F5 says that in the Australian market security will continue to be a core focus and, as the company CTO Karl Triebes says, security will “drive its broader growth strategy.” “In addition, trends such as BYOD will also be front-of-mind for F5 as it continues to broaden its scope of mobility related solutions.”
Karl Triebes recently visited Australia to look over the local operation, and iTWire CEO, Andrew Matler, caught up with him for a chat about F5’s business and its products, including the BIG-IP system of integrated application delivery services:
AM: I hear lots about F5 and its Big IP, could you explain this suite of offerings. So what is it?
KT: F5 is our technology platform and it provides our TMOS Operating System comprising all the intelligence for the different services we provide for, such as security optimisation, and provides the value at the session level. It’s about proving your applications so that they are secure, fast and available.
AM: Karl, I understand that F5 has been known traditionally as a load balancing company and I have concluded that it’s more about security.
KT: You are correct we have been taking F5 from being known as a load balancing company to an application delivery /networking business. Load balancing is a feature, but not the solution. In 2002 we starting re-architecting our BIG IP V4 product, with the notion that we wanted a fundamental way to interact with the content destined for the data centre between the client and the application itself, and to be able to do interesting things with that data.
Although, to do that you could not be just a packet level device looking at packets kind of “flying by.” We needed to understand what was happening in the connection and proxy on behalf of that, and therefore we developed Version 9, our current proxy based architecture. This meant we could see things within the connection and then make intelligent decisions of how to deal with it rather than decisions based on packets. This enabled us to apply security to the traffic. We now have application security offerings and Web security. Our vision is to continue in these areas due to virtualisation and BYO devices, streaming videos such as NetFlix and cloud applications.