Special Coverage Series

Network Computing

Special Coverage Series


F5 Synthesis Aims To Fill SDN Gap

Architecture targets Layer 4-7 app deployment; Cray debuts TAS for big data; Red Hat updates cloud management software and Linux platform for OpenStack; new Rackspace cloud servers come with all-SSD storage.

F5 Networks announced a new architecture that the company said will help organizations more easily license and deploy Layer 4-7 applications.

F5 Synthesis is a high-performance services fabric aimed at cutting the cost and complexity of what the company has dubbed software defined application services (SDAS). While software-defined networking (SDN) has focused on network orchestration, SDAS addresses Layer 4-7 services such as access control, authentication, load balancing, mobility and optimization.

More Insights

Webcasts

More >>

White Papers

More >>

Reports

More >>

The architecture is based on F5’s BIG-IP hardware and software and BIG-IQ management system, as well as its TMOS and ScaleN technologies. The Synthesis ScaleN services fabric can scale up to support up to 1.28 million instances in a combination of administrative domains and virtual instances, the company said.

F5 Synthesis also includes prescriptive reference architectures and optimized licensing models, as well as management and control plane APIs for integration and interoperability with SDN and virtualization systems.

Brad Casemore, research director covering data center networks at IDC, said F5 Synthesis positions the company’s technology as easier and more affordable for customers to deploy as they embrace virtualization and the cloud. In the past, he said, customers would come to F5 to address a specific need. “This is a way for F5 to grow their business and get more engagements per customer rather than selling a box when the need is obvious," he said.

[Read about Cisco's launch of its long-awaited SDN platform in "Cisco Unveils Insieme SDN Platform, New Switches."]

Casemore said for the most part, Synthesis encompasses technology the company has organically evolved in the Layer 4-7 segment, as well as functionality gained by acquiring < a href="http://www.networkcomputing.com/virtualization/f5-acquires-sdn-startup-linerate-systems/240148379">SDN startup LineRate Systems earlier this year, such as enhanced programmability through APIs.

Other vendors, such Riverbed and Citrix, are recognizing this Layer 4-7 opportunity, especially as many application delivery controller (ADC) capabilities are increasingly being offered as a service, Casemore added. For example, Cisco ended development of its own ACE ADC, announcing in June it would integrate Citrix’s NetScaler ADC into its Cloud Network Services architecture.

Cray Targets TAS At Big Data

Supercomputing supplier Cray debuted its new Tiered Adaptive Storage (TAS) this week, which includes large-scale archival storage software from Versity Software to help organizations more cost-effectively preserve data -- including big data -- indefinitely. Cray recently became a strategic investor in Versity.

TAS can be set up as both a primary storage system as well as persistent storage archive, the company said, and can include up to four different tiers by combining solid state drive, disk or tape that supports quick and easy data migration using Versity Storage Manager.

The introduction of TAS comes on the heels of Cray’s launch of Cluster Connect, its compute agnostic storage and data management product for x86 Linux clusters, and Sonexion, a scale-out storage system for high-performance computing environments.

Earlier this year, research firm IDC predicted a $6 billion market for big data storage by 2016, accounting for one quarter of an overall big data market that also includes file systems and analytics software.

Red Hat Expands OpenStack Support

Red Hat unveiled the latest version of its cloud management platform, CloudForms 3.0, and announced beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 at the OpenStack Summit this week.

CloudForms installs as a virtual appliance and is also offered as part of the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure introduced earlier this year. It already supported enterprise-level management and automation capabilities for a number of infrastructure platforms, including VMware vSphere, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Amazon Web Services (AWS), but now also provides cloud management capabilities for its own Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform as well, the company said.

Additional features for AWS in CloudForms 3.0 gives users the ability to manage workloads running in their public clouds together with those in their private cloud. CloudForms also allows users to provision Amazon Machine Instances in a policy controlled manner; supports Amazon Virtual Private Cloud; and integrates with Amazon's Identity and Access Management.

Meanwhile, the beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 includes both OpenStack Havana and the beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5. The latest version now supports Foreman, a management tool for physical and virtual servers that simplifies the addition of both physical and virtual compute nodes to an OpenStack deployment, as well as OpenStack Orchestration (Heat), an orchestration engine to launch application stacks, and OpenStack Networking (Neutron), which provides networking-as-a-service between interface devices such as vNICs.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 also includes better integration with Red Hat Storage Server 2.1, providing storage services for OpenStack Object Storage (Swift), OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) and OpenStack Image Service (Glance).

