F5 Beacon Brings Insights through Visibility into Multi-Cloud App Portfolios

Lori MacVittie Miniatura
Lori MacVittie
Published November 27, 2019

A common meme during the Midwest American winter (yes, that is most of the year, why do you ask?) revolves around predictions for snow. On any given day, we are expecting 1 – 78 inches of snow. Possibly. Maybe.

Unfortunately, this is very close to the answer an enterprise gives when asked how many applications are in their portfolio: 1 to 1000. Possibly. Maybe. Peruse any number of industry reports that track the number of SaaS-based apps in use across an organization, and you’ll find that upper bound is even higher.

The introduction of cloud is not the cause of this lack of visibility into an organization’s app portfolio; it merely exacerbated an existing condition by expanding the possible places an app might be hiding. Before digital transformation and the rise of the app economy, very few organizations tracked apps as an asset. But now, they need to.

It is telling that in our forthcoming State of Application Services 2020 report fewer than half (43%) of respondents were confident in their company’s ability to withstand an application layer attack against their app portfolio. After all, how can one be confident in protecting what one doesn’t know exists or can’t seem to find?

Visibility is a key enabler of many IT and business functions today. Whether the focus is on securing access to or protecting apps, or just monitoring their health and performance, organizations today suffer from a lack of visibility into their broadly dispersed application portfolios.

That’s an untenable situation for any organization and the driving force behind today’s introduction of F5 Beacon.

F5 Beacon is, at its core, a visibility and insight solution. It was expressly designed with the purpose of providing visibility into every app, anywhere. Atop that foundational principle, we’ve built a robust open API, intuitive UI, and enabled analytics that provide answers to some of the most common questions asked by IT and business leaders everywhere. How many apps are operating on-premises? In this public cloud? In that other public cloud? What’s their status, and which ones are failing to perform and offer an exceptional customer experience? 

Whether it’s for performance, health, or security, F5 Beacon is designed to offer the information and insights you need to operate secure, speedy apps, anywhere. To achieve that goal, Beacon integrates with a broad portfolio of application ecosystems including those from Datadog,, F5 DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service, NGINX Controller (In Preview), and of course F5 BIG-IP and F5 BIG-IQ. And let’s not forget about support for Telegraf!

Beacon can integrate with any type of deployment across public and private cloud properties. A robust, declarative API facilitates custom integration and control, as well as easy implementation.

Integrations automatically connect to and stream to cloud-based F5 Beacon the telemetry necessary to monitor, track, and report on the availability and performance of applications.

With F5 Beacon, stakeholders such as app owners, operational leaders, C-suite leaders, and line of business managers can view their app inventory by customizable categories such as cost center, department, location, and business unit or any custom-defined metadata. Application maps offer a holistic view of an application including dependencies that impact performance, availability, and security.

F5 Beacon’s Insight Engine offers an additional route to gain actionable custom insights to help make informed decisions.

Available as a SaaS offering, F5 Beacon allows organizations to focus on what matters the most to them, quickly realizing value from the solution instead of dealing with the operational overhead of how to deploy, manage and secure it. Best of all, a wide range of roles within the enterprise can take advantage of knowing just how many apps they have, and how they’re behaving.

We’re excited about the general availability of F5 Beacon because we know that organizations struggle with visibility into their app portfolio every day and our goal is to enable every stakeholder to be able to answer the question “How many apps does your organization operate?” with something more definitive than a meme.

To learn more about F5 Beacon, or to test drive the service, visit:


The F5 team is at AWS re:Invent this week to share our app visibility and analytics SaaS solution. Stop by booth #2437 to learn more about F5 Beacon and say hello!