F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) is announcing a range of Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and NFV solutions and capabilities ahead of next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). The solutions are specifically designed to help service providers run faster, smarter, and safer as they incorporate new technologies. In particular, F5 offerings address challenges related to soaring data traffic from the emergence of 5G and the growing presence of consumer and commercial IoT.
“Service providers are increasingly disaggregating hardware and software in their networks and embracing virtualization and automation,” said Kara Sprague, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Application Delivery Controller business unit at F5 Networks. “F5’s solutions are specifically designed with this future state in mind—consolidating and optimizing network functions, reducing total cost of ownership, and facilitating multi-layered end-to-end security that spans devices, networks, and applications.”
The news comes as service providers worldwide are fast adapting to new digital realities. According to F5’s recent 2018 State of Application Delivery report, more than half of surveyed service providers (55%) believe IoT is the most strategically important trend in the next two to five years. As many as 83% said they had digital transformation projects in place, while 56% of these projects have already influenced greater IT system and process automation and orchestration.
F5’s new service provider solutions include the global launch of the BIG-IP® i15000 Series hardware, delivering high-end performance for security and services in a compact form factor (2 RU). With the highest available layer 4 throughput of any comparable application delivery appliance, the i15000 enables consolidation of multiple services on a single device—including load balancing, TCP/IP optimization, traffic steering, DDoS, CGNAT, DNS, and firewall capabilities—in the Gi LAN or data center.
In addition, F5 is reducing the risk of the move to 5G through new Enterprise Licensing Agreements and virtual edition subscription options. It is also rolling out an iSeries Cloud-Ready offer, enabling customers to leverage investments that they are making today for changing needs over time.
Other solutions set to feature prominently at MWC 2018 include:
- High-performance virtual editions: F5 virtual editions (VEs) now include support for up to 24 vCPUs (previously 16) and NIC Teaming with SR-IOV, allowing service providers to maximize performance and lower costs in cloud and NFV environments.
- Device-aware IoT firewall: F5’s new device- and subscriber-aware IoT firewall enables mobile operators to manage and control security policies via the Gi LAN on a per IoT device basis. Service providers can now use a single IoT access point name (APN) to aggregate a wide variety of use cases, avoiding network redesigns and simplifying service rollout.
- GTP (GPRS Tunneling Protocol) Session Director: One of the important characteristics of 5G architecture is an ability to ‘slice’ the network into different segments—all the way from the radio network to the core—and F5’s GTP Session Director can deliver mobile core network slicing capabilities based on locally configured policies. The solution gives mobile operators better control over how subscriber sessions are distributed over mobile core elements, which is particularly useful for managing IoT and MVNO business solutions.
- IoT MQTT traffic management and security: F5 is also announcing new capabilities for SSL offloading, MQTT message validation, MQTT message transformation, and intelligent MQTT load balancing. The F5 solution helps service providers and enterprises scale and secure their IoT brokers, platforms, and applications.
- Behavioral DDoS detection and mitigation: F5 is launching new solutions featuring self-learning behavioral DDoS mitigation techniques, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques for both L4 and L7 DDoS profiles. This significantly simplifies DDoS configurations. In addition, F5 has established strong partnerships with Flowmon Networks and Genie Networks to complement its powerful inline L4-L7 DDoS mitigation solutions with an out-of-path NetFlow-based DDoS detection engine. The combined solution is a powerful end-to-end DDoS offering that protects service providers against everything from volumetric brute force attacks to highly sophisticated application layer attacks.
- Anti-bot mobile SDK: New capabilities extend the existing Proactive Bot Defense solution for web and APIs with an SDK for native mobile apps. This ensures that only humans (using a real mobile device with a valid mobile app) can access mobile app APIs, and protects against bot exploits.
In other developments, F5 has been confirmed as a member of Tech Mahindra’s VNF-Xchange. VNF-Xchange is a vendor-neutral platform that provides a reference environment for Virtual Network Function (VNF) design, VNF stack, and VNF performance validation. Designed to accelerate the communications industry’s adoption of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN), it provides a platform to validate VNFs, the components of the NFV reference architecture, and the end-to-end solutions, use cases, and network services that they enable.
- F5 Service Provider Solutions
- The State of Application Delivery Report 2018: Service Provider Edition
- Perspectives on Multi-Access Edge Computing and the BIG-IP i15000 Series – F5 blog post
- IoT Infrastructure, Empowered by F5’s IoT Solution – F5 blog post
F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) makes apps go faster, smarter, and safer for the world’s largest businesses, service providers, governments, and consumer brands. F5 delivers cloud and security solutions that enable organizations to embrace the application infrastructure they choose without sacrificing speed and control. For more information, go to f5.com. You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technologies.
F5, BIG-IP, and iSeries are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company’s filings with the SEC.