Networking kit needs to be available as software, says F5's future CEO
F5 Networks' Manny Rivelo outlines strategy to make products available through range of deployments
IT leaders want the ability to run their networking products in hardware or software form, including through a cloud deployment model, according to Manny Rivelo, executive vice president of strategic solutions and soon-to-be CEO at F5 Networks.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of today's F5 Agility customer conference, Rivelo said that F5 had made all of its hardware products available as software on all the major hypervisors. He added that, with the company's new cloud-based service, Silverline, will see F5 customers consume some of the company's products through a SaaS model.
"Shortly after we started consolidating services on our core platform, we starting seeing a move towards software," he said.
"We took our platform and we basically put it on all the major industry hypervisors out there. You can have either a hardware appliance or a software appliance in your data centre - exactly the same products."
Rivelo said that, going forward, F5's latest products will all be based on a software platform aimed at improving the delivery of applications.
"We have hardware still, but the hardware is really just to accelerate the software. The aim is to create a better user application experience," he said.
However, F5 executives also yesterday outlined the importance of the company's security business, which has seen strong growth for the past few years. And while F5 has not committed to become a purely security-focused company, its security products showed the most promise in the latest earnings report.
Tellingly, the launch of its new cloud service, Silverline, came with the availability of two products, both focused on security. F5 said that its Web Application Firewall service, as well as an anti-DDoS service, were now available as SaaS through Silverline. The company added that more products would be added under the Silverline cloud umbrella.
"Silverline is an umbrella set of services that was developed over the course of the last 18 months," said Julian Eames, executive vice president of business operations at F5 Networks.
"Having developed that platform, we then took our Web Application Firewall service. It's exactly the same as our existing one, but it can now be deployed in the cloud. Any applications will be covered in identical ways for clients."
Eames added that the service could be of particular interest to business departments outside of IT that are deploying their own applications.