f5 Agility Conference Wrap-Up

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.


F5 CEO Francois Locoh-Donou speaking at the keynote session of 2018 Agility conference


F5 strategy slide: Every App, Everywhere from #F5Agility18

Growth strategy:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Expanding security with new multi-cloud solutions.  WAF enhancements.
  4. Creating long-term value through services.
  5. Driving margin expansion and earnings power.  Through scale.  40% software by 2022.

Development timeline:

  • 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.

Security strategy:

  • F15-17: ADC-attached security
  • F18-19: Standalone security offerings
  • F20-22E: Multi-cloud application security