Application Services Update: Programmability on the Rise

Lori MacVittie サムネール
Lori MacVittie
Published February 19, 2019

Welcome back! This quarter's interesting movement in application services was on all things programmable. From the data path (iRules) to application routing (rewrite) and visibility (x-forward-for), the use of programmability increased quarter over quarter.

While most of the focus of programmability is on operations today, there remains a significant amount of data path programmability that's vital to enabling consumers to interact with applications. In general, data path programmability via iRules rose 2% to end the quarter with 83% of organizations taking advantage of its capabilities. Organizations use iRules to customize and codify processes that govern the flow of traffic from client to application. Because iRules allow you to intercept and interact with real-time requests and responses, the potential use cases are as varied as the applications and workflows it supports.

The biggest move of all (+3%) was for the ever popular (and necessary) x-forwarded-for capability that enables visibility of client IP addresses to the applications that need it. Also growing was the use of rewriting capabilities, which allows operators to map inbound URIs to internal URIs transparently. This capability is often used to migrate versions of APIs, websites, or to build out an API façade without requiring additional infrastructure.

The application services represented are not all inclusive; it is a sample based on data compiled from F5 iHealth over the course of the previous 3-month quarter.







Unsurprisingly, Bot defense services rose 2% over last quarter to end at nearly one quarter (24%) of organizations. Other defensive application services also saw slight gains with web security in particularly rising 1%.

Research from F5 Labs proposed that half of all Internet traffic originates with bots. Nearly one third (30%) of these are malicious.     

Security services made slight gains quarter of quarter, as well, with single sign on growing from 28% to 29% of organizations and application access matching those gains.

Given the preponderance of respondents to our State of Application Services 2019 survey that would not deploy an application without security, we're not surprised by the slow but steady gains made by security-related application services. 

In a pattern that's repeated for several years now, performance has regained losses from previous quarters with caching, web acceleration, and TCP multiplexing all gaining 2% quarter over quarter.

HTTP/2 remains at a sluggish 2% of organizations and with the news of HTTP/3 coming, we expect this will to remain low until the newest version of HTTP is ratified and widely available. 

For more insights on application services, be sure to check out our State of Application Services 2019 report, and watch for the next edition of our Application Services Update next quarter.