Rackspace Boosts Public Cloud

Rackspace Hosting has redesigned its public cloud by adding new servers to support a variety of workloads, ranging from basic Web hosting to large scale NoSQL data stores such MongoDB and Cassandra, the company said.

The data center-grade Performance Cloud Servers include RAID 10-protected solid-state disks (SSDs), Intel Xeon E5 processors and up to 120GB of RAM, which Rackspace said delivers four times more total RAM and two times more total CPU performance compared to its current Cloud Servers. The new servers’ high-throughput network was specifically designed to work with Cloud Block Storage, providing up to 1.5X more disk I/O performance for Standard volumes and 2.5X more disk I/O performance for SSD volumes, according to Rackspace.

The new servers, which run OpenStack, are available now in the Northern Virginia region and are expected to come online in the Dallas and Chicago regions later this month.



Related Reading



Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.
 

Editor's Choice

Research: 2014 State of Server Technology

Research: 2014 State of Server Technology

Buying power and influence are rapidly shifting to service providers. Where does that leave enterprise IT? Not at the cutting edge, thatís for sure: Only 19% are increasing both the number and capability of servers, budgets are level or down for 60% and just 12% are using new micro technology.
Get full survey results now! »

Vendor Turf Wars

Vendor Turf Wars

The enterprise tech market used to be an orderly place, where vendors had clearly defined markets. No more. Driven both by increasing complexity and Wall Street demands for growth, big vendors are duking it out for primacy -- and refusing to work together for IT's benefit. Must we now pick a side, or is neutrality an option?
Get the Digital Issue »

WEBCAST: Software Defined Networking (SDN) First Steps

WEBCAST: Software Defined Networking (SDN) First Steps


Software defined networking encompasses several emerging technologies that bring programmable interfaces to data center networks and promise to make networks more observable and automated, as well as better suited to the specific needs of large virtualized data centers. Attend this webcast to learn the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging.
Register Today »

Related Content

From Our Sponsor

How Data Center Infrastructure Management Software Improves Planning and Cuts Operational Cost

How Data Center Infrastructure Management Software Improves Planning and Cuts Operational Cost

Business executives are challenging their IT staffs to convert data centers from cost centers into producers of business value. Data centers can make a significant impact to the bottom line by enabling the business to respond more quickly to market demands. This paper demonstrates, through a series of examples, how data center infrastructure management software tools can simplify operational processes, cut costs, and speed up information delivery.

Impact of Hot and Cold Aisle Containment on Data Center Temperature and Efficiency

Impact of Hot and Cold Aisle Containment on Data Center Temperature and Efficiency

Both hot-air and cold-air containment can improve the predictability and efficiency of traditional data center cooling systems. While both approaches minimize the mixing of hot and cold air, there are practical differences in implementation and operation that have significant consequences on work environment conditions, PUE, and economizer mode hours. The choice of hot-aisle containment over cold-aisle containment can save 43% in annual cooling system energy cost, corresponding to a 15% reduction in annualized PUE. This paper examines both methodologies and highlights the reasons why hot-aisle containment emerges as the preferred best practice for new data centers.

Monitoring Physical Threats in the Data Center

Monitoring Physical Threats in the Data Center

Traditional methodologies for monitoring the data center environment are no longer sufficient. With technologies such as blade servers driving up cooling demands and regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley driving up data security requirements, the physical environment in the data center must be watched more closely. While well understood protocols exist for monitoring physical devices such as UPS systems, computer room air conditioners, and fire suppression systems, there is a class of distributed monitoring points that is often ignored. This paper describes this class of threats, suggests approaches to deploying monitoring devices, and provides best practices in leveraging the collected data to reduce downtime.

Cooling Strategies for Ultra-High Density Racks and Blade Servers

Cooling Strategies for Ultra-High Density Racks and Blade Servers

Rack power of 10 kW per rack or more can result from the deployment of high density information technology equipment such as blade servers. This creates difficult cooling challenges in a data center environment where the industry average rack power consumption is under 2 kW. Five strategies for deploying ultra-high power racks are described, covering practical solutions for both new and existing data centers.

Power and Cooling Capacity Management for Data Centers

Power and Cooling Capacity Management for Data Centers

High density IT equipment stresses the power density capability of modern data centers. Installation and unmanaged proliferation of this equipment can lead to unexpected problems with power and cooling infrastructure including overheating, overloads, and loss of redundancy. The ability to measure and predict power and cooling capability at the rack enclosure level is required to ensure predictable performance and optimize use of the physical infrastructure resource. This paper describes the principles for achieving power and cooling capacity management.