Application management firm F5 Networks has announced a series of updates to its Big-IP application management platform designed to help IT admins manage and update applications more easily.
Version 11 includes several new tools and updates to take the hassle out of application deployment and configuration. Chief among these is a new iApp tool that offers the ability to apply and set policies using pre-configured templates.
Ken Salchow, technical manager at F5, explained to V3 that the tool is already proving useful for trial customers, helping firms manage growing consumerisation in the workplace.
"One customer has been using the iApp tool in beta and told us that they were making deployments 84 per cent faster than using book guides and they were also 90 per cent more accurate," he said.
"Policies can also be changed easily over time so that if, for example, an Active Directory setting didn't allow iPhones access to an application originally, it can be reconfigured to let them on as they become popular in the workplace."
Big-IP Version 11 also enhances the Access Policy Manager to offer improved end-point inspection and multiple authentication methods. This will give IT more control over the increasing number of devices trying to access applications on the network.
The firm has also upgraded the security element of the tool, updating the Application Security Manager (ASM) to proactively warn administrators of policy violations and send information automatically.
F5 has also added a virtual edition of the ASM tool so that companies can test applications in a virtualised cloud environment in order to meet the growing move to cloud deployments, Salchow explained.
"We are seeing business move from static datacentre environments to dynamic, automated ones, so by letting businesses that are thinking of moving to cloud deployments test this out, they can see how this would work for them," he added.
The update will be available in the third quarter of 2011 and will be free for existing customers.
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