“We’re applying enterprise application services delivered via co-location,” says Ben Gibson, F5’s chief marketing officer. With co-location, enterprises have a place to host their private cloud applications, but they also have access to public cloud applications through providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.
F5 is not tied to a server or a network. “We’re tied to applications,” says Gibson. “You’re rarely going to see a reasonably-sized business embrace a single model where they’re only going to run things in a private cloud or public cloud. Most customers use a hybrid.”
F5 can work in an enterprise’s on-premises data center, in a public cloud, or in a hybrid environment.
The company also introduced new capabilities though its Application Connector that allows a business to automatically discover when there is a cloud-hosted instance on its network.
“Many apps aren’t rolled out through IT,” says Gibson. “But there’s pressure for IT to apply the same level of application security, control, and management regardless of where it’s enabled. Application Connector makes it easier for IT to keep its arms around this burgeoning world to protect the apps and perform the same as an on-premises application.”
Gibson says applications have traditionally been built and sold to technologists who were building and operating data centers within businesses. But now, the opportunity for F5 is to broaden the opportunity for applications to be created and consumed by more than just technologists, while at the same time making sure the policies “travel with the app.”
Finally, F5 is expanding its hardware platforms to incorporate programmability and enhanced DDoS protection, as well as private cloud and software-defined network (SDN) technologies from organizations such as OpenStack, Cisco, and VMware.