Staying Positive

It’s been an emotional two days. Yesterday morning whilst preparing for a customer workshop at our new London Technology Center I was doing a bit of research on the competition.  Cue an avalanche of anti-F5 collateral (hereafter known as FUD) focussed on why not to buy F5.

Now if there is one thing that I hate, it’s a negative campaign.  I never do it,  and I honestly think that, if your product is good, and you really believe in it, you just don’t need to. Why waste your time and energy on a load of negativity? - we have governments and stock markets for that. I’ll admit, quite against the advice of some dead Chinese general, I got rather upset. Bad language was used, and the morality and parentage of an entire organisation was questioned. To be fair to them,  they are not the only ones - finding FUD from the competition focussed on F5 is pretty easy.

Then we had an excellent meeting with a great bunch of people working on an interesting project.  I got to work with  them solving some of their challenges using our technology. There was waving of arms and drawing on whiteboards, just my kind of thing. My mood was somewhat improved but I was still a little wound up, to be honest.

Today I’ve been reading ‘Behind the Cloud’ by founder Marc Benioff.  One of his key marketing tenets is “Always Go After the Goliath” – attack the market leader, don’t even acknowledge the rest of the field. So, feel free to take a look around our competitors’ sites, you won’t find them rubbishing each other, because there is only one clear leader in the advanced ADC market place – F5.  We’ve got here through years of hard work and focus, by employing the best people (OK, a few of us slip through the net), and by working hard with our customers to solve their real-world problems.

Thanks for the recognition guys, now I’ll worry when you stop.  

Published Oct 13, 2011
Version 1.0

Was this article helpful?

1 Comment

  • So, good news bad news. Firstly I'm more than happy to give you my views on the future of the ADC marketplace. Bad news is I'm just a humble pre-sales guy with an opinion or two too many. I think that's why they gave me a blogging spot so that I'd stop spouting off in the office. So I'm not what you might call leadership.



    I do, however, spend most of my time talking to the most important people in our organisation: customers. Listening to them, and looking at the market, the way I see it is this: we are going to need many of the services of the ADC for the foreseeable future. Things like TCP optimisation, application firewalling, load balancing, event based traffic management, server offload etc. are not going to be offered by operating systems or client-server applications. These services are not networking, not applications they are application services delivered in the network.



    What I think will change is what device the application services are run from. Today we have ADC's that are commodity servers running software (e.g. HAProxy), dedicated hardware appliances (e.g. BIG-IP) or virtual editions (e.g.BIG-IP Virtual Edition) . In the future I think that we will see ecosystems where the ADC components might run on a number of devices to create the required services. I see hybrid hardware/virtual systems for agile private clouds, with hardware devices doing the heavy lifting of optimisation and offload, but virtual editions of the same product providing discrete application traffic management. This will allow an entire application, or even an entire customer virtual datacentre, to migrate around an organisation's datacentres dependant on available resource, or to burst into commodity CPU to meet a peak workload.



    The emergence of dedicated network devices designed for virtualised compute environments (using the yet to be standardised 802.1qbg/h standards) gives another potential 'home' for these application services.



    The way we are going with Traffic Groups and ScaleN in V11 of BIG-IP maybe gives an insight into the future.