Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Dean Madison, Yeshim Deniz, Stackify Blog, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog

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
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...