Editor’s note: The era of cloud disruption is upon us, and F5 Networks is enhancing application control, performance and security to capitalize upon the multi‐cloud world, says Technology Business Research Analyst Stanley Stevens.
The era of cloud disruption is upon us, and the simple task of securing applications grows increasingly complex as a multitude of options for migrating workloads to cloud environments creates a nightmare for IT organizations, specifically chief information security officers. Companies are migrating more workloads to cloud environments, fueled in part by new emerging technologies such as containers, which are a more cost‐effective alternative to virtualization. Container vendors such as Docker, Kubernetes and Apache Mesos continue to experience increasing adoption of their technology, specifically in areas of DevOps. With workload migration on the rise, companies are tasked with not only managing the application sprawl but also maintaining control, performance and the security of the applications. This challenge is further compounded as companies move workloads between public cloud providers. As security policies need to be redefined, “as a Service” platforms need to be re‐architected to support the new policies, adding cost, time and complexity to what could be a simple move. F5 (Nasdaq: FFIV) addressed these challenges at its recent Agility Analyst Day in Chicago.
- F5 leverages connectors and container‐focused technologies to deliver enhanced application security across multiple clouds
F5 has raised the bar on providing seamless application security and management across multiple public cloud platforms. Executives utilized the recent F5 Agility Analyst Day to showcase the new offerings and capabilities that the company added to its broad security portfolio. Building off the strength of its current portfolio, F5 announced several portfolio additions that leverage container‐focused technologies to support the growing adoption of containers, especially among development and operations groups. In addition to its container connectors, F5 announced cloud interconnects, which extend security and performance from the internet edge to public clouds. Each of the new offerings stands to offer value to new and existing customers:
F5 Cloud Interconnect: brings applications, content and processing closer to the enterprise edge, resulting in greater control, performance and cost savings; Cloud Interconnect provides a secure connection from the ISP to public clouds, thus providing companies with the ability to control access to the application as well as apply common security policies across cloud providers. Since the application remains cloud‐vendor agnostic, implementing a multi‐cloud strategy whereby applications and security policies can be moved between cloud vendors is easily achievable.
Application Connector: creates a tunnel from public clouds back to the interconnect provider and shows up as nodes on the network; Application Connector provides consistent application services across multiple clouds, including availability, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS). Application Connector is network independent and allows for sensitive encryption keys to be stored outside the cloud environment.
Container Connector: container adoption is accelerating at a rapid rate, as workloads such as DevOps reap the benefits of utilizing containers over virtualization. F5’s Container Connector provides the ability to automatically provision and manage services required for containerized applications. Deployments are frictionless and portable and don’t require a massive overhaul to the environment.
F5 is making the ability to “lift and shift” applications between public cloud providers a reality without the massive re‐architecting of the “as a Service” platform that is typically required as security methods and policies differ from cloud provider to cloud provider. F5’s connector technology, combined with the extensive security capabilities of the company’s current portfolio, has the potential to greatly benefit customers, including by:
Providing the freedom to deploy applications on any environment (public cloud, hosted private and on premises) and retain strategic control of the application
Bringing the control, security and performance of applications closer to the enterprise network edge
Lowering the attack surface by eliminating public IP addresses in the cloud
Improving integration and interoperability across deployments through a vast partner ecosystem
Making it easier to provision and manage solutions across architectures such as Puppet, Apache Mesos, Kubernetes and Ansible
TBR believes F5 has improved its security offerings capabilities by extending application control and security at a time when companies are increasing workload migration to the cloud. Recent releases that support container‐ focused technologies, cloud interconnects and application service proxy position F5 as the security technology company that can assist companies with the ongoing challenge of shifting workloads across multiple public cloud environments.
- VIDEO: Watch an overview from F5 about application-based networking at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Admr94ev-b4