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F5 Addresses Unstructured Storage Growth

F5 Networks, which specializes in application delivery networking (ADN), is releasing cloud (ARX Cloud Extender) and virtualization (ARX Virtual Edition) enhancements to its lineup, as well as a file services solution with an open storage management API (F5 iControl). The company says these enhancements will help extend the file storage infrastructure from the data center to the cloud, accelerate automated storage tiering ROI and provide more flexible deployment options for its solutions.

The problem is that data is growing at about 60 percent per year, most of it unstructured, while IT budgets hover around the 3 percent range, says F5. The company's approach is to allow customers to augment their existing IT resources rather than implement a rip-and-replace strategy.

The addition of ARX intelligent automated storage tiering capabilities will enable F5 customers to integrate cloud storage into an existing infrastructure. Available in the fourth quarter of this year, ARX CE is qualified for use with Amazon S3, Iron Mountain VFS cloud storage and NetApp StorageGRID, with additional service providers in qualification.

With the VE edition of ARX--which will be available in trial, production and OEM versions in the first quarter of 2011--customers can choose either a virtual or physical appliance. F5 initially will support VMware, but the company plans to port over to other hypervisors, as well.

Available now, iControl API will enable software vendors and customers to integrate ARX's file virtualization capabilities, including real-time change notification, to improve the scalability, responsiveness and efficiency of a range of third-party applications (including search index, backup, audit and quota management tools). The API includes support for .NET, Java and Python development languages.

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