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F5 Expands market opportunity with IaaS Cloud providers

F5 cloud licensing program offers first complete application delivery platform in the cloud.


Date: 18 Jun 2012

F5 Networks, Inc. has announced a new global cloud licensing program developed for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud providers. The F5® cloud licensing program offers benefits for IaaS cloud providers, their customers, and channel partners alike. By including virtual editions of BIG-IP® solutions as part of its cloud licensing program, F5 provides the first complete enterprise-class ADN solution in the cloud.

Enterprise IT customers transitioning to a cloud model are faced with tradeoffs. Cloud providers offering services typically require that IT relinquish control or create a unique management environment for off-premise applications. This often causes friction between the IaaS provider and enterprise IT, with the service provider having difficulty complying with IT’s preference to retain control and ensure that applications are available. Until now, IaaS cloud providers have had to buy the necessary infrastructure to sufficiently address these demands and support their customers. However, this creates an enormous amount of business risk for cloud providers, due to the reluctance of enterprise customers to sign long-term contracts or employ a predictive use model.

With the introduction of its new cloud licensing program, F5 addresses these requirements. Providing a unified architecture for both private and public clouds with virtual editions on its award-winning BIG-IP platform, F5 now offers its advanced ADN solutions in a utility billing model. This enables enterprise customers to leverage the same enterprise-class IT infrastructure that they have in their private clouds, while giving the IaaS cloud provider the ability to better manage their cash flow.

“F5’s new cloud licensing program brings the power of our ADN solutions to the cloud while offering the flexibility of a pay-as-you-go billing model,” said Jason Needham, Sr. Director of Product Management at F5. “Cloud providers can realize significant benefits from participating in this program, including a differentiated service offering, a larger target market, and enhanced revenue opportunities.”

Benefits of F5’s Cloud Licensing Program for IaaS Cloud Providers
The F5 cloud licensing program allows IaaS cloud providers to offer a full range of virtual BIG-IP solutions without incurring additional up-front costs. Additional benefits that IaaS service providers enjoy under the cloud licensing program include:
· Advanced Services on a Complete Application Delivery Platform – IaaS cloud providers are able to branch out from competing solely on a price-per-compute basis and utilize all of F5’s BIG-IP Virtual Edition products to offer advanced ADN services and capabilities.
· Utility Billing Model – F5’s cloud licensing program aligns with the traditional billing model utilized by IaaS cloud providers, where providers only pay for the number of instances in use.
· Spin Up, Spin Down On-Demand – Flexible licensing allows IaaS cloud providers to offer fee-based, real-time ADN services with no up-front costs and no long-term commitment.
The First Complete Application Delivery Network in the Cloud
F5’s cloud licensing program enables the first complete cloud-based ADN stack. With virtual editions of BIG-IP solutions, enterprise customers receive advanced ADN features and services, including application delivery, performance, and security.
With the F5 BIG-IP platform, accessing the cloud is simplified without the impacts of vendor lock-in. IaaS cloud providers have the freedom to select a hypervisor and virtual infrastructure to meet the needs of their enterprise customers. Unlike other vendors, F5 supports both Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere.
F5 offers access to a wide selection of products to support its new cloud licensing program, including:
· BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager™ Virtual Edition (VE)
· BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager™ VE
· BIG-IP Application Security Manager™ VE
· BIG-IP Access Policy Manager® (on BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager VE)
· BIG-IP WAN Optimization Manager™ VE
· BIG-IP WebAccelerator™ VE
· Enterprise Manager™ VE
The COHESION Cloud Program for F5 Channel Partners
In support of the cloud licensing program, F5 has created a unique channel-specific program, COHESION, which allows traditional channel partners to engage in cloud-specific opportunities and sell a specialized software solution to their qualified customers. Where other cloud licensing programs exclude the channel, under COHESION, F5 channel partners have the opportunity to engage with IaaS cloud providers.

F5 also announced today that it has migrated its global online community, DevCentral, to a cloud environment. DevCentral runs F5’s cloud-enabled ADN solution in multiple Bluelock Virtual Datacenters hosted in the public cloud, while adhering to IT best practices for scale, control, and security.

“Any time you have a customer that is unsure of the expected volumes or length of a project and wants to rent the infrastructure, we can’t win the deal without a pay-as-you-go business model,” said John Qualls, SVP of Business Development at Bluelock. “The F5 cloud licensing program opens up a lot more opportunity in the market than we have had access to traditionally.”


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