Saturday, 8 June 2019

F5 ACI ServiceCenter App Pushes the Envelope in DC Networking Automation

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Introduction


In tune with changing technology trends, our data center customers are increasingly adopting a solution-focused approach, instead of a point product one, for managing and monitoring their Data Center operations. This trend is very much pronounced with intent-based networking technologies, such as ACI, that provide customers a cloud-like experience with their on-prem infrastructure. A very understandably popular request from our customers – and this was heard loud and clear in our most recent Cisco Live EMEA – is to consume networking and application-delivery services together as a cohesive solution. With the goal to enable customers to do just that, Cisco and F5 have collaborated on a F5 App for the Cisco ACI App Center.

Today, I am pleased to share with you my thoughts on this newly designed F5 ACI ServiceCenter App, a multi-function and operations focused solution, covering its key L2-L7 operational use-cases. You’ll be able to see how customers can leverage its capabilities combined with the speed and flexibility of its host, the ACI App Center.

What does this mean?


Customers want a native ACI solution and a single point of automation and visibility for L2-L7 infrastructures. The F5-ACI App represents a strategic and new directional transference from the erstwhile device-package based integration approach. Centered around ease-of-use and customer experience, this App is quick to install and intuitive in its design flow for the end user. This forms the basis for the design innovation of the F5-ACI App addressing flexibility without compromising features, domain expertise, or ease of use.

F5 ACI App – Key Use Cases and Value Proposition

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F5-ACI App – Use Cases


1. Enhanced Visibility across Cisco ACI and F5 BIG-IP
(correlation of APIC components and BIG-IP configurations)
2. Configure network connectivity between ACI and BIG-IP
(deploy ACI-to-BIGIP L2-L3 connectivity)
3. Provision application services on BIG-IP from App UI
(use pre-defined json files to push custom configuration from App-to-BIGIP)
.

F5-ACI App – Key Benefits


1. Native and easy deployment from ACI App center
2. Operational model alignment with ACI and F5 users
3. Applicability to “Brownfield/Greenfield” user deployments
4. Consistent with F5’s overall approach towards automation leveraging a declarative automation approach through AS3 from the F5 Automation Toolchain

We are committed to a robust roadmap evolving the App to address the strong demand of this integration by our customers. This is a phenomenal milestone – two industry leaders collaborating to enable our customers with success and cutting edge, yet simple, technology.

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