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December 7, 2010

F5 Networks extends Data Solution portfolio to the cloud

Includes the ARX Cloud Extender offering, ARX Virtual Edition appliance, and F5iControl

By CBR Staff Writer

F5 Networks, a company involved in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), has expanded its Data Solutions portfolio, to power intelligent automated storage tiering to the cloud.

The new enhancements include the ARX Cloud Extender offering, which supports a variety of cloud storage providers and object storage platforms; an ARX Virtual Edition (VE) appliance, which delivers the power of ARX as a flexible virtual machine; and the F5 iControl file services offering, which provides an open storage management API.

F5 said it has extended ARX’s intelligent, automated storage tiering capabilities to support cloud storage services, making it easier for companies to integrate cloud storage into an existing infrastructure.

ARX VE offering will be available as a virtual appliance in addition to physical, hardware based offerings. This extends the benefits of ARX beyond centralised data centres, and provides a variety of flexible deployment options, the company claims.

ARX VE will be available via three deployment options, which include a trial version for demonstration purposes, a full version suitable for production environments, and through OEM partners.

F5’s iControl file services API allows software vendors and customers to integrate ARX’s file virtualisation capabilities to enhance their existing data management solutions and enable entirely new applications.

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Through the API, customers can use ARX’s real-time change notification capability to improve the scalability, responsiveness, and efficiency of a range of third-party applications such as search index, backup, audit, and quota management tools.

With these new enhancements, customers will now be able to extend the file storage infrastructure from the data centre to the cloud, accelerate their return on investment for intelligent automated storage tiering, and provide more flexible deployment options for F5 Data Solutions, the company said.

ARX and its intelligent file services enable customers and third-party vendors to create powerful and granular file data management policies to improve business operations and reduce costs.

F5 VP of Data Solutions Product Management and Marketing Kathleen Ferraro said F5’s API initiative for ARX will enable their partners and customers to realise the same kinds of benefits that their iControl API has long provided on the network side for BIG-IP Application Delivery Controllers.

"iControl offers direct access to the power of F5’s Application Delivery Controllers, enhancing their value as strategic points of control in the IT infrastructure," Ferraro said.

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