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SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

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F5 Synthesis: Open, Secure and Production-Ready SDDC

#vmworld #SDDC #NSX #SDAS #cloud VMware and F5 offer up a production-ready L2-7 SDDC

Many of us may recall from our school days some fairly typical "word problems" in math class. Consider for a moment this familiar pattern:

If it takes Bob 27 hours to complete a job, how long will it take Bob and Alice to complete the job working together? 

The premise is that by adding more people to work on the same "job", it will get done faster. Mathematically, we can prove that this is true. But in the real world, we know that it isn't. Adding more people is, at some point, actually a negative. Brook's Law, which is something most developers are familiar with thanks to The Mythical Man-Month, tells us that there is a tipping point at which adding a to a project makes it take more, not less time. This is often illustrated through the analogy that "Nine women can't make a baby in one month."

Thus, the pressure on operations coming from an increase in devices, application and service mobility and an increase in new services to deploy and manage can't necessarily be effectively addressed by simply throwing more people at the problem. The overhead from communications that occurs when additional people must synchronize and track efforts becomes, at some point, an impediment to forward progress.

So if operations and networking teams can't scale effectively to meet rising demand by incremental increases in staff, how can they manage?

This is the conundrum software-defined technologies are attempting to address with automation and orchestration. Standardization of the interfaces between systems through software-defined techniques using open standards (APIs and protocols) enables operations and networking teams to more seamlessly orchestrate provisioning workflow processes. Doing so relieves pressure on both teams, enabling them to effectively increase their deployment throughput - without compromising on stability or security.

The Software Defined Data Center 

VMware promotes the notion of a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) as a solution to this growing challenge.

The answer is the software-defined data center (SDDC): the ideal architecture for private, public, and hybrid clouds. Pioneered by VMware and recognized by the industry and analysts alike, SDDC extends the virtualization concepts you know— abstraction, pooling and automation — to all data center resources and services.

- http://www.vmware.com/software-defined-datacenter#sthash.S7uusVif.dpuf

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Extending virtualization concepts to the network isn't necessarily the same as turning network services into virtual machines, but is rather about abstracting the network into composable services that can be rapidly provisioned, easily migrated and software-defined. Virtualization is, primarily, about abstraction; about decoupling hardware from software, applications from networks, and businesses from physical locations.

F5 continues its 7 year history of partnering with VMware to provide secure, integrated and seamless solutions that enable the next-generation architectures necessary to meet existing and future challenges associated with delivering applications anywhere, to anyone, at any time. Together, VMware and F5 are offering a production-ready L2-7 SDDC without compromising on key IT concerns like security and control. 

Today we're announcing general availability of the software components that allow for the integration between VMware NSX and BIG-IQ which will enable an application-driven approach to provisioning Software Defined Application Services (SDAS) using F5 iApps.  Along with the availability of these components is a ready for implementation Synthesis Reference Architecture offering organizations guidance on enabling seamless service insertion for application delivery, security and network services as well as operational agility for application services such as acceleration, availability and security.

This solution is intended to allow VMware environments (using either vSphere + vCNS, or vSphere + vCNS + vCloud Director) to provision the necessary L4-7 application services much more rapidly and efficiently than before. Organizations can use physical or virtual BIG-IP editions to deliver all the F5 Synthesis Software Defined Application Services desired using VMware-driven orchestration. 

A Software Defined Data Center requires a collaborative, ecosystem approach inclusive of all the services across the network necessary to successfully deliver applications. Like F5 Synthesis, VMware NSX uses open standards and cultivates a healthy, robust ecosystem. The nature of the SDDC demands an open, standards-based approach to enable organizations the option of selecting the solutions and services they need without being required to figure out how to integrate them into a comprehensive data center wide system.

With VMware and F5, organizations can scale operations and networking to deliver a full complement of those services without compromise - or running afoul of Brook's Law. 

Additional Resources: 

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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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