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F5 Synthesis: Hybrid to the Core

In the original sense of the word, hybrid means to bring together two disparate "things" that result in some single new "thing"

#SDAS #SDN #Cloud #SSL #HTTP2.0 F5 continues to pave the way for business to adopt disruptive technologies without, well, as much disruption.

The term hybrid is somewhat misleading. In the original sense of the word, it means to bring together two disparate "things" that result in some single new "thing". But technology has adapted the meaning of the word to really mean the bridging of two different technological models. For example, a hybrid cloud isn't really smashing up two cloud environments to form a single, new cloud, rather it's bridging the two technologies in a seamless way so as to make them interoperate and cooperate as if they were a single, unified cloud.

This concept is necessary because the way in which data center and computing models evolve. We don't ditch the last generation when the next generation comes along. Rather we graft the new onto the old or combine them in ways that enable the use of both - albeit often times separately. IPv4 and IPv6, for example, pose significant challenges due to incompatibilities. The reliance on the former and the need for the latter drive us to adopt technology such as gateways and brokers to enable a smooth(er) transition from the old to the new.


Hybrid is a way to keep organizations moving forward, without sacrificing support for where we are right now.

As organizations are challenged to adopt the latest applications and technology based on cutting-edge protocols to improve performance and gain advantages through efficiency, they are simultaneously challenged to scale network infrastructure to handle more traffic, more applications and more "things" connecting to their networks. Cloud offers a path forward, but introduces challenges, too, in managing access, performance, security and scale across an increasingly distributed set of domains.

Organizations need hybrid answers to hybrid challenges that threaten the reliability and security of their applications.

F5: Hybrid to the Core

F5 is no strange to providing hybrid answers to hybrid challenges. F5 Synthesis Software Defined Application Services (SDAS) provide a robust set of services spanning protocol and application layer gateway capabilities that mean you can support a hybrid cloud as easily as a hybrid network that incorporates SDN or emerging protocols like HTTP 2.0.

With the release of BIG-IP 11.6 - the platform from which F5 Synthesis High Performance Services Fabric is composed - organizations will be even better positioned to take advantage of new and existing technologies simultaneously while meeting hyperscale challenges arising from even more devices and more applications in need of services.

F5 is the first and only vendor to support HTTP 2.0 with BIG-IP 11.6. Like IPv6, HTTP 2.0 is incompatible with the existing de facto standard version (1.1), making it difficult for organizations to move forward and enjoy the proffered benefits of HTTP 2.0 in faster, simpler and more secure applications. F5's approach is hybrid: why be constrained to just one version when you can support both?

Too, why must you choose between the performance benefits of hardware-accelerated SSL or the flexibility of a virtual ADC on off-the-shelf hardware? F5 believes you shouldn't have to, and offers another first in the industry - a hybrid SSL offload approach. Organizations can enable 8 times the SSL capacity by taking advantage of the hybrid nature of the F5 High Performance Service Fabric enabled through its unique ScaleN technology.

And then, of course, there's cloud and the Internet of Things (or BYOD if you're still focusing just on devices) driving the need for a different kind of access control strategy; a hybrid one. Whether it's things or people, traditional access control techniques that rely on IP address and can't effectively manage both cloud and data center deployed applications isn't going to cut it. Add in the need to hyperscale to meet demand and you need a more hybrid-friendly approach. BIG-IP 11.6 puts the focus on identity-based firewalling into our application delivery firewall services. Combined with existing cloud-identity federation capabilities based on broad SAML support, a seamless hybrid cloud experience for SSO and access is well within reach.

As F5 continues to expand and extend the capabilities of its Software-Defined Application Services (SDAS), the notion of "hybrid" architectures, technologies and networks will remain core to its capabilities to ensure organizations can continue to deploy and deliver applications without constraints.


More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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