It has been said that the Internet of Things - objects and appliances with embedded sensors and chips capable of communicating online - will result in 50 billion devices being connected to the internet by 2020. Many of these will have little impact on the enterprise, fridges and bathroom scales, for example, but a lot will. Workers will be using more devices to get their work done and they will expect the business to support these devices. Except that isn’t a vision of 2020... it’s an issue businesses are facing now.
What does this mean for end users? Well, it means businesses have to support more devices and more applications, whether they are hosted on-premise or in the cloud. The applications have to work all the time and they have to be secure.
Network perimeters are collapsing, and IT now has to contend with a huge number of devices and a huge number of applications that may well be beyond the traditional network perimeter. As more people, devices and applications get connected businesses will need to be able to scale their architecture to meet the growing demand. All this has to happen without spending any more money; companies are always looking to reduce total cost of ownership of their networking infrastructure.
The ability to dynamically allocate resources quickly, safely and reliably is not easy to achieve.
That’s where F5’s recent Synthesis announcement comes in. It’s an architectural platform that enables applications to be delivered from the cloud and on-premise with the necessary policy enforcement for security and governance. ScaleN, its services fabric, pulls together all the elements of an organisation’s network infrastructure to enable central deployment.
It enables businesses to build for the future, with a combined throughput of 20.5TB and a 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.
F5 Synthesis actually builds on what software-defined networking (SDN) has started. F5 is partnering with the likes of Cisco on SDN endeavours and Synthesis is complementary to those offerings. While SDN is great for layer 2-3 services, F5 Synthesis addresses layer 4-7, providing Software Defined Application Services (SDAS).
As businesses move into a more application-centric world, the issue of cloud delivery and the mobility and security of applications, devices and networks will become more important. Managing all these from one central place that has the ability to scale to meet future capacity needs is the key.