F5 Launches New Features to Simplify Multi-Cloud Networking

F5 Networks

F5, a global company specializing in multi-cloud networking, has introduced new features to allow for the extension of application and cybersecurity services across one or more public clouds, mixed installations, native Kubernetes environments, and edge locations. The new ‘Distributed Cloud Services’ from F5, which provides access and security at both the network and application levels, would simplify the extension of multi-cloud environments through a single administration interface.

According to F5’s State of Application Strategy (SOAS) Report for 2023, 85 percent of companies use dispersed application installations, which cover conventional and contemporary designs and numerous server platforms. These dispersed installations would increase management costs and complexity, obstruct sight, and broaden the potential assault surface. With F5’s platform-based strategy, which is cloud-agnostic, designed to satisfy the requirements of conventional and contemporary applications, the company aims to address these issues.

As more recent microservices-based applications depend on distributed Kubernetes cluster services and APIs and are not restricted to a single cloud location or even a single cloud provider, traditional network design and infrastructure models would be unable to meet the demands of modern applications and the digital experiences they provide.

F5 - Michael Rau
“Distributed cloud services significantly improve our capacity to support clients’ hybrid and multi-cloud use cases,” said Michael Rau, SVP and GM of F5 Distributed Cloud Platform and Security Services.

According to the 2023 SOAS Report, handling the intricacy of related tools and APIs, implementing uniform security across applications, and improving app speed are the top three multi-cloud issues. To meet these challenges, F5 offers a platform-based strategy that provides a unified service architecture that handles both layer 3 transport and layer 7 app-to-app service networking between servers and dispersed apps – to reduce complexity and boost speed.

Furthermore, F5 offers end-to-end security for the defense of the linked applications as well as networking between servers and places, with uniform policy controls for quick reaction to risks as they change. The company also provides cloud-independent automation for end-to-end private communication as well as for application detection, networking, and security. Lastly, F5 offers granular control over interactions between apps for contemporary applications with integrated app security.

Native Kubernetes Connection

Michael Rau, Senior Vice President and General Manager of F5 Distributed Cloud Platform and Security Services, explains that the emergence of microservices and API-heavy dispersed apps has added complexity and reduced accessibility, coinciding with the spread of cloud and mixed designs. “With unmatched speed and security for cross-border infrastructure and app environments, distributed cloud services significantly improve our capacity to support clients’ hybrid and multi-cloud use cases,” said Mr. Rau.

F5 has continued to increase the features offered as managed and SaaS services, most recently with the inclusion of Distributed Cloud App Infrastructure Protection. Today, F5 has expanded the scope of distributed cloud services by releasing new SaaS products, such as Distributed Cloud App Connect and Distributed Cloud Network Connect.

Distributed Cloud App Connect offers a combined stack method via a solitary interface to combine thorough app networking with complete app security, faster deployment, and simplicity of use. It includes advanced app networking services, including end-to-end view, an API gateway, and ingress/egress management. Users can also deploy additional web application and API protection (WAAP) services like web application firewall, DDoS, malware prevention, and API security with just one click. Additionally, it provides native Kubernetes connection with granular control over app-to-app and even particular API-to-API interactions without disclosing the underlying network, significantly lowering security risks and speeding up app delivery.

Distributed Cloud Network Connect, on the other hand, would enable quick and easy deployment of networking across cloud services and locations. It includes automated delivery and coordination of networking services from cloud providers to lower administration burden and boost insight, secure access and expansion with third-party network function emulation, intent-based microsegmentation, and service injection (NFV), and fully private F5 Global Network, which would enhances application functionality by offering high-speed, private access to public cloud sources.

“Enterprises’ cloud strategies are evolving from multiple apps spread across multiple clouds to true multi-cloud architectures with distributed workloads,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research. “That will require cloud and network architects to design their multi-cloud networks to provide both network- and application-layer connectivity. F5 has long been a leader in application networking, and their Distributed Cloud Services provide a fully integrated set of layer 3-7 services for securely connecting across clouds and workloads, even those deployed at the edge or branch office.”