F5 and Consera Map Apps on Servers

Tools ease infrastructure management.

F5 Networks Inc. and startup Consera Software Inc. both are rolling out new and enhanced software designed to help corporations more easily manage, monitor and provision their server infrastructures.

Seattle-based F5 this week will unveil the latest version of its blade server management software, Big-IP Blade Controller 4.5. The update includes increased application traffic direction capabilities that point applications to the most appropriate resources based on user-defined requirements, said F5 officials at the NetWorld+Interop show here last week.

The company is also bringing features of its Big-IP network traffic management software to its blade offering, including a Universal Inspection Engine for precise application traffic management and a new feature called dynamic reaping, which helps guard against denial-of-service attacks.

Version 4.5, available now, also provides greater security against Syn flood attacks and use by unauthorized people, as well as automatic blade server provisioning.

"It really comes down to the automated provisioning," said Big-IP Blade Controller user Scott Hakinson, vice president of IT at CRG-Total Events Solutions Inc., in Seattle.

"The software has five different ways of allocating resources," Hakinson said. "You have blades that have application configurations, and F5 will do the configuring for you. If you have a lot of servers to manage, thats huge."

Separately, Consera, of Bellevue, Wash., this month will begin beta testing its as-yet-unnamed server management software, which will ship this summer. The software is designed to give IT administrators visibility into their servers by mapping out which applications are on each server and at what server level. It also includes a wizardlike GUI to simplify the chores of deploying, migrating and consolidating servers.

Using the GUI and Microsoft Corp.s Automated Deployment Services, administrators will be able to more easily image bare-metal machines and deploy or redeploy servers, officials said.

Most Recent Stories by Jeffrey Burt: