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F5 support for Equinix’s SmartKey multi-cloud key management solution is available now

Back in August, during the 2018 F5 Agility Conference in Boston, we announced F5’s upcoming support for the Equinix SmartKey Cloud HSM solution – a teaser mind you, but a promise we’ve now fulfilled. In fact, we are the first Equinix alliance partner to announce and deliver this capability, courtesy of our BIG-IP 14.1 release.

I view this as a significant benefit for customers undertaking their unique cloud journeys…each journey is like a snowflake (as I’ve mentioned). And as with many of life’s journeys, you’re typically not going anywhere without your keys. Why do I say that? Because if you’re like me, you’ve lost your keys more times than you can remember. While they usually turn up, it’s not until after you’ve experienced frustration or, worse, a LOT of stress. Oh, and it never…ever!...happens at a convenient time. Keeping tabs of your certificate keys are no different. Certs require care and attention to ensure they’re always up to date and readily accessible to authorized user. No news there. However, the transition to multi-cloud architectures is starting to change the landscape – we can’t rely on muscle memory to just reach for our keys in the same spot. They’ve been moved!

In the good ol’ days, many of you would put cert key management systems inside your own perimeters, which were fairly simple to operate. Having all of your infrastructure on-premises made that pretty easy. But moving to a multi-cloud architecture changes the “perimeter,” thus scattering keys in various clouds located all over the globe. Interestingly, as noted in our latest State of Application Services report, 87% of those surveyed told us that they’re implementing multi-cloud architectures. That is the new normal and, with that, we now have to search for our keys in any number of new places!

So how do you manage all these keys over their lifecycle when they’re distributed all over the place? Well, that’s where we come in.

We’ve partnered with Equinix, who designed SmartKey to address these challenges and more. As you may know, part of our BIG-IP 14.1 release was our SSL orchestration capability. It takes advantage of the BIG-IP’s industry-leading, ultrafast encrypt/decrypt capabilities to chain traffic into additional security services such as DLP and NGFW solutions. The BIG-IP system needed a way to retrieve encryption keys really, really fast – and that’s where Equinix SmartKey service gets involved. That high-speed key retrieval allows BIG-IP to decrypt and orchestrate SSL traffic for any application regardless of its location (on-premises, private or public cloud) thereby drastically simplifying multi-cloud key management.

Let your workloads live where they need to live. We’ll make sure you don’t have to worry about managing your keys!

At the risk of oversimplifying it: This. Makes. Sense! Let us show you how easy it is.

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