During VMworld a lot of announcements were made, one that may not have been as well advertised is F5’s integration with NSX. Load balancing isn’t always looked at as a sexy technology and at the end of the day may not be because when it works it just works. But there are use cases for load balancing that go beyond a single web site with multiple servers hosting it or round robin load balancing VPN concentrators.
Active\Active datacenters and workloads require some level of load balancing, and saying you are going to cloud burst without understanding how the DNS and network will respond or be routed is like saying you are going to fly to the moon with out understanding the premise of escape velocity.
What F5 announced was that using their BigIQ management solution VMware NSX can now deploy load balancers (currently only virtual edition LTM’s) into an infrastructure. These virtual edition local traffic managers (LTMs) will be completely configured by the NSX. Including the virtual servers on the LTM that allow for multi-tenancy and multi-application support. This also means no more LTM management consoles which were cumbersome. BigIQ can be leveraged to manage the licensing and iRules applied across all of the virtual LTM’s provisioned in the environment and set the services to on or off.
I had the opportunity to see the demo at the F5 booth and it was very cool, I will be standing this up in the lab along side the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC) build to see how NSX and Cloud Connect can play with LTM’s to provide cross site application awareness and least hop. Should be really cool.
In the mean time understand that this is in version 1.0 which means only virtual load balancers are supported and FIPs management for SSL offloading is still something that needs some massaging to make it more elegant.
For more info check out these links: