Services drive a renewed F5 Networks
Applications delivery being adapted to suit different deployment models customers demand
The F5 Networks of today is an applications services company, and its identity should reflect that.
F5’s legacy is in applications delivery controllers (ADCs), and is still widely regarded as an ADC vendor. François Locoh-Donou, CEO, F5 Networks, says a change in mind-set, both within and without the company, is needed to reflect its current focus on software and services.
“The key differentiation for F5 Networks is our software, TMOS. If you ask our customers why they choose F5, it’s the flexibility and the programmability that the TMOS software technology offers them,” he says.
This software has typically been consumed on a hardware-based ADC, deployed in an on premise datacentre. However, customers now demand flexibility in how they consume services. “There needs to be a rethink on how applications services are delivered to adapt to the different deployment models customers demand. These delivery models could be as hardware in a datacentre; software in a datacentre, private cloud or public cloud; or software with hardware across multiple public and hybrid clouds.
“Customers are evolving and they want to consume the technology in different form factors, whether it’s hardware, software or cloud. We have be available when and where our customers want,” says Locoh-Donou.
Security is the fastest growing segment of F5 Network’s portfolio.
F5 security solution offerings include modules that come attached to its ADC platform, but also purpose-built security tools, Locoh-Donou explains. F5 has also launched a cloud-based application services platform called Silverline. Among Silverline services is a managed security services offering that will direct traffic from a customer’s data centre and move it one of F5’s data centres in case of a DDoS attack. Its technologies will scrub the traffic there to address DDoS, returning clean traffic back to a customer’s site, explains Locoh-Donou.
“Our solutions in the security space are expanding both for on premises and more on cloud-based security offering,” he adds.
In the Middle East, F5 growth is coming from carriers that have launched 3G and 4G plans and are experiencing a lot of consumption of data and video on mobile, says Locoh-Donou. “Middle East service providers historically have a strong appetite for best-in-class technology. If we continue to innovate at the pace we have been doing, I think that we will be able to avail even better opportunities in the region,” says Locoh-Donou.
An increasing portion of our personal lives runs on applications. And this is a trend that will only increase. “I think applications will become more immersed into our lives as technologies like AI and automation continue to increase. The interface between applications and human beings will evolve and become omnipresent in our personal and corporate lives.”
This growing use of applications augurs well for F5, an organisation built upon applications services.
“If you believe the world is going to have more applications, then you must believe that F5 is going to have a very good future,” says Locoh-Donou.