F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) has announced multi-cloud networking (MCN) capabilities to easily extend application and security services across one or more public clouds, hybrid deployments, native Kubernetes environments, and edge sites.
F5 Distributed Cloud Services are differentiated in providing connectivity and security at both the network and application layers. As an overlay across separate cloud provider offerings (including native-cloud services), Distributed Cloud Services let F5 customers easily integrate network operations, application performance optimisation and troubleshooting, and visibility through a single management console.
According to F5’s just released 2023 State of Application Strategy (SOAS) report, 85 per cent of organisations operate distributed application deployments, spanning traditional and modern architectures and multiple hosting environments. However, these distributed deployments add operational complexity and cost, obscure visibility, and increase the surface area for potential cyberattacks, a key area of concern across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) in the wake of the recent high-profile attacks to major organisations.
F5 delivers a platform-based approach that is cloud-agnostic and purpose-built to meet the needs of traditional and modern apps—all without increasing complexity or losing granular control and necessary visibility. Specifically, today’s introduction ofDistributed Cloud App Connect and Distributed Cloud Network Connect unlocks enhanced MCN use cases.
New Distributed Cloud Services Simplify App and Network Connectivity
Traditional network design and infrastructure models are unable to accommodate the demands of modern apps and the digital experiences they provide, largely because newer microservices-based apps rely on distributed Kubernetes cluster services and APIs, and are not constrained to a single cloud location or even a single cloud provider. Per the 2023 SOAS report, the top-rated multi-cloud challenges are managing the complexity of associated tools and APIs, applying consistent security across apps, and optimising app performance. To properly address these challenges, a more comprehensive approach to secure MCN is required—one that provides:
- An integrated service stack that addresses both layer 3 transit and layer 7 app-to-app service networking between clouds and distributed applications to minimise complexity and increase agility.
- End-to-end security for both networking between clouds/locations and for the protection of the workloads being connected, with unified policy controls for faster response to evolving threats.
- Cloud-agnostic orchestration for application discovery, networking, and security, as well as for end-to-end private connectivity.
- Granular control of app-to-app communications for modern apps with embedded app security.
“Secure app-to-app connectivity is obviously a goal for every digital organisation, but how this is achieved has become increasingly important,” said Michael Rau, SVP and General Manager, F5 Distributed Cloud Platform and Security Services. “The proliferation of cloud and hybrid architectures has coincided with the rise of microservices and API-heavy distributed applications—all of which contribute complexity and diminish visibility. Distributed Cloud Services greatly expand our ability to serve customers’ hybrid and multi-cloud use cases, providing unparalleled agility and security for global infrastructure and app environments.”
F5 is uniquely positioned to deliver necessary enabling technologies for MCN by connecting and securing any app and any API anywhere, ensuring fast network-to-network and workload-to-workload connectivity across different cloud locations, data centres, hybrid environments, and enterprise edge sites. In the year since theintroduction of Distributed Cloud Services, F5 has continued to expand the capabilities delivered as SaaS and managed services, including the recent addition of Distributed Cloud Application Infrastructure Protection. Today’s announcement furthers the reach of Distributed Cloud Services through the following new SaaS offerings:
- Distributed Cloud App Connect provides an integrated stack approach through a singleconsole to combine comprehensive app networking with full app security, faster provisioning, and ease of use.
- Advanced app networking services including load balancing, API gateway, ingress/egress control, and end-to-end visibility.
- Automated or one-click provisioning of additional web application and API protection (WAAP) services such as web application firewall, DDoS, bot mitigation, and API security.
- Native Kubernetes integration with fine-grained control on app-to-app and even specific API-to-API communications without exposing the underlying network, greatly reducing security risks and increasing speed of app delivery.
· Distributed Cloud Network Connectmakes it highly secure and simple to deploy connectivity across cloud locations and cloud providers.
- Automated provisioning and orchestration of cloud provider connectivity services to reduce management complexity and increase visibility.
- Secure connectivity and extensibility with intent-based micro-segmentation and service insertion of third-party network functions virtualisation (NFV).
- Optional fully private F5 Global Network to optimise app performance and provide high-speed private connectivity to public cloud providers.
“As organisations across A/NZ transform cloud strategies to elevate technology from a supporting role to a driving force, and portfolios and services become larger and more distributed, authentic multi-cloud architectures capable of managing dispersed workloads are becoming a necessity. Consequently, multi-cloud networks must be able to deliver connectivity at both the application and network levels,” said Jason Baden, Regional Vice President, Australia and New Zealand for F5. “Enterprises in A/NZ have been relying on F5 for application networking, with the Distributed Cloud Service offering a comprehensive suite of services allowing for secure connectivity between clouds and workloads regardless of deployment.”
Industry Insights for Hybrid and Multi-Cloud in F5’s State of Application Strategy Report
Based on the surveyed responses of more than 1,000 IT decision-makers from around the globe, F5 is also introducing its 2023 State of Application Strategy (SOAS) report. Hailing from a broad mix of industries, IT leaders share their priorities and concerns with F5 in this ninth annual report focused on digital transformation. Data was provided by individuals in a wide range of IT and managerial roles, from the C-suite to the trenches of app development. Among the findings is that long-term business growth for all types of organisations will rely on identifying ways to ease management across increasingly complex and distributed systems. With a collection of statistics available noting the continued prominence of hybrid and multi-cloud app deployments, the complete report is available at: www.f5.com/state-of-
- Multi-Cloud Networking: Challenges and Opportunities – F5 Blog
- Secure Multi-Cloud Networking: The Key to Hybrid, Multi-Cloud, and Edge Success – F5 Blog
F5 is a multi-cloud application services and security company committed to bringing a better digital world to life. F5 partners with the world’s largest, most advanced organisations to secure and optimise every app and API anywhere—on premises, in the cloud, or at the edge. F5 enables organisations to provide exceptional, secure digital experiences for their customers and continuously stay ahead of threats. For more information, go to f5.com. (NASDAQ: FFIV)
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