F5 drives enhanced cloud, security services with BIG-IP 12.0

New F5 software enables hybrid technologies through dynamic on-premises and off-premises deployments, adds Microsoft Azure Marketplace availability.

Anton Jacobsz, MD of Networks Unlimited

Anton Jacobsz, MD of Networks Unlimited

F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) today announced a major software release that expands F5's hybrid platform of services, and greatly improves the agility, security, and performance of cloud application deployments.

New innovations make it simple for customers to unify hardware, software, and managed service resources to realise IT efficiency and cost savings.

Extended hybrid application services for optimised performance in all IT environments

BIG-IP version 12.0 takes advantage of F5's application delivery services fabric, extending the F5 Synthesis model by combining physical and virtual resources to better support cloud and hybrid scenarios. This approach allows customers to more easily transition workloads to cloud environments as needed and incorporate technologies like HTTP/2, while maintaining the same visibility, security, and control of traditional infrastructures.

F5 accelerates cloud migrations, enabling customers to integrate security, management, and orchestration capabilities for their evolving on-premises and off-premises deployments. Moreover, F5's programmable, extensible architecture and growing ecosystem of technology partners make its application services an ideal fit for emerging IT trends such as SDN, NFV, and converged systems offerings.

Seamless integration, IT efficiency with Microsoft Azure deployments

F5 supports customers deploying cloud and hybrid IT architectures, with BIG-IP virtual edition solutions becoming available in the Azure Marketplace. Initially, all BIG-IP software modules will be available on Azure through F5's Good, Better, Best licensing model in a "bring your own licence" (BYOL) configuration, with 25M, 200M, and 1G options.

F5 and Microsoft customers will have additional choices in how to optimise their application delivery and cloud technologies in a unified framework. In addition, F5 offers differentiated performance in Azure compared to other vendors, including an extensive set of traffic management and security capabilities that allow enterprises to deploy applications and services with the same ease and functionality experienced with on-premises data centres.

Enhanced application security for superior protection, access capabilities

F5's BIG-IP 12.0 release includes many integrated enhancements to F5's security and access solutions, with notable examples below:

* Reliable access in all types of IT environments with SSO – F5 extends secure authentication, authorisation, and accounting (AAA) capabilities to cloud-based, Web-based, and virtual applications while centrally managing federated identity functions. F5 provides over five times the scalability of other vendors for applications and identity access management. In addition, F5 is one of the only leading access vendors to extend single sign-on (via SAML) to client-based applications and other browser-less environments, such as Microsoft Office 365.

* Superior protection with the largest DDOS vector spectrum and increased attack visibility – With BIG-IP 12.0, F5 offers the most comprehensive and effective mitigations to protect against sophisticated, high-volume DDOS threats on-premises or in the cloud. F5 also helps companies strengthen their security postures and agility with simplified threat visibility, providing thorough drill-down summaries of attack details.

* Improved SSL capabilities for comprehensive security – Organisations' use of SSL is rapidly increasing, with many IT teams moving towards an "encrypt everything" approach. BIG-IP provides innovative, integrated SSL encryption and visibility to manage security certificates and keys across physical, virtual, and cloud deployments – all without the blind spots or performance loss typical of other vendors' offerings.


Supporting quotes

"Organisations are seeking the same confidence level with applications and services in cloud/hybrid deployments that they've seen in the data centre," said Karl Triebes, EVP of Product Development and CTO, F5. "Our BIG-IP software is instrumental in helping customers take advantage of the benefits of the cloud without sacrificing security, flexibility, or savings. With these new technologies, we're committed to meeting organisations along whatever path they take in evolving hybrid application delivery environments and incorporating cloud."

"Microsoft and F5 share many customers. With the growing adoption of Azure among this common customer base, organisations will benefit from the availability of F5's application services in our marketplace," said Garth Fort, General Manager of Enterprise Partners, Microsoft. "This development helps customers best support their cloud-based applications directly within Azure environments."

Availability

BIG-IP version 12.0 software will be available in September 2015, with BIG-IP virtual edition availability in the Azure Marketplace anticipated in October 2015. Please contact a local F5 sales office for additional product and service availability information pertaining to specific countries. 

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