Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, William Schmarzo

Blog Feed Post

F5 Friday: Doing VDI, Only Better

#F5 does #VDI, and it does it better. f5friday

There are three core vendors and protocols supporting VDI today. Microsoft with RDP, Citrix with ICA, and VMware with PCoIP. For most organizations a single vendor approach has been necessary, primarily because the costs associated with the supporting network and application delivery network infrastructure required to deliver VDI with the appropriate levels of security while meeting performance expectations of users and the need to maintain high availability.

It’s a tall order that’s getting taller with every mobile client introduced, especially when you toss in a liberal dose of enforcing policies regarding access to virtual desktops.

Most folks are well aware of F5’s long history of deep integration with its partners Microsoft and VMware. Whether it’s integrating with management systems or designing, testing, and documenting the often times complex joint architectures required to deliver enterprise-class applications like SharePoint and Exchange or building out a dynamic data center model to support cloud computing , F5 works in tandem with its partners to ensure the best experience possible not only for the ultimate consumers but for the IT operations folks who must deploy the solutions.

But what most folks aren’t likely as aware of is F5’s commitment and expertise to delivering Citrix VDI as well. That’s natural. After all, Citrix competes with F5 at the application delivery tier and it might seem natural to assume that Citrix could deliver its own technology better than any competitor.

But that assumption ignores that F5’s core focus has been and continues to be unified application delivery rather than applications – like VDI - themselves. That unified is in bold because it’s a key factor in why F5 is able to deliver all VDI solutions better, faster, and more efficiently than any other solution today.

See, F5’s approach since introducing v9 and its platform has been about the integration of application delivery services. Whether those services reside on the same physical (or virtual) platform is not as important as the integration and collaboration between those services that is made possible by being designed, developed, and ultimately deployed on a common, high-speed, high-security application delivery platform.

Consider, for example, the case of a comprehensive Citrix VDI delivery solution:

citrix vdi solution

That’s a lot of components, each of which adversely impacts performance and increases operational risk by adding additional complexity and components to the architecture. That’s ignoring the cost, as well, added by not only the need to deploy these solutions but to power them, manage them, and maintain them over time. It’s costly, it’s complex, and it’s ultimately not very extensible.

Authentication, for example, must be managed in multiple locations, which increases the risk of misconfiguration or human error, and makes it more likely that orphaned identities will be left behind, always a concern as it creates an opportunity for a breach. This solution also requires manual scripting to integrate the disparate authentication sources, yet another tedious, manual and error-prone process.

Now consider the same solution, but leveraging F5 and its platform with BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager and BIG-IP Access Policy Manager deployed:

f5 vdi solution

 

Consolidated (and integrated) authentication. Highly extensible policy management and enforcement, and we’ve eliminated the Web Interface Servers (and NetScalers, but as we’ve replaced them with BIG-IP that’s more of a wash than a win). 

But it’s not just about reducing the complexity (and ultimately the cost) of such a deployment. BIG-IP LTM and APM can simultaneously support Microsoft and VMware VDI while delivering Citrix VDI – as well as a host of other applications. F5’s solution isn’t a VDI delivery solution, it’s an application delivery solution with support for all VDI implementations and protocols. That includes Citrix Session Reliability to session roaming and reconnection as well as SmartAccess filters. F5 BIG-IP APM can populate SmartAccess filter values based upon any information discovered using VPE(source IP address, AV presence, client certificate presence, etc.) and pass them to the XML broker for evaluation.

And let’s not forget about Citrix Multi-Streaming, which to give Citrix credit where due is an innovative solution to the problem of traffic prioritization in VDI delivery. If you aren’t familiar with Multi-streaming, it was introduced in XenDesktop 5.5 & XenApp 6.5 and uses multiple TCP connections (aka Multi-Stream ICA) to carry the ICA traffic between the client and the server. Each of the connections is associated with a different class of service, which allows the network administrator to prioritize each class of service, independently from each other, based on the TCP port number used for the connection. F5 supports Multi-Streaming and has for some time now. No worries.

Then there’s VMware PCoIP – which can be challenging, especially when paired with DTLS for security. F5 has that covered, too, as well as its long-term support for optimal delivery of Microsoft-based solutions including its broad set of VDI solutions pdf-icon.

I know, you’ve heard configuring F5 BIG-IP is hard and cumbersome. Well, in the past that may have been true but the introduction of iApp with BIG-IP v11 has changed that tune from a dirge to a delightful melody. iApp deployment templates and accompanying deployment guides for XenApp and XenDesktop make deploying BIG-IP painless and far less error-prone than manual processes.

One of the drawbacks of VDI architectural complexity is it often presents itself as a single-vendor solution – and a reason for a single vendor virtualization strategy. If your application delivery and access management solution is capable of unifying access while delivering secure, highly performing, very available <virtual, physical> <desktops, applications, solutions> of any flavor, you’d have more of a choice in what your overall architecture would look like. That kind of choice is enabled through flexibility of the underlying application delivery network infrastructure, which is exactly the role F5 plays in your data center.

If your application delivery solution is a flexible platform and not a product, then your network becomes an enabler of architecture and choice rather than being the limiting factor. 

VDI Resources:

Connect with Lori: Connect with F5:
o_linkedin[1] google  o_rss[1] o_facebook[1] o_twitter[1]   o_facebook[1] o_twitter[1] o_slideshare[1] o_youtube[1] google

Related blogs & articles:


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.