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Lori MacVittie

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#SDAS #SDDC #devops Removing the curse of the "red shirt" from the data center.

expendable

If you're a Star Trek fan (and perhaps even if you aren't) you know that anyone (except Scotty, for some reason) wearing a red shirt was considered "expendable." They were the guys who beamed down with the landing party and inevitably were eaten, lasered, or fell of a tall cliff for dramatic effect.

There are applications in every data center that are essentially treated like the "red shirts" of Star Trek. They just aren't important enough to warrant the investment required to provide reliability, security and performance-related services.

The problem is that they are that important. If the business took the time to have the application developed or spent budget to acquire it, it's important. It serves a business purpose and should be afforded the benefits of application services lest the investment in it not be returned.

The real problem is that providing every application with the application services they need and deserve has been costly. Traditional application service delivery models are based on established high-availability principles that rely on redundancy and isolation to ensure availability, security and performance.

And because of that, it's often difficult to justify the expense for each and every deployed application (of which there are typically thousands). This is particularly true for new applications that haven't proven their business value yet. Organizations, unable to justify the expense without data to prove value, take a "wait and see" attitude. If the application rapidly gains adoption and usage, well, it might warrant some services. Problem is, without those services the application faces challenges to adoption and usage. Consumers are fickle, they are quick to abandon poorly performing or insecure applications.

the selected few

Figure 1: Traditional high-availability architectures result in a selected few applications receiving the benefits of application services.

It's a Catch-22, the application can't win for losing.

Until now.

F5 Synthesis specifically addresses the application "red shirt" phenomenon by radically changing the economy of scale for applications services in favor of applications. That means no application need be "left behind" or wear the proverbial red shirt.

The High Performance Services Fabric central to the F5 Synthesis architecture combined with its focus on simplified business models dramatically changes the economy of scale associated with delivering application services. By applying the principles of traditional high-availability architectures to clusters of F5 service platforms along with a multi-tenant and application-centric approach to scalability and reliability, organizations will find a significantly more flexible and cost-effective means of deploying application services to every application, not just those with the rank to stand on the bridge of the Enterprise (many apologies, but the pun was intended).

fabric model

Figure 2: F5 Synthesis High Performance Services Fabric changes the economy of scale without compromising on reliability, security or performance, enabling all applications to benefit from application services.  

All applications have business value. Some of them cannot realize that value without the assistance of critical application services.  With a focus on multi-tenancy to improve efficiency of application services resources and careful attention to enabling provisioning and orchestration of application-centric services, F5 Synthesis changes the dynamics of the data center and significantly reduces the costs associated with delivering applications.

By changing the economy of scale of those services, F5 Synthesis ensures that no application need be left behind.

Additional Resources:

  1. F5 Synthesis: The Time is Right 
  2. F5 and Cisco: Application-Centric from Top to Bottom and End to End 
  3. F5 Synthesis: Software Defined Application Services 
  4. F5 Synthesis: Integration and Interoperability 
  5. F5 Synthesis: High-Performance Services Fabric

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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.