The ability to deploy and manage applications is a critical function to any IT organization, and the integration of application services is becoming increasingly complex. F5's BIG-IP application delivery controller platform is the gold standard to provide these application services, providing packet and session security and manipulation to fit any enterprise environment. However, a number of additional dependencies still require attention, such as IP allocation, network provisioning, domain name services, virtual machine management and more -- all as separate tasks.
Automating these F5 configurations is a straightforward process via the F5 iControl API. However, this is only one piece of an overall solution when deploying an application. The goal is to orchestrate the F5 configuration with the other components as an overall workflow. A typical example of this would be integrating F5, Cisco ACI, VMware, Infoblox and application configuration together in an orchestrated fashion.
Cisco CloudCenter (formerly CliQr) is an application-focused cloud management platform that allows provisioning of infrastructure for on-premise data center, private or public cloud environments. Cisco CloudCenter is a solution that allows the orchestration of the separate infrastructure tasks into a single workflow easily. It allows easy orchestration of infrastructure that even allows current automations to be integrated to ensure previous work done is not wasted. CloudCenter also has built in plugins for OEMs such as Cisco and VMware to avoid starting from scratch.
In the workflow above, we demonstrate the steps to automate F5 virtual server configuration using Cisco CloudCenter. You'll also see how to fit the F5 solution into an overall application-focused workflow involving infrastructure components like Cisco ACI, VMware and Infoblox.