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SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez

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We've Got You (Virtually) Covered

Scale is an integral piece of the puzzle, and it's driving a number of technological changes today

You've all heard the news, right? Load balancers are dead. But that doesn't mean load balancing is dead and, in fact, it's a pretty critical piece of today's emerging technologies. That's because when you look out at what's going on and what's growing like weeds in a Midwest corn field, it's applications. Applications need load balancing to scale because at some point, operational axioms start proving themselves true and load on an individual application causes performance to plummet - or worse.

Scale is an integral piece of the puzzle, and it's driving a number of technological changes today including SDN (scaling networks) and Cloud (scaling applications).

Coupled with these external pressures are those coming from within application development proper; the architecture of applications is changing, forced by the mounting pressure from business and consumers to deliver faster, more efficiently and more frequently. Both devops and traditional network operations are feeling the pinch, and that means shaking things up when it comes to designing enterprise network architectures capable of keeping up with the tectonic shifts that threaten to squeeze the network in between them.

That's why it's important to be able to support both core and application networks with a variety of options. Options that include virtualized network elements capable of supporting with alacrity architectures such as SDN, cloud and devops-inspired patterns like canary deployments. .

big-ip-veBIG-IP LTM VE is the core of application delivery (which, if you recall, is how load balancing is delivered these days - as an integral service of a more comprehensive approach to application delivery) and you can download and try it out for free for 90 days at http://f5.com/trials.

This 90-day free trial gives you the ability to run BIG-IP LTM and 10 concurrent BIG-IP Access Policy Manager user sessions with your network applications in a pre-production environment to test configurations. When you are ready to use BIG-IP in production, back up your configuration and restore it to a production BIG-IP device to experience the ultimate in flexibility.

The BIG-IP LTM VE free trial (for a VMware hypervisor environment) allows you to try out such functionality as:

  1. Intelligent traffic management
    Data path programmability and flexible, programmatic services are the basis for F5 Synthesis Software Defined Application Services (SDAS) and that starts with intelligent, programmable traffic management provided by BIG-IP LTM. Application-driven routing, scalability and flexible application health monitoring ensure the scale and performance of applications for both mobile and traditional delivery paths.
  2. Increase operational efficiency
    Control plane programmability and F5's application-driven templates, iApps, ensure consistent, repeatable and successful deployments of application services. Integrate with automation frameworks leveraged by successful devops initiatives such as Puppet, Chef, and OpenStack.
  3. Ensure peak application performance
    When load balancing services are deployed atop a full-proxy architecture there are a variety of performance-related services that become available to improve the performance of any application. TCP multiplexing and application-specific optimization profiles can be applied to increase the efficiency of web and application servers while addressing the most common performance-impeding issues.
  4. Access control for 10 concurrent BIG-IP Access Policy Manager user sessions
    The next generation of data centers will rely heavily on application access management. Get a head start on how applying programmable access polices will simplify and scale the coming onslaught of application requests by consumers, partners and employees alike.

F5 is pleased to announce three different ways you can try out BIG-IP LTM VE:

free-big-ip A free 90-day download is available at http://f5.com/trials

If you need more features or want to try the latest version, just contact F5 to get free full-featured 30-day evaluation licenses of any BIG-IP solution.

If you need build, test, and configure BIG-IP in your dev lab, we have low-cost BIG-IP Lab licenses available for a nominal fee. Just contact F5 to get started.

Need more information before you download? No problem, you can check out the BIG-IP LTM VE data sheet right here [pdf].

Read the original blog entry...

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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