F5 & VMware delivering more control and better security for any device, anywhere

Frank Strobel Miniatura
Frank Strobel
Published November 24, 2015

Partnership efforts between F5 and VMware support you—our customers—by integrating our technologies, products, and services to meet your business needs from the data center to the cloud. We have done so for close to 10 years—an eternity in the high-tech industry.

While it all started with F5’s BIG-IP load balancing the virtualized resources created and managed by VMware’s vSphere, over the years we have expanded our collaborative efforts. Today, we jointly deliver powerful and integrated solutions that support all elements of the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC): from network virtualization (NSX) to cloud management (vRealize) and hybrid cloud (vCloud Air) to end user computing or EUC (Horizon and AirWatch).

EUC diagram 1

Secure access regardless of location, application, or device

On the F5 side, one of the core technical components in support of the joint integration is BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM). APM secures and differentiates access to your applications, data, network, and the cloud, based on user identity and context. That means it gives you centralized control over who’s able to access the network or cloud, which applications they can access, and the devices and locations they can access those apps from. In short, BIG-IP APM unifies and enforces identity-based, context-aware, and policy-driven application access control—regardless of the location of the user or the application.

When it comes to VMware end user computing, and Horizon in particular, APM delivers the secure remote access capabilities required by customers like you. Also, APM natively supports the PCoIP protocol used by Horizon, which means that it can be used as the single, secure, and highly scalable access gateway. Further, APM can complement, enhance, or supersede VMware’s Access Point solution. What’s even better is that the same APM instance can be used as the AirWatch Mobile Access Gateway (MAG). This gives you the ability to consolidate your gateway needs onto a single appliance—whether that is a hardware appliance or BIG-IP virtual edition.

Easy to deploy

Last, but certainly not least, we want to make it easy for you to deploy these technologies together. If you are not familiar with F5’s iApps technology, this might give you a good reason to look into it. An iApps template is where the application is described—in this case Horizon or AirWatch—and the objects (required and optional) are defined through presentation and implementation language. iApps take you through a number of application specific questions and deliver the required configuration as a result. This approach radically reduces the time it takes to deploy BIG-IP in support of Horizon or AirWatch—from hours to minutes!

EUC Diagram 2

Now it’s time to play

If you’re interested in getting your hands on these technologies, F5 is available on VMware’s Hands-On-Lab to show you how it’s done.

You will find a ton more technical information on both VMware’s EUC blog as well as F5’s own DevCentral. For example, Justin Venezia’s recent, excellent technical blog post on Load Balancing VMware's Workspace Portal/Identity Manager with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM).

As we move forward, we continue to work closely as partners with the single-minded goal of delivering powerful and deeply integrated solutions that will benefit you. Stay tuned, there is more goodness to come.