and maybe more!

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More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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