In the last decade, companies and organizations have rapidly been adopting network virtualization in an effort to take advantage of the flexibility offered by software-based computing and storage resources. A popular new use case for software-defined networking (SDN) and virtualization rests in the software-defined data center (SDDC). With F5 and VMware, the provisioning, automation, and agility customers demand for their SDDCs is at their fingertips.
The SDDC is made up of three types of virtualization: server, storage, and network. VMware NSX – the company’s network virtualization solution – offers the third vital piece of the SDDC, allowing for faster provisioning, simpler operations, and optimized network economics.
As the leading application delivery controller (ADC), F5 BIG-IP offers Software-Defined Application Services that are specifically crafted to enhance performance, visibility, and security. When used in conjunction with NSX, organizations can enjoy the rich service provisioning automation and agility that the SDDC offers, as well as the F5 services that users have grown accustomed to.
In a new design guide from F5, we’re given a look at best practices and topologies offered by the NSX and BIG-IP coupling. The VMWare NSX for vSphere and F5 BIG-IP Design Guide is intended for those who want to implement the SDDC while not sacrificing compatibility or the flow of their current environment.
The design guide focuses on the three topologies that best represent all of the configuration steps needed for BIG-IP and NSX to successfully deploy form factor, connection method, and logical topology combinations. A companion Best Practices Deployment Guide also provides a step-by-step roadmap of how to implement the following topologies:
- Parallel to NSX Edge Using XLAN Overlays With BIG-IP Physical Appliances: Popular on Layer 3 physical fabrics, BIG-IP devices are placed parallel to the NSX Edge. While physical appliances are described in this instance, virtual editions can be used in the same way.
- Parallel to DLR Using VLANs with BIG-IP Appliances: Requiring a Layer 2 physical fabric, this example has the BIG-IP appliances placed parallel to the DLR.
- One-Arm Connected Using VXLAN Overlays with BIG-IP Virtual Editors: Most commonly used on the Layer 3 physical fabrics, this topology has the BIG-IP virtual editions placed in one-arm mode in the load-balanced server networks.
These recommended best practices and topologies are meant to optimize interoperability between the VMware NSX platform and BIG-IP physical and virtual appliances. For more information about the possibilities that can be achieved with F5 and VMware for your software-defined data center, read the design guide now.