F5 Networks has released software-based solutions that would enable customers to seamlessly integrate availability and security services, simplify device management, and better orchestrate data center, cloud, and hybrid IT architectures.
“To better meet the needs of customers, we have made significant investments in security, management, and orchestration, along with the feature-rich software that supports our flagship BIG-IP product line,” said Karl Triebes, EVP of Product Development and CTO at F5. “Giving organizations the ability to integrate F5 with vendors and solutions such as AWS, Azure, Cisco, and VMware is certainly a priority, but we also have an eye toward making sure our offerings resonate with those using open source technologies like OpenStack, and agile infrastructure from emerging ‘born in the cloud’ companies.”
F5 Networks has released the following solutions:
- BIG-IP 12.1 software – delivering leading application services with enhanced public cloud integration and more sophisticated security policies for on-premises and hybrid cloud environments
- BIG-IQ Centralized Management 5.0 – providing expanded management for F5’s BIG-IP solution portfolio with “significant scalability and performance advances”
- iWorkflow 2.0 – enabling the orchestration of F5 services with SDN-focused solutions like Cisco ACI and VMware NSX, as well as continuous deployment scenarios using DevOps tools from vendors such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet
The release of BIG-IP version 12.1 software featuring new iRules LX technology would mark a substantial advance in programmability, providing the ability to manipulate and selectively deploy service capabilities via Node.js, and include easy access to over 250,000 community Node.js packages. These capabilities are especially important in delivering advanced functionality for web applications that require optimized throughput, scalability, and unique traffic steering services.
In addition, a new plug-in for the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) -commonly supported by other enterprise technology vendors (e.g., CA, Google, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and SAP) – would enable the rapid delivery of reusable code that drives advanced functionality.
The announcement reflects a number of new security capabilities, with highlights including:
- BIG-IP 12.1 enhances web application defense via BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) with unique, customizable bot detection methods that enable detailed analysis and extensive device ID tracking.
- BIG-IP ASM would accelerate the blacklisting of malicious IPs in hardware at high rates for layer 7 threats, providing coverage until feed lists are updated.
- F5 gives visibility into HTML5 WebSocket connections for comprehensive policy protection where other WAFs would fail.
For network architects and administrators, F5 Networks has updated its BIG-IQ Centralized Management solution. The platform would provide visibility, reporting, licensing, and management capabilities that simplify operations for F5 BIG-IP products, and now includes support for F5’s BIG-IP Access Policy Manager.
F5’s new iWorkflow platform would accelerate the deployment of applications by enabling the orchestration of network services, such as traffic management and security. Available as a virtual appliance, iWorkflow is a multi-tenant solution for deploying application delivery policies with BIG-IP solutions to support a variety of IT environments, including hybrid clouds. Using smart templates, policies can be deployed directly via the iWorkflow GUI, via third-party management solutions such as Cisco ACI or VMware NSX through connectors, or via other orchestration technologies such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet with an SDK.
“As application services and resources are abstracted across increasingly diverse environments, the ability to easily unify functionality and enforce policies throughout vendors’ offerings becomes essential,” said Brad Casemore, Research Director, Datacenter Networks, IDC. “Similarly, the ability for enterprise IT to programmatically tailor performance and orchestrate services is a necessity for organizational success with multi-vendor SDN and cloud deployments.”
F5 Networks’ BIG-IP version 12.1 software, BIG-IQ Centralized Management 5.0, and iWorkflow 2.0 will be available in the second quarter of calendar year 2016.