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Where Are We Now? F5’s Multi-Cloud Networking Strategy and the Gartner 2021 Cool Vendors in Cloud Computing Report

Mark Weiner Miniatur
Mark Weiner
Published October 11, 2021
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Get the Gartner 2021 Cool Vendors in Cloud Networking Report Now


In 2020, Gartner recognized Volterra within its Cool Vendors in Cloud Computing research. This year, Gartner discusses F5’s acquisition of Volterra in the 2021 Cool Vendors in Cloud Networking “Where Are They Now?” section.

This year’s report, Cool Vendors in Cloud Networking, authored by analysts Andrew Lerner, Arun Chandrasekaran, Jonathan Forest, and Joe Skorupa, states that, “Native networking capabilities within public cloud and/or Kubernetes environments may fall short, particularly for production enterprise workloads. This gap is not always addressed by established networking vendors; thus I&O networking leaders should look to emerging cool cloud networking vendors."

In our opinion, Gartner’s continued analysis of F5 Volterra and the challenges that enterprises are facing as they evolve their development and operations to become more cloud-native reinforces the fundamental concept that we strive toward—that modern, distributed apps require equally modern, distributed, and cloud-native infrastructure to achieve their business transformation objectives. F5 Volterra’s cloud-native application networking and security stack, offered as-a-service, does just that—providing architecture and developer teams enhanced security and performance and reduced operational complexity of containerized workloads across cloud environments.

At F5, we hear repeatedly from customers that their journey to become cloud-native—in both development and operations—will be long and performed in multiple steps or stages. One specific area of challenge is enabling a cultural transition and increased collaboration between DevOps and existing I&O teams. This is something that Gartner analysts identify in the Best Networking Practices in a DevOps World, published 6 May 2020, where Andrew Lerner and George Spafford summarize, “In theory, DevOps includes all aspects of infrastructure; but in practice, networking is largely disconnected from DevOps initiatives, particularly within on-premises data centers.”

Other challenges noted in the Cool Vendors in Cloud Networking are:

  • “Networking features and management terminology and approaches vary across public cloud providers, which creates management challenges.”
  • “The native networking capabilities associated with Kubernetes often fall short for enterprises in terms of visibility and security, and also at large scale.”

In other words, it’s hard enough to make your primary public cloud resources and environment cloud-native but is a factor harder to do that across multiple clusters, locations (private/hybrid, edge, etc.), and even different providers. This is an area F5 Volterra innovates in extensively, and why our SaaS service provides a distributed load balancer/Kubernetes ingress-egress gateway, API gateway, WAF, DDoS, API security, and more, all with a centralized control plane and end-to-end visibility and policy control.

If that sounds interesting, we welcome you to read more about F5’s SaaS-based multi-cloud solutions, take an interactive tour of Volterra, or drive at your own pace with our free or low-cost self-service offering.

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Learn more about F5’s Multi-Cloud Solutions