This blog is a joint collaboration between Ravi Balakrishnan (Cisco) and Patrick Campbell (F5)
F5 Agility Event
Next week’s F5’s Agility 2022 event is entitled “Secure. Simplify. Innovate” which I thought relates really well to Cisco-F5 joint solutions. I say this because our joint focus has consistently involved building solutions for the benefit of our joint users. We strive to move beyond the boundaries we commonly encounter to simplify and innovate around application deployment.
On the last day of January, we introduced the tenth release our F5 ACI ServiceCenter App as part of our partnership featuring F5 and Cisco’s Cloud Networking business unit. We’re proud of this work and the fact that the F5 App has one of the highest downloads statistics on the Cisco DC App Center. Users will find that many of our new F5 ACI ServiceCenter v 2.10 features and enhancements address the UI and increase ‘user readiness’.
It’s worthwhile to consider how we’ve simplified application deployment though the use of F5’s FAST templates and Application Services Extension 3 (AS3) which by design, are both transparent to users. FAST stands for F5 Application Services Templates and is our next generation of configuration declaration technology. As a separate FAST Extension, it is built as an additional abstraction layer on top of our AS3. To be more specific, FAST is now also part of the F5 ACI ServiceCenter App we developed with Cisco for ACI integration, along with AS3. For those who want learn more about FAST, I recommend this overview with a demo which illustrates how it works and what’s really happening under the covers with AS3…. INNOVATE…..
Conceptually, for those who are not familiar with AS3, this F5 innovation is a flexible, low-overhead declarative API-based mechanism for managing application-specific configurations on a BIG-IP system. With AS3, you simply specify the desired end-state configuration, and AS3 configures the system for you to reach that desired end-state, all by using a single REST API call. ….SIMPLIFY….. Technical readers can look deeper at the AS3 documentation here.
This newest release of our app also adds an optional capability which allow us to pull advanced virtual server statistics on VIP Visibility Dashboard. With the Telemetry Streaming plugin installed on the BIG-IP device, F5 ACI ServiceCenter App can be configured as a Pull Consumer to retrieve the system statistics from the BIG-IP, Or with further customization, the App can be configured to filter just the specific Pool and Virtual Server stats for a scaled environment. These targeted real-time statistics pulled from the BIG-IP can be a perfect integration tool for engineers when troubleshooting application traffic drop. Moreover, it enables them to troubleshoot from a single pane of glass.
For those of you who have been following our F5-Cisco ACI development effort, as well as those who haven’t been watching that closely, the F5 Agility 2022 event next week synthesizes and showcases the latest ideas and innovations around adaptive applications – making attendance a “must” for both practitioners and members of leadership.
A great example of how we plan to showcase our joint F5-Cisco solutions is the “Cisco ACI and F5 BIG-IP Infrastructure as Code with Terraform” session led by Eric Ji, one of F5’s experienced Solution Architects.
Cisco – F5 joint solution development continues at a FAST pace…. (Pun intended ?), Stay tuned for more via our continuing blog series on the Cisco Data Center blog platform.