• F5 Distributed Cloud Services links applications at the network and workload levels by offering businesses an integrated services stack.
  • Microservices and API-heavy distributed applications have grown in popularity while cloud and hybrid architectures have proliferated.

F5 Inc., a company specializing in network traffic management and application security, recently announced new multi-cloud networking capabilities that extend application and security services across cloud platforms, hybrid architectures, native Kubernetes environments, and the network edge.

F5 Distributed Cloud Services’ new features offer connection and security at the network and application layers. This allows businesses to securely connect applications hosted in various locations while operating across multiple computing environments.

F5 asserts that doing this has, up until now, been extremely challenging. As a result of the growing adoption of multi-cloud, the typical organization currently manages hundreds of applications across many distributed computing platforms. They need an integrated services stack to link such applications at the network and workload levels. As a result, the lack of communication between applications increases the complexity of telemetry data collection, reduces visibility, and increases the attack surface.

According to Michael Rau, Senior Vice President, and General Manager of distributed cloud platform and security services at F5, secure app-to-app communication is a goal for any digital enterprise. Yet, he said, only some have succeeded in doing so.

Rau said, “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. F5’s platform-based approach greatly expands our ability to serve customers’ hybrid and multi-cloud use cases.”

According to the company, F5 Distributed Cloud Services gives businesses access to an integrated services stack that integrates applications at network and workload levels. With comprehensive networking and application security features and quicker installation, companies can manage their dispersed applications from a single console.

With the automated or one-click provisioning of additional security services like web application firewalls, API security, and DDos or bot mitigation, it offers advanced networking services for applications across any cloud or environment. These services include load balancing, ingress/egress controls, API gateways, and visibility.

To increase security and hasten the delivery of apps, the service also gains from native Kubernetes integration, which enables fine-grained control for particular applications without exposing the underlying network. According to the firm, the Distributed Cloud Network Connect architecture from F5 makes it easier to integrate and connect apps to additional cloud locations and providers with automatic provisioning.

According to Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research, these networks must offer application-layer connection as enterprise cloud strategies go from using various apps and clouds to a real multi-cloud architecture with distributed workloads. “F5 has long been a leader in application networking, and its Distributed Cloud Services provides a fully integrated set of layer 3 to 7 services for securely connecting across clouds and workloads, even those deployed at the edge or branch office,” he said.