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F5 to launch AWS editions of BIG-IP products

Network appliance maker F5 will officially announce a new virtual edition of its flagship BIG-IP technology specifically designed for use with Amazon Web Services cloud instances at the AWS re: Invent conference in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

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F5 already offers a virtual version of BIG-IP for use in the data center, but the growing complexity of use cases prompted the company to create a BIG-IP setup that could live entirely in the AWS cloud.

"You'll be able to use any of the BIG-IP virtual editions in the Amazon cloud," said senior technical marketing manager Lori MacVittie. "That's going to enable our customers to take advantage of Amazon, which they've been asking for, to do things like cloudbursting and deploying those more complex apps without sacrificing any of the ... current solutions they're using with BIG-IP to ensure delivery."

One major way F5 envisions its customers using the new AWS-based BIG-IP product, according to Director of Product Management Siva Mandalam, is as a way to maintain continuity when AWS is used to provide additional computing resources for applications generally run only in the data center.

"When they burst into the cloud, they can actually run virtual instances of [BIG-IP] in Amazon Web Services," he says.

However, those transitioning to a purely cloud-based play will also find the AWS BIG-IP solution useful, he adds.

"[There's] two kind of different use cases. One is the customer directly installing an application in Amazon and using BIG-IP to front-end and improve the experience ... [and] the second one is where an enterprise runs into a resource issue and versions into cloud," according to Mandalam, who uses a road metaphor to explain the benefit of the new product.

"Amazon's built this huge freeway, which gets you from Point A to Point B. What we have in Amazon right now is a speed lane," he says.

No specific availability date was given for the new AWS editions, though a company statement says that customers should be able to buy them by the end of the year. Production licenses will start at $7,995.

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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