F5 Debuts Two New File Virtualization Appliances

By Stuart J. Johnston

F5 Networks announced general availability of two new additions to its ARX line of file virtualization appliances Monday.

The ARX1500 and ARX2500 join F5's (NASDAQ: FFIV) existing ARX500, ARX2000, and ARX4000 models -- all of them provide hardware platforms for virtualizing files aimed at lowering file management overhead and removing technical complexity for administrators.

Effectively, the ARX appliances deal with issues such as what file formats are in use and where information is located, as well as prioritizing what resides in the highest performance storage under the covers, out of sight of applications and users.

"F5 ARX solutions enable organizations to simplify and scale their data management infrastructures by eliminating the static mapping between client and storage resources," the company said in a statement.

The two new appliances help to fill out the company's solutions for midrange companies. In particular, the ARX2500 provides support for 10 Gb Ethernet (10GbE) connectivity in that range.

"[They] provide small and mid-sized enterprises with advanced data management capabilities at attractive price points, along with superior scalability and performance levels," the statement said.

For instance, the ARX1500 can provide four times the connectivity and throughput as the ARX500 at a similar price point, according to an F5 presentation.

Similarly, the ARX2500 provides twice the throughput as the ARX2000, also at a similar price point.

F5 spokespersons would only quote a price range for the company's products as being between $30,000 and $200,000, however.

F5's ARX virtualization technology features storage tiering capabilities aimed at taking advantage of the customer's existing storage, using the fastest storage for managing the highest priority files. That helps IT defer expensive storage purchases and also gives administrators more flexibility in prioritizing which data gets backed up when, the company claims.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

This article was originally published on July 12, 2011