If by “caffeine and sugar” you mean one way operations can optimize application and application delivery network performance.

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The benefits of a successfully executed centralized infrastructure management strategy are well-understood. We all know that being able to monitor and subsequently manage the various configurations, options and dependencies in a data center is critical to an agile operational posture capable of reacting and adjusting policies and processes on-demand. But as cloud computing and virtualization continue to emerge as the preferred architectures of choice, unified management has become problematic. As organizations deploy a mixture of virtual and physical components as a means to address fluctuating infrastructure capacity needs they’ve discovered unprecedented flexibility in deployments – along with unanticipated challenges.

One such challenge is the tracking of metrics across multiple devices and environments. Monitoring and measuring is the cornerstone of being able to react to changes in demand – both those that provision the additional resources necessary to maintain service level agreements related to performance and availability as well as those that indicate when it’s time to scale back down. Both are critical for IT operations to align with business goals: both improve responsiveness while maintaining a cost-efficient operational posture.

This data is also critical if you’re going to optimize performance of not only the applications you’re managing but the infrastructure by which such applications are delivered. You need to be able to integrate that data in a way that makes it possible to holistically analyze the performance of the entire service delivery chain.

f5fridayF5 Enterprise Manager 2.2

A hybrid architectural approach to managing application delivery infrastructure is becoming more appealing as organizations seek to find a balance between costs, flexibility and performance. Supporting these goals, this week F5 introduced its centralized BIG-IP system management platform, Enterprise Manager 2.2 (EM 2.2), including a new virtual edition form-factor. Whether organizations are managing these solutions within the corporate firewall or off premises as part of a managed service or cloud solution, they need a flexible management platform that enables them to manage multiple ADCs. With Enterprise Manager Version 2.2, customers now have the choice of deploying a virtual or physical appliance.

EM 2.2 also addresses the pressing need to aggregate and analyze statistics data across disparate F5 BIG-IP systems by including an option to leverage a remote, external database.  Enterprise Manager traditionally stores performance data in an internal MySQL database. Although external databases and reporting services could access the MySQL database, external databases could not store performance data directly. For customers that prefer to store performance monitoring statistics in an external database, Enterprise Manager Version 2.2 now provides that option.

quote-badge  Particularly when it comes to tracking data across internal, external and cloud applications, what could be easier than deploying a specialized, all-software environment to handle a set of specific tasks, and then doing away with it at the click of a mouse when resources are needed elsewhere? Not only are the all-software environments more flexible than traditional hardware appliances, but they can be had far more cheaply as well.

That's why, in management circles in particular, virtual appliances are all the rage. F5 Networks recently added a new one to its Application Delivery Networking (ADN) portfolio, the F5 Enterprise Manager 2.2, designed primarily as a means to integrate physical and virtual environments under a single management regime.

--  Virtual Appliances: More Than Just Easy App Deployment?

This is key to integrating performance data as a means to analyze every aspect of performance from end-to-end across the service delivery chain. Analysis of the complete performance picture can provide the insight necessary to optimize and accelerate individual components as a means to meet business and operational performance service level agreements.

As the industry struggles with the migration to 2K SSL keys and begin to realize the resulting performance impact on their application servers, they need a way to easily track and evaluate transactions per second information for their ADCs. EM 2.2 adds new reporting features to capture current and historical SSL transactions per second data, enabling customers to analyze and compare average and peak usage against maximum thresholds. With this information, customers are better equipped to plan for capacity increases by upgrading SSL licensing or hardware platform capabilities to meet their application needs.

Enterprise Manager gives customers a consolidated view of their entire application delivery infrastructure in real time, and provides monitoring and management tools for optimizing performance and scaling the infrastructure to meet business needs. New options that take advantage of virtual deployments, consolidate management of F5 BIG-IP systems regardless of form-factor and location and more flexibility to manage and analyze performance metrics provide an improved management experience that better enables IT to meet its operational goals and align with the business.

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Happy Managing!

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