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F5 taps application services management with ADC upgrade

F5 bolsters ADCs with features designed to simplify application services management; Nyansa launches Voyance Live; a survey says 66% of firms have adopted some form of SDN; Zebra offers cloud management.

F5 Networks Inc. is arming its application delivery controller software with additional security and enhanced support for public cloud and virtualized environments. BIG-IP 12.1, available this quarter, blends application services management with orchestration and other programmable features, the company said.

A new version of F5's BIG-IQ Centralized Management, meantime, bolsters management of other F5 products, while iWorkflow 2.0 enables F5 products to be orchestrated through software-defined networking (SDN) frameworks VMware NSX and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure.

"To better meet the needs of customers, we have made significant investments in security, management and orchestration, along with the feature-rich software that supports our flagship BIG-IP product line," said Karl Triebes, CTO at F5, in a statement. "Giving organizations the ability to integrate F5 with vendors and solutions, such as AWS [Amazon Web Services], [Microsoft] Azure, Cisco and VMware, is certainly a priority, but we also have an eye toward making sure our offerings resonate with those using open source technologies, like OpenStack."

Finally, F5, based in Seattle, added security features to its application services management framework that include customizable bot detection, faster blacklisting of malicious IPs and visibility into HTML5 WebSocket connections.

Nyansa launches Voyance Live

Nyansa Inc., an IT network analytics software vendor, launched Voyance Live, a free public portal that allows enterprises to compare their network performance metrics against their peers.

Nyansa, based in Palo Alto, Calif., calls its approach cloudsourcing, drawing on petabytes of data collected from enterprises that are using the firm's Voyance network monitoring service. Nyansa scrubs away identifying information; the anonymized data provides client, network and service trends that can be used to create baseline performance targets. 

"The introduction of Voyance Live represents a new step in liberating network data analytics for the industry at large," said Abe Ankumah, Nyansa's co-founder and CEO, in a statement. "Organizations can get objective answers to those. We believe that all the data we're collecting and analyzing transcends us as a commercial entity and should be openly shared. Voyance Live does precisely this." Voyance Live will initially highlight such attributes as Wi-Fi protocol, channelization and bandwidth usage; access point capabilities; and the top software as a service application and bandwidth consumers.

Viavi study finds widespread enterprise SDN adoption

SDN is continuing to gain traction, with two-thirds of enterprises having deployed some portion of the technology, according to Viavi Solutions Inc.'s ninth annual State of the Network study.

Viavi, formerly Network Instruments, said among companies using SDN, 35% have implemented an SDN underlay, with 27% using SDN overlay technology.

At the same time, companies are increasing their investments in 100 Gigabit Ethernet, driven by skyrocketing bandwidth demands. Viavi, based in Milpitas, Calif., said 25% of those polled had deployed 100 GbE, with more than 60% planning to do so in 2017. Only 28% said they had no plans to move to the higher-speed standard.

The State of the Network study also tracked the growth of cloud computing, with nine out of 10 respondents reporting they had moved at least one application to the cloud; 28% host the majority of their applications there. By 2017, four-fifths of enterprises will be using the private or public cloud on an everyday basis. But challenges exist, with a majority of respondents claiming issues with service-level agreement enforcement, loss of visibility and control, and difficulties in tracking user experience.

The study was based on responses from 740 networking and IT execs worldwide.

Zebra launches cloud-based management

Zebra Technologies Corp. has introduced cloud-based management for its wireless LAN, which is used by hospitals, hotels, retailers, manufacturers and schools.

Zebra launched the Azara cloud service this week for companies that want to forego the capital expense of an on-premises controller to administer Zebra's wireless networking gear. Businesses most likely to request a cloud option are small and midsize companies, a Zebra spokeswoman said.

Azara is the cloud-based version of Zebra's on-premises NX controller, which is powered by the company's WiNG 5 operating system. Management functions include provisioning and day-to-day monitoring and troubleshooting.

In addition, Zebra has included in the cloud service its NSight dashboard. The browser-based software provides WLAN analytics, automated remediation of network problems, troubleshooting tools and interactive floor maps to identify problem areas.

Zebra, which acquired Motorola Solutions' enterprise business for $3.5 billion in 2014, sells wireless access points, controllers and switches.

Next Steps

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The status of enterprise SDN adoption

Nyansa takes new approach to performance monitoring

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