F5 Unveils its Vision

Friday 8th November 2013

F5's portfolio of intelligent application services and flexible deployment models positions customers' security, mobility, and cloud initiatives for success

SEATTLE—F5 Networks, Inc. announced today the new F5 Synthesis architectural vision, promoting the delivery and orchestration of software defined application services (SDAS) throughout data center, cloud, and hybrid environments. Powered by an elastic, multi-tenant and high-performance services fabric, F5 Synthesis enables customers to rapidly and cost-effectively provision layer 4-7 services to anyone at any time without constraints.

The Synthesis architectural vision builds on signature F5 technologies like TMOS and ScaleN, adding new elements to extend the reach of intelligent application services into IT infrastructures and cloud environments. The announcement marks a significant step toward enabling customers to realize the goal of delivering a software defined data center with SDAS. A comprehensive set of management and control plane APIs ensures integration and interoperability with SDN and virtualization systems, as well as in the cloud.


  • Improved Service Velocity – Trends such as agile, DevOps, cloud, and SDN have made great strides toward meeting service velocity requirements across development, operations, and networking teams but have not adequately addressed key layer 4-7 services. F5 Synthesis fills that gap with an open, extensible framework that allows a growing ecosystem of technology partners to collaborate on comprehensive, integrated provisioning and orchestration systems that address velocity requirements across compute, network, and application services. F5 Synthesis further accelerates time to market by enabling rapid service implementation for key security, cloud, and mobility challenges with detailed architectural and implementation guidance.
  • Reduced Costs and Complexity–Standardising on an F5 service delivery platform significantly reduces operational risk and improves continuity through comprehensive management capabilities. Organizations can centrally deploy, manage, and orchestrate application service topologies in a consistent manner across data center and cloud environments. This means predictable, repeatable application deployments, reducing the number of manual configurations and subsequent errors, and instilling the confidence in automated deployments necessary to move forward with self-service initiatives that further reduce operational costs. Because platforms can be deployed on F5 hardware/any of the most popular hypervisors/in the cloud, customers can pursue virtualization and cloud initiatives such as software defined data centers without sacrificing the reach or effectiveness of vital application services, security capabilities, and network reliability.
  • Application-Driven Elasticity –F5 technologies (such as BIG-IP, BIG-IQ, LineRate, Traffix SDC, and Versafe) provide customers with a number of deployment options. F5's physical, virtual, and cloud-based solutions provide a flexible, high-performance services fabric with core capabilities focused on application requirements for reliability and scale. F5 Synthesis enables customers to move from managing traditional reliability models to a strategic, service-based approach that focuses on application-level service provisioning, automation, and orchestration, better aligning application services with business and user expectations.
  • Cloud Enablement – Organizations looking to deploy applications in the cloud are often impeded by corporate requirements around security, compliance, and performance. In the Synthesis model, F5 application services can be deployed in cloud environments and managed centrally alongside services deployed in the data center, enabling consistent deployment and enforcement of the policies governing security and performance. This capability enables organizations to confidently take advantage of the benefits cloud has to offer.
  • Programmability to Better Meet Business Needs – F5 Synthesis enables service automation, supports emerging application and network architectures, and enables service creation through a policy-based, customizable approach. F5 customers can leverage powerful tools like iRules, iControl, iCall, iApps, Groovy, and Node.js to configure and adjust environments dynamically, as well as extend the intelligence of business-focused decisions beyond existing service capabilities. Customers can create, deploy, modify, and extend services quickly to address variables impacting the security, reliability, and performance of applications and networks.

An all-active and multi-tenant application-driven services fabric enables a flexible model for provisioning and orchestrating services that can be extended from the data center to the cloud. Combined with new licensing options, F5 Synthesis reduces the costs of delivering services so customers can increase the value of a rich and extensible set of services for all devices, networks, and applications. In support of this vision,

F5's high-performance services fabric scales to meet the needs of the most demanding environments. Deployed across hardware, software, or cloud infrastructures, the Synthesis ScaleN services fabric can support up to 1.28 million instances in a combination of administrative domains and virtual instances with a combined throughput of 20.5 TB and connection capacity of 9.2 billion—more than three times the capacity needed to manage a connection from every Internet user today across the globe.[1]

A centralized management system enables the automated discovery, topology, and provisioning of service fabric instances, reducing the operational overhead associated with manual processes and enabling rapid provisioning and scale of the most comprehensive set of application services available today across device, network, and application domains. To realize the economy of scale required to enable a "no application left behind" strategy, automated provisioning and orchestration is a must. F5 Synthesis enables enterprises and service providers to seamlessly manage, scale, and automate application services with BIG-IQ.

To further provide tangible context for customers on the company's vision, F5 is also introducing a collection of reference architectures focused on business solutions designed to help organizations accelerate time to market and address some of IT's most pervasive challenges.


F5 Synthesis and software defined application services are supported by a growing number of F5 solutions. Contact your local F5 sales office for availability of F5 technologies in specific countries.

F5 is introducing a tiered licensing model to consolidate purchasing options for its solutions and significantly reduce customer costs when application services are deployed in concert versus individually. For additional information on F5's new pricing options, please go to: http://www.f5.com/pdf/licensing/good-better-best-licensing-overview.pdf


F5 executive videos, white papers, datasheets, diagrams, and additional information on Synthesis and specific reference architectures are available through http://synthesis.f5.com/.

Additional commentary on today's news is available on F5 DevCentral at: https://devcentral.f5.com/articles/f5-synthesis-the-time-is-right

[1]Based on Internet user population of 2.4B: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

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