F5 Networks Launches New Data Center Manager

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-02-04 Print this article Print

F5's virtualization software platform can run on any server hardware.

F5 Networks, which specializes in automated virtualization software for data centers, launched a new version of its Acopia FreedomFabric network operating system Feb. 4, alongside a new data center network manager.

The combination of the FreedomFabric 3.0 operating system and the FreedomFabric Network Manager gives F5 Networks the industry's first "independent management platform for intelligent file virtualization networks," said Christopher Lynch, senior vice president of Data Solutions at F5.

"With this release, we are making it easier than ever for our customers to put intelligence to work managing their data storage assets," Lynch said from company headquarters in Seattle.

Companies such as VMware, XenSource, CA, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, EMC and Network Appliance also offer data center virtualization management software products.

Click here to read about F5's acquisition of Acopia's file virtualization technology. 

The F5 software can run on any industry-standard server, Lynch said. Network Manager allows management of IT policies across diversified file virtualization systems in large enterprises, which greatly simplifies operations and reduces errors, he said.

The new F5 virtualization platform offers as a standard feature "virtual snapshots"-replicas of data as it existed at a specific point in time. These can be very important in a disaster recovery situation, Lynch said.

"The biggest news I see is the ability to manage file level snapshots across heterogeneous file servers," Mark Bowker, data center analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, told eWEEK.

"Managing snapshots can be a full time job for a storage admin if they have to jump between array vendors and they each do it slightly different. Being able to manage, schedule and recover snapshots across all the file servers is extremely valuable."

IT professionals are really starting to see the benefits of infrastructure virtualization at every level, Bowker said.

"With the addition of F5's Acopia File Virtualization services, IT professionals finally have the ability to really harness all the power of virtualization, from servers to data," Bowker said. "Adding Acopia has made F5's network virtualization service offerings among the most complete in the entire industry."


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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