|By Don MacVittie||
|February 25, 2013 09:00 AM EST||
For those of you new to the Bare Metal Blog series, the entire list of posts can be found here.
This week F5 released the 2013 Performance report. This is an important report for the industry, because it is not marketing slideware. It is actual tests, performed on actual gear, with not only results, but configurations and test environment information also. By design, it is open – you can, assuming you have the proper gear, reproduce these tests exactly in your own environment, tweak the settings to reflect your local network, and run tests that have meaning explicitly for your organization.
The testing (and much of the writing) for this report was performed primarily by one of our very smart Product Management Engineers, Jeff Apple. His indefatigable efforts brought the test results forward in a way that we were able to craft it into the report, and his experience with previous performance reports added volumes of quality information to the written portion. While there were others involved, he is no doubt the lynchpin of this operation, and deserves credit here.
Or you can trust our amazingly smart engineers to have done a fair job at testing. I’ve been through the numbers a zillion times, asked questions where things seemed odd or out of place, put them together a bunch of different ways, and honestly, the results are solid. It would be easy for competitors to claim we weighted the testing in our own favor, except for two things. First off is the openness. You can look at the configuration files for the test equipment and for any piece of gear tested to see (assuming you know the device you’re looking at configs for) that our team really did go out of their way to show these ADCs in their best light. In one test, we even accepted less-than-optimal performance out of F5 gear in order to keep the test fair to all devices tested.
The test environment was actually customized slightly for each device to show it in the best possible light – if you’re familiar with Ixia gear, the SimUsers was tweaked to the best setting for the device in question. About the only bit you could nit-pick these test results on is that some devices were not licensed at their maximum (we do have to pay for them), but F5 gear was (we didn’t have to pay for them). But where it appeared software license limiting was the bottleneck factor in a test, we pointed it out.
I did help write the report, and honestly, it was very reminiscent of Network Computing Lab testing back when we were comparing products. Jeff did a great job of providing information, not spin. Fairness to the vendors, but with an interest in helping you determine what is best for your environment. Toward that end, some of our engineers even came up with a new way to look at the data that offers a far better picture than just a single test. More on that next week.
Some have asked me “Speeds and feeds, why should we care at this point?” and my answer is simple. It is not just speeds and feeds, it is network performance, particularly at the very intensive layer seven. Want to know if your chosen vendor has enough CPU cycles left to handle offloading encryption? This report will use test results to help give you an idea. Of course a report done elsewhere cannot tell you about your explicit environment, but with the large array of things we are asking ADCs to do, their ability to perform is increasingly critical to the performance of your overall web presence.
So take a peek, check out what your vendor and the competition are capable of. Figure out if you are getting what you need if you are just considering a purchase. Some of these limitations are pretty extreme compared to how a product is sold, so it’s worth knowing what you have or will be getting. This is a good place to point out too that some products actually outperformed their marketing numbers, which they were, and why we suppose they did so is discussed in the report, but it is always nice to see vendors promising the moon and delivering the stars.
It really isn’t all about speeds and feeds in the ADC market these days, but given this report, a list of add-on functionality available from your vendor, and a serious look at the impact adding required functionality may have on these baselines can help you understand your needs now and going forward.
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The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
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Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,378
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,219
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
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Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,387
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Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,328
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Nov. 20, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,488
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