Many developers have decided that a multi-cloud strategy is the key to building and deploying better apps, faster. This approach only works, though, if you have a way to centrally manage policies across cloud environments. The answer? An integrated multi-cloud management solution.
You chose a multi-cloud architecture for your applications because it makes the most sense. And you’re not alone—nine out of 10 organizations have adopted a multi-cloud architecture, prioritizing freedom and flexibility for applications over standardized environments, processes, and tools. That freedom comes at a cost, though.
As your app portfolio expands, so too do the security threats and performance risks. The more spread out your applications become across an enterprise IT landscape, the more resource-taxing and complex it is to manage consistent policies across clouds, leaving your organization open to security and performance vulnerabilities.
The key is to provide app development teams with a broad catalog of easy-to-use, consistent, and vetted security, compliance, and performance policies—built by the security and NetOps teams.
To ensure consistency across clouds, you need a solution that delivers automation, superior application performance, security optimization, and availability across multi-cloud environments. You also need to standardize the policies that govern core app services, such as traffic management and application security. This can mean intentionally choosing not to adopt the native app services available on most public clouds.
The benefits of consistent cross-cloud policies include:
With F5's broad set of advanced application services, teams can create a consistent set of security, availability, and performance policies that can be stored via code and integrated into a fully automated CI/CD pipeline or part of a semi-automated service catalog solution.
F5 protects against advanced threats, such as bots, and reduces complexity by providing consistent, actionable visibility into traffic and attack patterns. Plus, F5 app services integrate with most automated CI/CD pipeline tools, making things easier for both development and DevOps teams.
DevOps teams can define and manage policies via code using the F5 Automation Toolchain, with API interfaces to any F5 solution. Policies are defined and managed as JSON files and are invoked with a single API call.
DevOps teams can also define policies as iApp templates and expose them through a service catalog, managed by F5 BIG-IQ or another orchestration tool. This way, app teams can access pre-configured, self-service options that automate policy deployment—no NetOps or SecOps support tickets required.
In the architecture above, we explain how you can use BIG-IP and BIG-IQ to deploy consistent security and performance policies to apps in any environment. This is an ideal solution if your app team needs to deploy consistent application services across multiple clouds, but you still want the security and networking experts involved every step of the way. Templates designed by the right teams can be deployed via automation to protect and accelerate applications on-premises and in the cloud.
Most organizations prioritize cloud flexibility—and let application teams choose the best environment for each application—over the organizational benefits of common environments, processes, and tools.
As applications proliferate, how do you strike the right balance between freedom and flexibility for application development teams—while enabling the easy and consistent inheritance of corporate security, compliance, performance, and operability requirements? One word: standardization.
To standardize on core application services across cloud environments, organizations can leverage a few F5 components.
BIG-IQ also provides a service catalog of application delivery and multi-cloud security services that are maintained by experts but can be easily consumed by application teams on demand. In addition, BIG-IQ offers device, network, security, and application-level visibility and insights with personalized, role-based per-app dashboards. Finally, BIG-IQ can manage pools of recoverable, reusable licenses—allowing you to flex capacity across multiple clouds as needed.
See how it works in the deployment guide ›
Learn more about BIG-IQ Centralized Management ›
The reality of delivering secure and fast but quickly evolving applications in the cloud is that security, operations, and development need to collaborate and communicate efficiently to deliver consistent services across a multi-cloud environment.
Supplying the same baseline policies for web applications in multiple clouds gives you the assurance that your applications are protected and high performing.
For example, you can create an Advanced WAF baseline policy in a development and test environment, then export it to the BIG-IQ management platform where it can be referenced by an application template and deployed with the rest of the configuration—across multiple clouds. Even better, the policy can use the learning capability of all devices it’s deployed on and combine the data to improve the policy, which can then be pushed back out to the BIG-IP images running in the clouds.
A multi-cloud world needs a multi-footprint solution. The BIG-IP platform can be deployed as software in the public or private cloud, or as hardware in private cloud environments, like a corporate data center.
The best part is that your entire F5 portfolio can be managed from one console regardless of where your BIG-IP devices and the applications they serve are deployed—in public clouds, private clouds, or on bare metal.
BIG-IQ delivers the right insights to the right people, helping them optimize their applications. By configuring rich telemetry feeds from the BIG-IP instances, then aggregating and displaying the data in an interactive drill-down GUI, BIG-IQ gives each team the information they need to do their jobs better.
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See what F5 Application Services can do—and how you can configure them in code.