This morning, F5 Networks is introducing a new load balancer, LineRate Point, and a volume licensing plan. Both are aimed at extending the F5 Synthesis framework to let all applications receive services no matter where the applications are located.
LineRate Point is an addition to F5‘s application delivery product family. F5 says it lets users easily deploy Layer 7 load balancing inexpensively and can integrate and scale quickly, making it a reliable option for the enterprise software-defined data center (SDDC).
The new F5 load balancer is an effort to follow the “per-application” model that F5 says is a growing market trend. Due to its lightness, it’s limited in its scope, primarily focusing on load balancing for web applications and SSL.
The new F5 load balancer also looks to automate and orchestrate deployment while achieving faster time-to-market and more consistency, says Lori MacVittie, principal technical evangelist at F5. Purely software, LineRate is available as either a virtual machine or as a bare-metal software install. F5’s BIG-IP had been offered in a virtual form as part of Synthesis prior to today’s announcement.
MacVittie says the SDDC space is a popular use case right now, being that the network as it used to be wasn’t able to scale for what users now expect. Virtualization has changed the infrastructure we used to know and is essential to making sure applications can deploy quickly and efficiently, she says.
“As applications increase in number, there is more infrastructure, more management, and all of these things start adding up to a higher cost,” says MacVittie. “You want to be first and fast, but you don’t want it to cost too much to the point where it doesn’t make sense to do anymore.”
And that’s where the second part of F5’s announcement comes in — its Volume Licensing Subscription. With it, users can license a large number of virtual application delivery products and services more cheaply.
The significant rise in the number of applications was a major driver for introducing volume licensing. Recent trends such as mobile apps, hyperscale environments, and microservices architectures have created a demand for better scalability in application services, MacVittie says.
BIG-IP virtual editions and LineRate Point can both be deployed in private or public clouds for a fraction of the cost of traditional methods or hardware-only integrations. This results in a more economical way for customers to extend the benefits of virtual load balancers and services to every application, MacVittie says.
Both the the new F5 load balancer and licensing subscription are now generally available.