Reseller News

Boost for NZ business as F5 unites with Cisco to transform the data centre

  • IDG staff (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 11 June, 2015 11:21

Boost for NZ business as F5 unites with Cisco to transform the data centre

The demand for IT as a service, combined with the need to reduce costs, has pushed data centres to the brink of a major transformation.

With business leaders in New Zealand, and across the world, now tasked with driving greater speed and innovation throughout organisations, building architecture capable of meeting changing application needs is paramount.

But today, the existing data centre infrastructure is a contrasting mix of physical and virtual devices with a device-centric management approach, churning out an operation widely regarded as manual, repetitive, and time-consuming.

“A lack of focus around end user experience and end user adoption are among the key business challenges when transforming existing data centre infrastructure,” says Matthew Miller, Regional Director, F5 Networks.

“Furthermore, traditional structure and architecture introduces latency by design and such a structure is dominated by device to device chatter and communication meaning only 30 percent is user or application traffic.”

For Miller, when addressing Kiwi businesses competing in a demanding environment, the challenge for organisations lie in its ability to drive efficiency in the data centre to deliver an acceptable user experience.

“Productivity is about the user,” observes Miller, alluding to F5 Networks integrated solution offering with Cisco, designed to address such business barriers. “We’ve found that efficiency gains can come from reducing the device to device overhead while also removing the overhead from the architecture to trigger an increase in application performance.”

Speaking as an industry veteran, and in taking a simplistic approach to the issue, Miller believes transforming the existing data centre infrastructure requires automation and orchestration.

But these strategies bring their own challenges, such as the need to operationalise the network while maintaining the high availability and predictable performance of existing applications.

In providing New Zealand organisations with an integrated solution alongside fellow tech giant Cisco, Miller says such an offering will “transform the current data centre and address these business challenges.”

Cisco ACI is a data centre architecture with an integrated network fabric and centralised policy-based control, designed to deliver software flexibility, rapid and automated provisioning, and scalability and performance.

Enabling the rapid deployment of applications onto networks with scalability, security, and full visibility, Cisco’s technology is complimented by F5 Synthesis, an architecture that delivers and orchestrates F5’s Software-Defined Application Services via a high-performance application fabric.

“Together, the F5 and Cisco technologies offer a complementary and unified network and application fabric with an application-centric and open approach to operationalising the network,” says Miller, adding that both solutions communicate in a way that allow each environment to orchestrate each other.

“As you run up new resources, the joint integration allows all services, such as security, network, compute, traffic management, to be created simultaneously.”

Perhaps crucially for New Zealand organisations however, and as Miller explains, operational benefits of the integrated solution include a “huge increase in efficiency, reduction of errors and human interaction and greater speed to get resources online and operational.”

“Through operationalising the network with Cisco ACI and F5 Networks, organisations can rely on quicker and more successful application rollouts, while also scaling in and out of the clouds,” he adds.

“Cloud wise, this can be Public, Private or Hybrid with both Cisco and F5 focused on the intelligent delivery of applications and services in all types of environments.”

According to Miller, the key point of integration for F5 Synthesis within Cisco ACI is F5’s Device Package for the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC).

“This makes it easy for customers to combine F5’s L4–L7 application fabric with Cisco’s L2–L3 network fabric,” he explains. “Between both companies, organisations can rely on two market leaders working together to deploy policy-driven application services across layer 2-7 fabrics, while also holding a joint commitment and focus around Research and Development.”

Miller says this joint F5 and Cisco solution “simplifies and automates” end-to-end application delivery across an integrated and elastic fabric for existing and next-generation data centres, providing applications with the speed, reliability, and security that today’s business environment demands.

In placing the needs of Kiwi organisations first, Miller says with Cisco ACI and F5, businesses can overcome IT agility and cost management challenges, ensuring responsiveness to customers and employees and a more competitive posture.

As a result, rather than being a perceived barrier to success, IT organisations can drive innovation and agility to meet business objectives.

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