Catalysts of F5 NGINX for Azure

F5 Miniatura
Published May 24, 2022

Beyond its more primary effects on worldwide healthcare and social behaviors, the pandemic has concurrently delivered a pronounced jolt to the industry, driving massive technological shifts. One ancillary result has been the emergence of new opportunities for integration and partnership among technology vendors, with the F5/Microsoft partnership as a prime example.

Four years ago, F5 set the strategy to accelerate our transformation to software- and SaaS-led offerings. With a strong enterprise footprint, we turned our focus to new kinds of solutions, and partners that could help us deliver integrated offerings for modern (and evolving) application environments. Today, we are pleased to highlight one such offering with Microsoft as we launch an integrated solution through the Azure Marketplace, F5 NGINX for Azure.

The Application Landscape (and Why It Matters)

For an increasing number of organizations, applications are the business, and development teams are constantly pushing the innovation envelope. According to Statista, the number of mobile app downloads worldwide has been consistently increasing since 2016, first surpassing 200 billion in 2019 and reaching 230 billion mobile apps downloaded to connected devices in the most recent year (up more than 63 percent from 140.7 billion app downloads in 2016).

To further put these numbers in context, applications are projected to generate more than US $613 billion in revenues by 2025, with mobile games making up the biggest revenue share among all app categories.

Similarly, according to the IDC Worldwide IaaS Networking Forecast, 2021–2025: “As application workloads in IaaS clouds proliferate and become critical to business outcomes, the networking and network services that provide connectivity to and within clouds grow in importance and value. Cloud has effectively redefined the parameters of the datacenter, and that has resulted in a similar metamorphosis of the datacenter network, which increasingly extends to cloud environments.”

All that said, these data points can often be boiled down to simple takeaways where today’s organizations are concerned. Customers want to acquire software fast to provide superior digital experiences and arrive at desired business outcomes more quickly. We get this. Not only does NGINX for Azure provide the experience of a native Azure integration to keep things simple, but the procurement is also completely digital and offered through the Azure Marketplace only. Together, we have worked with Microsoft to address the value that derives from offering convenient, robust, secure, and elastically scalable cloud-oriented networking and network services in the ways and locations that customers want to consume them.

“We are thrilled to mark this milestone in pursuing digital co-selling engagements with F5,” said Jake Swenson, Microsoft VP & GM, Commercial Marketplace. “Together, we are well-positioned to keep innovating around shared goals: reach mutual customers in new ways; dramatically simplify how they discover, buy, and deploy solutions through the marketplace; innovate toward new business models that unlock value; and help customers migrate and protect applications as they navigate their unique digital transformation journeys.”

"Together, F5 and Microsoft are well-positioned to help customers migrate and protect applications as they navigate their unique digital transformation journeys." – Jake Swenson, Microsoft VP & GM, Commercial Marketplace

Poised for Continued Partnership Innovation and Market Resonance

By continuing to invest in simplified deployment processes and availability within Microsoft’s Azure framework, F5 is intentionally broadening the ways customers can leverage popular commercial marketplaces to procure, consume, and expand the use of solutions from the company’s growing software and SaaS portfolio.

Accordingly, the following industry trends are top of mind and well-aligned to benefit F5 and Microsoft customers, with the companies primed to deliver additional value around each one:

  • Rapid adoption and growth in cloud – According to analyst predictions, global cloud spending will near US $500 billion in 2022, with over 95% of new digital workloads deployed on cloud-native platforms. Drivers of this growth include: 1) the expansion of cloud gaming platforms; 2) cloud-based virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR); 3) the rollout of “hybrid” models that adopt a best-of-both-worlds approach; 4) AI and serverless deployments.
  • Shift from adopting cloud to consuming cloud – Organizations modernizing applications (which is nearly everyone) will have the ability to bifurcate the application from the cloud infrastructure. Many organizations that have already adopted cloud-native architecture for net-new applications, cloud, edge, and fog computing are expected to continue coexisting with data centers for a long time.
  • Enduring priority of digital transformation – CIOs will allocate 55% of their total budget on digital spend by 2023, up about 10% compared 2021, as noted in a recent article by CIO magazine. Emphasis will be in areas such as piloting and prototyping new use cases to prove value where speed to market is critical.
  • Prevalence of cloud marketplaces – Canalys estimated that US $4.1 billion of sales flowed through cloud marketplaces last year, up 71% from 2020. By 2025, they will account for approximately $25 billion. Similarly, according to Forrester, almost one-third of the US economy was flowing through e-commerce by the third quarter of 2020, with marketplaces responsible for a majority of activity. Forrester has also predicted that 17% of an estimated $13 trillion in B2B spend will flow to marketplaces by 2023.

All told, access to technology is only rising in prominence, with innovative solutions sought by organizations to modernize and simplify their deployments and the digital experiences they provide customers. Buyers are looking to be more efficient, while also taking advantage of benefits such as volume-based MACC discounts offered by Microsoft. With a new class of solutions, software procurement can now be better integrated into cloud budgets—an aggregation of spend that can drive huge savings opportunities.

Learn more about how F5 NGINX for Azure (currently available in public preview) can help you maximize IT spend, simplify app deployment, and optimize service delivery by visiting the Azure Marketplace.