F5 kicked off its #F5Agility18 conference with over 1,300 attendees. The company’s themes was “Any app, anywhere,” and words repeated included “Automation” and “as a service.” The company is moving towards selling security as a standalone offering. Accompanying the show, there was a press release announcing Gi LAN traffic management and Gi Firewall VNFs generally available September 2018 focused on mobile operators, available on capacity-based consumption model. A striking difference between this year’s conference in Boston and last year’s conference in Chicago was that a significant portion of the management team is different: new CIO, CFO, regional VP, Chief Strategy Officer, two new SVP/GMs of business units, EVP HR, EVP Services.
Generally, the company is planning on delivering new capabilities:
- automation & orchestration,
- cloud-native applications service platforms (Packaged software and as a service for native cloud consumption experience (in next 12 months)
- new application security services.
Here are the three eras of market development for F5:
- 1996-2004. Load balancer.
- 2005-2015- ADC market.
- 2016+ Multi-cloud application services
The company is putting significant investment into SP, software, automation. “Any app, anywhere” vision.
- Drive share gain in physical ADC market. F5 expects physical ADC down mid single digits Y/Y (5%). Think ours will decline less fast b/c we have exposure to largest customers, have SP exposure who demand hardware (ViPRION) and because we innovate on hardware faster than competitors
- Capturing growing demand for virtual ADCs and ADC-as-a-service. Been growing vADC 20%/yr past few years; could accelerate. Just now releasing purpose-built software (BigIP) and cloud-native software in early 2019.
- Expanding security with new multi-cloud solutions. WAF enhancements.
- Creating long-term value through services.
- Driving margin expansion and earnings power. Through scale. 40% software by 2022.
- F2018: Just announced orchestration / automation a few months ago for BigIP (BigIP Cloud edition). Per app use-cases are enabled through this innovation.
- F2019: cloud-native app services. Container-based, Kubernetes, cloud-native distributed ADC system. Beta end this year, release 1H19.
- >F2019: ADC-as-a-service.
- F15-17: ADC-attached security
- F18-19: Standalone security offerings
- F20-22E: Multi-cloud application security