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F5 released its Cloud Services portfolio in 2019 to address the skyrocketing demand for cloud-native application services--offerings that enable customers to rapidly build and manage more cost-effective, scalable and resilient applications, regardless of their stage of cloud adoption or migration. With F5 Cloud Services, modern development and infrastructure teams can deploy the same battle-tested, world-class F5 technologies globally, in a matter of minutes.

In this article, we'll take a tour of F5 Cloud Services and discuss some of the portfolio's key features and benefits.

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What are F5 Cloud Services?

The F5 Cloud Services suite consists of enterprise solutions delivered as a service that helps organizations manage their cloud infrastructures more securely and deliver applications at a lower cost, with more resilience. Powered by the AWS SaaS Enablement Framework, the cloud-native platform is particularly geared for modern organizations looking to support and accelerate DevOps efforts while enabling infrastructure and security teams to maintain optimal governance and control. To this end, the platform fully supports and accelerates contemporary application development environments, models and patterns, and technologies like virtual machines, containers, and micro-services, to name a few.

Because F5 Cloud Services are entirely SaaS-based, users can leverage its pay-as-you-go model for cost-effective yet flexible and scalable pricing--a structure that fully supports auto-scaling for meeting shifting traffic and workload demands. Users consume Cloud Services on a utility basis via the AWS Marketplace, so there are few surprises when it comes to monthly pricing. And because they use Anycast for network addressing and routing, F5 Cloud Services ensures that application users are automatically routed to optimal nodes and locations for global accessibility and scalability.

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How F5 Cloud Services work

F5 Cloud Services' SaaS solutions are delivered via a streamlined platform with an intuitive UX and contemporary interfaces for reducing management complexity and overhead. For more in-depth integrations, platform connectivity can alternatively be managed/automated with a set of fully realized REST APIs.

The following services are offered through F5 Cloud Services:

  • Beacon: Beacon is a SaaS solution that provides organizations with end-to-end visibility and insights that spans their application portfolio landscape. From validating the efficacy of security controls and compliance measures to anomaly detection and root cause analysis, Beacon allows organizations to better secure, optimize, and improve their application offerings.
  • DNS: As its name implies, the F5 DNS Cloud Service allows users to easily and quickly provision and configure DNS services for their applications. Capable of serving as either a primary or a secondary DNS service (e.g., as a backup for the main DNS service), the DNS Cloud Services can be easily launched from the SaaS interface and set up to respond to DNS queries, just minutes after being activated. Other benefits include a distributed global network, in-built DDoS protection capabilities, automatic scaling/tuning, and more.
  • DNS Load Balancer: As F5's initial claim to claim, load balancing is clearly a domain that the company understands well. The DNS Load Balancer builds on F5's legacy of expertise in this area to provide an intelligent, cloud-based global server load balancing (GSLB) solution as a service. Like the other F5 Cloud Services solutions, DNS Load Balancer can be configured and deployed in minutes to ensure that the organization's infrastructure and applications are highly available and responsive to users' needs.
  • Essential App Protect: With today's high-speed and high-velocity deployments, application security can easily fall to the wayside. Essential App Protect was designed for DevOps professionals and developers without security expertise, as well as architects in larger organizations looking to define and adopt enterprise standards. The solution simplifies application security by enabling out-of-the-box protection against common web exploits, malicious IP addresses and coordinated attack types (e.g., DoS and DDos), to name a few.
  • Device ID+: Device ID+ uses sophisticated signal collection technologies and ML algorithms to identify unique devices visiting a specific website or web application. Specifically, it leverages a lightweight JavaScript library called 1JS to fingerprint client devices accessing the organization's applications, enabling a myriad of security, network troubleshooting, and fraud detection use cases.
  • Integrated bot defense: Considering that most internet traffic these days consists of bot activity, web application owners are well-advised to protect their internet-facing assets accordingly. Like Device ID+, F5's Integrated Bot Defense uses a combination of JavaScript and API calls to collect telemetry and identify malicious user, devices and connections--all without re-routing traffic to a proxy server.
  • Shape Recognize: Shape Recognize enables web application owners to securely extend the login sessions of their users and customers, thereby reducing the UX friction of frequent re-logins while continuing to bolster strong security controls. For example, an application user's session typically expires between 30-60 minutes; with Shape Recognize, eligible users can enjoy session lifetimes that last for weeks or months--all without compromising existing security models and controls.

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Account management and support

Because F5 Cloud Services are fully self-service and managed through the Cloud Services Portal or via API integration, users can access all their services by leveraging a single login or authentication and pane of glass. Additionally, Cloud Services allows for multiple users to access an account (with granular role assignments and access and control), as well as extensive change monitoring and management for full visibility into account activity. Lastly, F5 Cloud Services provides support on a 24x7x365 basis, so F5 Cloud Services can access continuous support as part of their subscription.

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How World Wide Technology can help with F5 Cloud Services

In short, the F5 Cloud Services portfolio enables organizations to launch and manage highly scalable web applications that automatically, cost-effectively meet the shifting demands of today's users and customers, without compromising security and resilience. Cloud Services complements F5's industry-leading portfolio of cloud and networks security solutions--including its leading BIG-IP application delivery services and products.

To learn more about the F5 Cloud Services, check out WWT's expansive coverage of F5's products and solutions--or better yet, contact us today to learn more about our services.