New F5 Software Advances Application Security, Management, and Orchestration

Published May 17, 2016


Nathan Misner
Sr. Director of Global Communications
F5 Networks
(206) 272-7494

Holly Lancaster
WE Communications
(415) 547-7054

Industry-leading service programmability promotes flexible deployment capabilities, policy-based controls, and hybrid cloud support

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) today introduced software-based solutions that enable customers to seamlessly integrate availability and security services, simplify device management, and better orchestrate IT infrastructure. To lower costs and boost efficiency, organizations are evolving toward more dynamic infrastructure models that combine physical, virtual, and cloud components. Supporting this transition, F5’s innovative, versatile solutions give customers the ability to take advantage of the benefits provided by traditional data center, cloud, and hybrid architectures.

Today, F5 is introducing:

  • BIG-IP® 12.1 software, delivering leading application services with enhanced public cloud integration and more sophisticated security policies for on-premises and hybrid cloud environments
  • BIG-IQ® Centralized Management 5.0, providing expanded management for F5’s BIG-IP solution portfolio with significant scalability and performance advances
  • iWorkflow™ 2.0, enabling the orchestration of F5 services with SDN-focused solutions like Cisco ACI and VMware NSX, as well as continuous deployment scenarios using DevOps tools from vendors such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet

Programmable Application Services for Ultimate Flexibility

With the release of BIG-IP version 12.1 software, no other Application Delivery Controller (ADC) vendor offers F5’s level of programmability across traditional, cloud, and hybrid architectures. F5’s new iRules LX™ technology marks a substantial advance in programmability, providing the ability to manipulate and selectively deploy service capabilities via Node.js, and includes easy access to over 250,000 community Node.js packages. These capabilities are especially important in delivering advanced functionality for web applications that require optimized throughput, scalability, and unique traffic steering services. In addition, a new plug-in for the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE)—commonly supported by other enterprise technology vendors (e.g., CA, Google, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and SAP)—enables the rapid delivery of reusable code that drives advanced functionality.

Strong Policy-Based Security with Protection for Applications Everywhere

The proliferation of Internet-facing applications has led to pervasive threats on business-critical web services, along with an increase in the sophistication of attacks. F5’s security enhancements allow organizations to more effectively ensure application availability and performance, resolve critical app protection gaps, and strengthen overall defenses. Today’s announcement reflects a number of new security capabilities, with highlights including:

- BIG-IP 12.1 enhances industry-leading web application defense via BIG-IP Application Security Manager™ (ASM) with unique, customizable bot detection methods that enable detailed analysis and extensive device ID tracking.

- BIG-IP ASM accelerates the blocklisting of malicious IPs in hardware at high rates for layer 7 threats, providing coverage until feed lists are updated.

- F5 gives visibility into HTML5 WebSocket connections for comprehensive policy protection where other WAFs fail.

BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager™ now offers enhanced capabilities that automatically mitigate L3–7 attacks upstream in the ISP realm and control SSH channel user-initiated actions with simple custom policy enforcement.

Tight Integration with Leading Public Cloud Environments

Application architects and developers must rapidly implement apps and services as part of a continuous deployment pipeline, while ensuring that they remain fast, highly available, and secure throughout. F5 solutions are designed to let customers use the same services in the cloud that they can in the data center. New technologies offer expanded support for AWS and Azure environments, including integration with AWS autoscale to dynamically scale app services, active/standby high availability across availability zones, and added F5 WAF capabilities for Azure Security Center.

Powerful Management and Orchestration Capabilities for Simplified Operations

For network architects and administrators, F5 has updated its BIG-IQ Centralized Management solution. The platform provides visibility, reporting, licensing, and management capabilities that simplify operations for F5 BIG-IP products, and now includes support for F5’s award-winning BIG-IP Access Policy Manager®. F5 is the only vendor that combines centralized, role-based management for application delivery, security, and identity management into a united framework. In addition, with this new version of BIG-IQ, customers can now simultaneously manage, update, and configure application services for up to 200 physical and virtual devices, and handle up to 5,000 BIG-IP licenses.

F5’s new iWorkflow platform accelerates the deployment of applications by enabling the orchestration of network services, such as traffic management and security. Available as a virtual appliance, iWorkflow™ is a multi-tenant solution for deploying application delivery policies with BIG-IP solutions to support a variety of IT environments, including hybrid clouds. Using smart templates, policies can be deployed directly via the iWorkflow GUI, via third-party management solutions such as Cisco ACI or VMware NSX through connectors, or via other orchestration technologies such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet with an SDK.

Supporting Quotes

“To better meet the needs of customers, we have made significant investments in security, management, and orchestration, along with the feature-rich software that supports our flagship BIG-IP product line,” said Karl Triebes, EVP of Product Development and CTO at F5. “Giving organizations the ability to integrate F5 with vendors and solutions such as AWS, Azure, Cisco, and VMware is certainly a priority, but we also have an eye toward making sure our offerings resonate with those using open source technologies like OpenStack, and agile infrastructure from emerging ‘born in the cloud’ companies.”

“As application services and resources are abstracted across increasingly diverse environments, the ability to easily unify functionality and enforce policies throughout vendors’ offerings becomes essential,” said Brad Casemore, Research Director, Datacenter Networks, IDC. “Similarly, the ability for enterprise IT to programmatically tailor performance and orchestrate services is a necessity for organizational success with multi-vendor SDN and cloud deployments.”


BIG-IP version 12.1 software, BIG-IQ Centralized Management 5.0, and iWorkflow 2.0 will be available in the second quarter of calendar year 2016. Please contact a local F5 sales office for additional product and service availability information pertaining to specific countries.

About F5

F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) makes apps go faster, smarter, and safer for the world’s largest businesses, service providers, governments, and consumer brands. F5 delivers cloud and security solutions that enable organizations to embrace the application infrastructure they choose without sacrificing speed and control. For more information, go to You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technologies.

F5, BIG-IP, BIG-IQ, iWorkflow, iRules LX, Application Security Manager, Advanced Firewall Manager, Access Policy Manager, and DevCentral are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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