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Another Year of re:Invent, Another Year of Advances for F5 on AWS

An amazing and nearly overwhelming event, AWS re:Invent is now in the rear-view mirror. The ink has dried on the steady slew of AWS announcements and the 43,000 masses have returned home. With the event now behind me, this is a good opportunity to reflect on the significant advancements F5 made since last year’s re:Invent.

From solutions development and tighter AWS integrations, to greater marketplace availability and product certifications, F5 has made considerable progress. In this piece we’ll touch upon a few of these accomplishments including:

  • Achievement of AWS Security and Networking Competencies
  • Availability in the AWS GovCloud Marketplace
  • Accelerated CloudFormation Template Development
  • Auto Scale WAF Solution for the AWS Marketplace
  • Bonus: Story time…
     

Achievement of AWS Networking and Security Competencies

If you attended Terry Wise’s keynote, you may already have noted  F5 was an inaugural launch partner for AWS’ new Networking Competency program. This program recognizes software vendors that demonstrate a deep architectural understanding and commitment to the AWS ecosystem, better enabling our joint customers to adopt, deploy and secure networks and applications in the AWS cloud infrastructure. Not only that, but with the attainment of the AWS Security Competency earlier this year, which reaffirms F5’s WAF as a market-leading security solution for AWS-hosted applications, F5 became now one of a select handful of software vendors that have attained dual-competency.

Availability in the AWS GovCloud Marketplace

F5 has continued to expand its AWS availability this year with our recent addition to the AWS GovCloud marketplace.  For government agencies required to operate under highly stringent regulatory and compliance requirements (ITAR, FedRAMP, DoD for example), public cloud adoption was a difficult, if not an impossible task, prior to the release of the AWS GovCloud. The isolated and dedicated nature of this region allows these customers to adhere to stringent compliance requirements, while reaping all the benefits that public cloud computing affords.

BIG-IP VEs have been available for manual deployment in this niche segment of AWS’ infrastructure for some time via downloads.f5.com, but when AWS rolled out the GovCloud marketplace, F5 jumped at the opportunity to offer fast, streamlined BIG-IP VE deployments for AWS virtual networks to these important customers. This topic is covered in greater detail by F5’s Calvin Rowland in this piece, or you can check out F5 in the GovCloud marketplace here.

Accelerated CloudFormation Template (CFT) Development

In the cloud, agility is paramount…and what boosts agility most? Automation. For that, F5 is leveraging AWS’ native resource management service: AWS CloudFormation. At re:Invent, AWS announced that over 350,000 AWS customers currently use CloudFormation, as well as over 75% of its top 10,000 highest spend customers. 

Using CloudFormation Templates (CFTs), F5 is able to templatize all of the necessary resources and input parameters required for software spin-up, such that fully functioning BIG-IP VEs can be provisioned in a matter of minutes; all at the click of a button or even an automated API call. We’ve assembled a team of expert engineers to create new CFTs that satisfy a variety of different use cases and deployment scenarios, such as auto scaling solutions for both BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP ASM, clustered deployments for high availability, as well as a range of standalone templates.

You can learn more about, or try any of these templates free of charge through F5’s AWS CloudFormation repository on GitHub. No other ADC vendor has delivered anywhere near the number of CFTs for its customer as F5 has.

Autoscale WAF solution for the AWS Marketplace

Designed to optimize operational expenditure while ensuring industry-leading application security, F5’s auto scale WAF solution scales out BIG-IP VEs with the LTM and ASM modules as needed to ensure your applications are available and protected under varying traffic levels. This automated CFT-based solution is available for public consumption through F5’s GitHub repository

But to simplify and speed up the deployment experience even further, we have integrated this solution into the AWS Marketplace. This removes a number of steps in the deployment procedure, so the auto scaling WAF solution can be implemented and operational directly in AWS in just a few clicks. And this isn’t a one off, our team is working feverishly to deliver this same level of integration for a variety of other use case-based solutions – so continue to watch this space.

For more in-depth coverage of this solution, check out this previous post.

Bonus: Story time…

I’ve chosen to round out this article by highlighting part of slightly unique AWS-focused customer story, with one of the world’s leading CRM providers. While the use case and F5 solution specifics might interest you, we’re going to focus on the innovative new AWS Marketplace Seller Private Offers functionality. This new service provides a direct buyer-to-seller interface that allows two parties to privately negotiate prices, with the customer maintaining the benefits of consolidated billing, cost analysis and subscription management while paying a slightly lower premium for larger sized transactions.

And this service is not limited to BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-License) offers either, as it also puts both hourly and annual PAYG (Pay-as-You-Go) pricing as well as multi-year subscription terms up for consideration. A great program to solve unique customer use cases spanning both production and dev/test environments. 

There’s plenty of additional F5 capabilities coming around the corner in early 2018 that are going to help our customers on their journey to the cloud, so no doubt this next year will be just as exciting as the last.