F5 Networks Debuts ARX File Virtualization Appliances

By Nathan Eddy

Application delivery networking specialist F5 Networks announced the release of a hardware platforms for F5 ARX file virtualization solutions. With the introduction of the ARX1500 and ARX2500 appliances, the ARX product line expands to provide small to medium-size businesses with data management capabilities. For medium-sized storage environments, the ARX2500 platform includes support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet network infrastructures.

The ARX appliances are designed to help businesses simplify and scale their data management infrastructures by eliminating the static mapping between client and storage resources. With F5's file virtualization capabilities, organizations can access and migrate data between resources as demand dictates, without impacting users or requiring downtime.

With ARX's storage tiering capabilities, organizations can designate high performance storage resources for their most important or most frequently accessed data. In addition, intelligently tiering important versus low-priority data files delivers the ancillary benefit of reducing backup windows considerably. High-priority data can be backed up daily, while secondary and tertiary data can be done less frequently.

"The new ARX platforms address a real need in the storage market," said David Hekimian, CTO at data management and networking specialist Trace3. "Previously, ARX products have been a more obvious fit for large enterprises, given the scale and performance capabilities of the solution. By offering F5's substantial data management and file virtualization capabilities to a wider range of customers at an accessible price point, we expect to see a marked interest among smaller, growing organizations."

In addition to providing storage tiering capabilities, ARX devices enable IT administrators to automate labor-intensive processes for common data management tasks, including scaling storage infrastructures or performing data migrations. IT teams can also implement a policy-based approach to data management, meaning that standard tasks can be configured, automated and tailored in accordance with individual organizations' storage needs.

"In today's rapidly digitizing economy, small and mid-sized enterprises are dealing with exploding amounts of digital content and a growing range of data management challenges," said Richard Villars, vice president of storage and IT executive strategies at IT analytics firm IDC. "Solutions like F5's new ARX products take advantage of advanced file virtualization to help IT teams boost the performance and reduce the administrative burden of their file-based storage assets."

This article was originally published on 2011-07-11