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F5 Friday: Infoblox and F5 Do DNS and Global Load Balancing Right.

#F5Friday #F5 Infoblox and F5 improve resilience, compliance, and security for global load balancing.

f5friday_thumbIf you’re a large corporation, two things that are a significant challenge for your Network Administrators’ are DNS management and Global Load Balancing (GLB) configuration/management. With systems spread across a region, country, or the globe, the amount of time investment required to keep things running smoothly ranges from “near zero” during quiet times to “why am I still here at midnight?” in times of major network change or outages.

Until now.

Two market leaders – Infoblox and F5 Networks have teamed up to make DNS – including DNSSEC – and GLB less time-consuming and error prone.

Infoblox has extended their Trinzic DDI family of products with Infoblox Load Balancer Manager (LBM) for F5 Global Traffic Manager (GTM). The LBM turns a loose collection of load balancers into a dynamic, automated, Infoblox Grid™.

What does all that rambling and all those acronyms boil down to? Here’s the bullet list, followed with more detail:

  • Centralized Management of DNS and global load balancing services.
  • Application of Infoblox Security Framework across F5 GTM devices.
  • Automation of best practices.
  • Allow administrators to delegate responsibility for small subsets of the network to responsible individuals.
  • Enables rapid identification of network problems.
  • Track changes to load balancing configurations for auditing and compliance.

While F5 GTM brings DNS delivery services, global load balancing, workload management, disaster recovery, and application management to the enterprise, Infoblox LBM places a management layer over both global DNS and global load balancing, making them more manageable, less error prone, and more closely aligned to your organizational structure. LBM is a module available on Infoblox DDI Grid devices and VMs, and GTM is delivered either as a product module on BIG-IP or as a VM.

With unified management, Infoblox LBM shows at-a-glance what is going on in the network:

Infoblox.GTM

Since Infoblox DDI and F5 BIG-IP GTM both interface to multiple Authentication, Authorization, and Access Control (AAA) systems, Infoblox LBM allows unified security management with groups and users, and further allows control of a given set of objects (say all hardware in the San Francisco datacenter) to local administrators without having to expose the entire infrastructure to those users.

For best practices, LBM implements single-click testing of connections to BIG-IP GTM devices, synchronization of settings across BIG-IP GTM instances for consistency, and auto discovery of settings, including protocol, DNS profiles, pools, virtual IPs, servers, and domains being load balanced. In short, LBM gives a solid view of what is happening inside your BIG-IP GTM devices and presents all appliances in a unified user interface.

If you use BIG-IP iControl, then you will also be pleased that Infoblox LBM regularly checks the certificates used to secure iControl communications and validates that they are not rejected or expired.

For more information about this solution, see the solution page.

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More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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