5G, Farming, and Economic Recovery

James Feger Miniatura
James Feger
Published February 02, 2021

F5 Service Provider Leadership in 5G and Edge 

The F5 Service Provider team has recently made several exciting announcements highlighting industry leadership, demonstrating significant shifts and offering the first entries for F5’s powerful networking solutions for the 5G core and edge compute spaces. We’ve recently acquired Volterra to extend applications to the edge, and last fall announced our Service Proxy for Kubernetes to ease transition to 5G security and container visibility. Today, we’re sharing our latest 5G engagement and our partnership with the 5G Open Innovation Lab—a unique opportunity for rapid prototyping and collaboration with other ecosystem tech partners to develop, test, and deploy innovative 5G solutions that solve real-world problems and accelerate market adoption. Our first modernization challenge is especially meaningful during these times—the Food Resiliency Project we’re announcing today in Snohomish County in Washington State is supported by House Representative Suzan DelBene and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

Andrew's Hay farm in Arlington, Washington

Technology Helping to Solve Real World Problems

Partnering with other tech leaders such as Microsoft, T-Mobile, Intel, VMware, Amdocs, and 5G startup Expeto, the Food Resiliency Project will be directly aiding two independent farms by providing new secure 5G mobile broadband access. More importantly, this will also provide new access to cloud computing and technology tools to shore up and add agile capabilities for recovery of the fresh food supply chain disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid deployment field lab will be secured with F5 network security and traffic management solutions to provide broadband access currently not available in outlying rural communities or in areas with difficult terrain. The Food Resiliency Project goal is to not only improve basic communications, but also to leverage new edge compute capabilities in support of the Internet of Things (IoT) for use cases such as: soil sensors measuring temperature, volumetric water content, oxygen levels, and photosynthetic radiation, as well as supply chain and logistics tracking of food—all of which can be captured for trend data and real-time analytics, with the intent of introducing further automation into these workflows.

Installing Hardware for the New Network

The Technology Stack behind the Food Resiliency Project 

This project built new private networks on two farm locations and a mobile data center—F5 is contributing a proven security layer (Advanced Firewall Manager, DNS and Secure Access) along with some robust BIG-IP functionality—AFM, PEM, LTM for resilient Adaptive Apps. The field lab we’re rapidly building together here to support smart agriculture use cases—analytics, IoT, and automation—is also designed to be easily adapted to other industries. 

We are thrilled to offer our expertise in securing and managing the 5G and IoT network traffic and applicable applications to provide a strong and secure edge infrastructure for the project to ensure a resilient and robust food supply chain.  

Monitoring Crops for the Upcoming Growing Season