F5 augments its already comprehensive availability solutions such as trusted N+1 HA architectures with ScaleN. ScaleN was architected with elasticity and multi-tenancy in mind. ScaleN enabled BIG-IP is as elastic as the applications it provides services for and isolates applications to enable application-level failover and scale, a capability unique to F5.
ScaleN supports three models for infrastructure and application scalability: Virtualization, Horizontal Clustering, and On-Demand Scaling. These models are not mutually exclusive, and can be layered and used together to implement scalability of infrastructure and applications that best fits operational and business requirements.
Today we're going to dive into On-Demand Scaling.
ScaleN On-Demand Scaling
Vertical growth, the addition of memory, processors and, in the case of network components bandwidth, is a valid method of scaling infrastructure. In most cases it requires new hardware which must then be configured and inserted into the network. This can be – and often is – disruptive, especially when the component in question is in the critical path for delivery of revenue-generating applications.
F5 supports scale up methods traditionally, of course. Upgrading to a new, more powerful platform is always an option. But F5 also offers a non-disruptive method of scaling up as well, one that requires no configuration changes, no migration, and no maintenance windows.
ScaleN imbues the chassis-based VIPRION line of F5 hardware platforms with the ability to non-disruptively scale up through the addition of blades. While most blade-based systems are disruptive, the combination of ScaleN and vCMP technology allows the system to be upgraded in-place seamlessly. Operators need only acquire a blade and insert into the VIPRION chassis. The blade is immediately recognized and added to the systems’ total resources without any configuration or updates necessary.
Because ScaleN device virtualization is based on F5 CMP technology, each vCMP instance has direct access to all available hardware resources. Using vCMP instead of virtualized off-the-shelf hardware ensures that BIG-IP can scale and use the underlying hardware as needed without the penalties of general purpose virtualization technology. This allows VIPRION to scale linearly as resources are added to the system. As the only chassis-based ADC with 40GbE interfaces and hardware compression, a ScaleN-enabled VIPRION assures organizations of unsurpassed ADC service consolidation opportunities.
Stay tuned for our next post when we'll dig into Horizontal Clustering.