Deploy, Secure, and Optimize AI Models for Intelligent Apps with F5 and Intel

Sanjay Shitole Thumbnail
Sanjay Shitole
Published May 06, 2024

AI-powered apps are becoming more common and seeing significant user growth. An analysis of 2023 data found that while new mobile app downloads were only up 1% year over year, the top 20 apps that had integrated AI in their feature sets saw an average of 11% growth.1 However, easily deploying and securing the AI models to power these apps can be a barrier for developers and IT teams.

Powering smarter apps with AI

The new generation of intelligent apps uses AI automation based on data inputs—for example, an insurance app that monitors for severe weather—or it might use machine learning to adapt and improve the user experience. Gartner estimates that by 2026, 30% of new applications will use AI to drive personalized adaptive user interfaces, up from less than 5% today.2 

But many organizations lack the skills to build or use the AI models they need. According to a World Economic Forum survey, executives estimate that up to 40% of their overall workforce may need to reskill to work effectively alongside AI.3 In response, new solutions are emerging to allow developers to leverage AI models with minimal code.

AI models also require significant computing power, which can create limitations. While placing AI models close to the input source reduces latency for inference, edge locations often lack the resources needed for acceptable AI performance.

Making AI more accessible

To address developer ease of use and resource optimization, Intel has developed OpenVINO, an open-source toolkit that accelerates AI inference while offering a smaller footprint and a “write once, deploy anywhere” approach. It enables programmers to develop scalable and efficient AI solutions with relatively few lines of code. OpenVINO also can convert and optimize AI models to run them in data centers, in the cloud, or at the edge.

While OpenVINO makes AI more accessible for real-world scenarios, such as AI inference, it needs security and delivery features much like applications do. An OpenVINO deployment may consist of hundreds or thousands of container-based model servers. To reliably provide inference results to users or applications, you need a way to monitor server health and manage traffic. F5 NGINX Plus can secure OpenVINO model servers.

Securing AI models with F5 NGINX Plus

While it is possible to use the open-source version of NGINX with OpenVINO, using NGINX Plus adds valuable features like high availability, active health checks, and award-winning support. NGINX Plus also provides load balancing and SSL termination so apps and users can reliably and securely connect with your OpenVINO model servers.

For improved availability, NGINX Plus can be deployed as an active-passive pair. This creates a high availability solution, using the primary to actively process traffic while the backup monitors health and takes over in the event of an issue. Content caching and SSL termination improve performance by reducing the load on your OpenVINO model servers.

Active health checks in NGINX Plus monitor your model servers to ensure traffic is only sent to available servers. Secure and validate incoming encrypted traffic using mTLS certificates and use analytics and dashboards to anticipate or troubleshoot issues with your servers. The lightweight nature of NGINX Plus, as well as top-tier support for installation, deployment, and debugging, make it easy to adopt for your AI-powered application needs.

Building AI-powered apps with confidence

The combination of NGINX Plus and OpenVINO makes it easier to add AI to apps anywhere in a secure and consistent way. Easily deploy to data centers, clouds, or edge sites while maintaining availability and performance.

Using NGINX Plus with OpenVINO is just part of an ongoing collaboration between F5 and Intel. Learn more about the partnership at


1., State of Mobile 2024, Jan. 2024

2. Gartner, Demand Grows for Intelligent Applications Powered by AI, Sep. 2023

3.  World Economic Forum, Why we must bridge the skills gap to harness the power of AI, Jan. 2024