Connect, Scale, and Secure Apps and APIs with F5 NGINX Management Suite

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Jenn Gile
Published August 17, 2022

We are excited to announce the general availability of F5 NGINX Management Suite 1.0, the unified traffic management and security solution for your NGINX fleet.

Get More from Your NGINX Investment

Enterprises rely on NGINX for everything from content caching and load balancing to API delivery and Kubernetes Ingress. Like most software, a single NGINX instance is easy to manage manually, but watching over lots of instances can be tedious – and many of our customers have hundreds or even thousands! We created NGINX Management Suite to make managing your NGINX fleet a pleasure rather than a chore.

NGINX Management Suite provides holistic visibility and control of NGINX instances, application delivery services, API management workflows, and security solutions. With it, you can streamline and simplify your business in four key areas:

  • Scale – Intelligently scale NGINX instances and services with global policy controls using CI/CD automation to drive workflows, service configuration and provisioning, and multi‑cloud management
  • Insight – Improve business decisions, troubleshooting, and SLAs with uniform visibility across your NGINX instances, apps, APIs, and security posture
  • Governance – Provide each team supporting your apps and APIs with self‑service workflows, single sign‑on (SSO), and role‑based access control (RBAC) – all while making sure they remain compliant with organizational and industry standards
  • Security – Achieve the robust security your enterprise demands with tools that enable comprehensive visibility and policy control over your entire NGINX environment

You might be thinking, “This sounds a little familiar…doesn’t NGINX already have a management tool?”

In short, yes. NGINX Controller was released in 2017 and was our first foray into a centralized management platform to give our customers better control over their NGINX fleets. Over the years, we continued building out ADC‑focused use cases and after F5 acquired NGINX in 2019, we released a module for API management.

But as organizations have accelerated towards API‑first microservice architectures and Kubernetes, ADCs and classic API management have become less relevant for DevOps teams. The needs of our customers changed. We realized that NGINX Controller wasn’t meeting our customers’ needs for easy deployment, effortless management at scale, and powerful connectivity options for apps and APIs.

In 2021 we set out to rearchitect NGINX Controller as a Linux‑native experience that DevOps teams would find intuitive. During that process, we realized that the NGINX Controller architecture was simply not the right one for the functionality that customers were telling us they need. The right choice was to shelve NGINX Controller and rethink our approach. We needed to create a suite of modules, built on a common, easy-to-deploy platform, that could scale to future use cases and support challenging customer environments.

We’re proud to announce that NGINX Management Suite is the successor to NGINX Controller.

If you’re a current customer of NGINX Controller, contact your account manager or customer success manager to discuss the migration path to NGINX Management Suite.

Instance Manager

Identify, secure, manage, and monitor all your NGINX Open Source and NGINX Plus instances.

The Instance Manager module – originally launched in 2021 as a standalone product – represents the core functionality of NGINX Management Suite. Operating within the control plane, Instance Manager simplifies configuration and maintenance of your NGINX fleet. IT teams can easily monitor instances while DevOps teams can update configs and certificates through a shared interface.

With Instance Manager you can:

  • Discover configuration problems and get suggested fixes
  • Update expiring certificates and learn if NGINX versions have potential exposure to CVEs
  • Specify which individuals and teams have permission to access NGINX configurations
  • Discover whether NGINX App Protect WAF is installed on your NGINX instances and see which versions and signature packages have been applied

Topology diagram for the Instance Manager module at the launch of NGINX Management Suite 1.0

API Connectivity Manager

Connect, govern, and secure your APIs.

API calls represent approximately 83% of all Internet traffic and the number of APIs is increasing exponentially. But with the increasing number of APIs comes a new set of challenges. It becomes very hard to discover and monitor where APIs are deployed, unsecured APIs are easy targets for attack, and even minor misconfigurations can lead to severe outages.

As enterprises adopt APIs to drive innovation, they need a new kind of API connectivity solution that complements both traditional and microservice architectures, aligns with DevOps practices, and supports high‑performance APIs.

With the API Connectivity Manager module, you can easily address key API‑focused use cases, including:

  • Accelerating time to market with automated tools that simplify the deployment, configuration, and management of APIs with optimal security and performance
  • Enabling internal and external developers to rapidly discover, onboard, and use APIs in their projects with consistent documentation and versioning
  • Providing uniform and consistent oversight for platform environments, certificates, and configurations from a single pane of glass

Topology diagram for the API Connectivity Manager module at the launch of NGINX Management Suite 1.0, showing interaction with Platform Ops team, API consumers, and API owners

Future Modules and Capabilities

We’ve prioritized two use cases for development in the coming year:

  • App and API security – NGINX Management Suite will enable organizations to use NGINX App Protect WAF to protect apps and APIs with capabilities including troubleshooting, insights, policy management, event monitoring, and more.
  • Load balancing – The App Delivery Manager module will enable configuring, securing, monitoring, and troubleshooting NGINX Plus as a load balancer for your applications.

If you’re interested in getting early access to new use cases or want to provide feedback, our Product Management team is eager to connect. Fill out this form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Get Started

Start a free 30-day trial of NGINX Management Suite, which includes both Instance Manager and API Connectivity Manager.

Related Resources

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