When it comes to enterprises’ migration to the cloud, the outlook is mixed for applications delivery controller (ADC) vendor F5 Networks, according to a report issued today by Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold.
“We have come to see enterprise application migration to the cloud as a greater headwind to F5’s sales growth,” he writes. With that in mind, he lowered the vendor’s rating to Market Perform from Outperform.
Leopold thinks that Amazon Web Services (AWS) will work to implement its own load balancing and ADC functions into its cloud, but that won’t necessarily push F5 or other ADC vendors out of the door. AWS enterprise customers sometimes request F5’s functionality, leading to a sale by F5 to AWS, Leopold believes.
Leopold’s report doesn’t mention other ADC vendors, which include Avi Networks, Kemp Technologies, and A10 Networks but if his premise holds true for F5, it probably applies to the rest of the sector as well.
Leopold is bullish on F5’s fortunes in other areas of networking. While Infonetics Research predicts 5 percent growth in the ADC market from 2015 to 2017, Leopold thinks F5’s work in other areas will be more profitable.
“We believe F5’s encroachment into security applications, Diameter routing, broader adoption of virtual ADCs, and share gains could enable growth above 5 percent and closer to 10 percent,” Leopold writes.
F5 shares were down about 1 percent today.