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Lori MacVittie

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F5 Friday: BIG-IP WOM With Oracle Products

It’s not just having partnerships, it’s what you do with them that makes a difference


When you’re an application delivery focused organization it kind of behooves you to focus on, well, applications. But since you don’t actually develop the applications yourself, how do you ensure that the policies and solutions you do develop are going to actually work and provide value for those applications?

You could adopt an “on the job training” style policy, where you figure out the best configuration and options as you encounter applications, but that may not be optimal for customers who, after all, must be convinced your solution actually does something valuable before you ever get inside their data center. Simply acquiring the applications and figuring it out yourself is also an option, although without support from the application vendor you may not have the inside track on how customers actual deploy and configure and use that application in the real world.

The approach F5 has taken is to partner – deeply – with those application vendors who are most critical to organizations. We work in tandem with them to design, develop, test, and document deployment of the application with F5 solutions. We take our strategic partnerships seriously, as a relationship that is meant to be collaborative and produce value for customers over and above the typical performance, availability, and security gains achieved by deploying F5 solutions on their own. As Don will shortly point out, F5 and Oracle (like many others) have long enjoyed a healthy and active partnership that has produced a wealth of information in the form of best practices, architectural guidelines, and deployment guides that enable customers to get the most out of both solutions.

don_2010 Over the years, we at F5 have enjoyed a healthy relationship with Oracle, each getting something of value from the other, and you getting multiplied value from the strength of our partnership.

These days that partnership is stronger than ever, with our F5 Application Ready Solution Guide for Oracle Technologies, our WOM support for Oracle Streams, and our deployment guide for BIG-IP WOM with Oracle Streams, Database DataGuard, and Recovery Manager.

In all, BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module (WOM) speeds and secures replication of Oracle data between two remote sites, APM secures Oracle Applications, and BIG-IP load balances applications and databases. And that’s a lot of connections between two different companies, and there is more coming soon.

Utilizing BIG-IP WOM, you can see a 9x improvement in replication times, improving both recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives for both Streams and DataGuard. I have to note that your performance improvement will depend upon which Oracle product you use and the nature of the WAN connection, but in general, the worse the connection – contention, loss, latency, the more boost you will see from BIG-IP WOM. All while offloading encryption from servers to the BIG-IP WOM. WOM achieves all of this using iSessions with encryption to create a secure tunnel between your two locations, and a combination of TCP optimizations, data deduplication, and data compression on-the-wire between two WOM devices. In cases where functionality overlaps, our deployment guides help you select the correct functionality to implement on the BIG-IP and which to implement on your Oracle product to give you the best solution possible.

So if you’re an Oracle customer, and you need IT agility.Your way. Then take a look at the documents linked above, and join the Oracle and/or WOM group on F5 DevCentral. You’ll be glad you did.

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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.