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F5 for Azure

For the last 20 years, F5 in the data center has provided intelligence and sophistication in the network to complement commonly deployed advanced server applications. With the modern F5 TMOS traffic management engine, data centers have achieved exceptional levels of scalability, performance, and security by taking advantage of the network, an often overlooked resource. As enterprises look to expand to the public cloud, they must make certain that the same level of network intelligence and control they achieve with F5 in the local data center can be extended into the cloud.

By extending local workloads into the Windows Azure public cloud, enterprises have started to redefine the traditional boundaries of the data center. With Azure, enterprises can take advantage of the resiliency and scale efficiencies that can only be offered by a public cloud. F5 expands on these capabilities by allowing you to secure and manage the traffic between on-site data centers and the cloud via the network.

A hybrid approach allows enterprises looking to host workloads in Windows Azure to reap the benefits of the public cloud while keeping sensitive data within the periphery of the corporate data center. With workloads hosted locally and within the Azure cloud, enterprises can manage costs, achieve the desired resiliency, and comply with data regulations. You can extend these benefits by leveraging the native traffic management and security features of the F5 BIG-IP platform.

When the Azure cloud is deployed as an extension of the corporate data center instead of a separate data center, it is most successful. Securing a seamless connectivity between the two data centers is necessary to achieve this deployment. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), can bridge the corporate and Azure networks by creating a secure tunnel and routing between them. This will minimize costs and maximize availability and performance.

Enterprises can leverage Azure for site resiliency by using the intelligence and network management engine in BIG-IP LTM. It can support IPsec tunnels to multiple Azure clouds and manage the traffic to each virtual network, whether local or remote. BIG-IP LTM can split traffic to multiple Azure clouds based on end-to-end performance of each specific user, availability, cost, or specific workload.

If your enterprise wants to take full advantage of their cloud investment, it is important to make sure that the tunnels are optimized, secure, and fault tolerant. When you configure BIG-IP LTM as the gateway to the Azure cloud, it will secure an IPsec connection using industry-leading encryption at near wire speed. It can determine when to enable WAN acceleration features as it sends users to remote Azure clouds.

Azure is a system that enterprises can rely on to manage their critical workloads. By having F5 manage the network between the local data center and the Azure clouds, the benefits of Azure increase dramatically. You can count on the F5 solution to direct users to the local or remote resources with performance, cost, and security in mind.