End-to-end application delivery from F5 Networks now includes next-gen API management
The acquisition of NGINX by F5 Networks earlier this year (2019) was met with a predictable outcry from the more hard-core elements of the open source community. That’s nothing new, of course — similar sentiments were expressed after Microsoft’s purchase of GitHub, IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat, and further back, the felt need to distance CentOS from RHEL by means of a fork from the latter.
For businesses interested in specific outcomes, however, the F5 Networks/NGINX amalgam makes perfect sense and offers a range of possibilities that can add significant value to the enterprise (and still create an upstream flow into the FOSS community’s beloved NGINX). For paying customers, the NGINX Plus tier represents amazing value for money; not just for its relatively low price points (especially when compared to the bad old days of IIS and Microsoft Server) but also for the extensive functionality NGINX Plus stack brings to the IT function.
That’s because in the modern IT environment often running thousands of apps and services both internally and customer-facing, data exchange via APIs is the way that services scale, remain secure, exchange information to remove the need for data silos, and surface crucial information to stakeholders (internal and external). And while there are standard API-friendly protocols, there are still dozens of variables at play that make API management, effectively, a full-time job requiring many skilled IT professionals.
To ameliorate that situation, enterprises are deploying API gateways and associated management consoles and routines, to centralize management of API access to apps and services, right across the network. The API Management Module for NGINX Controller offers the type of clarity, control, scalability, and security that enterprises need. The solutions help untangle some of the following common issues:
– The inherent complexity caused by APIs’ presence on-premise, across multiple clouds (public and private), in data centers, and on partners’ and suppliers’ systems.
– The need to create a single management function to control API access in general (as a security or governance issue), and in detail (for the granting, revoking and editing of granular access privileges) without adversely impacting the performance of API traffic at runtime
– The acceleration/prioritization of API traffic according to business need.
– Bringing together internal apps’ APIs into the same management environment as customer, partner & supplier APIs.
– Providing API access for both monolithic apps running on traditional infrastructure such as bare-metal or VMs and microservices based apps running on modern infrastructure such as containers or public/hybrid cloud environments.
– Needing to manage paid-for API access better.
– Homogenizing microservices’ APIs alongside those of monolithic app/service instances.
– Rewriting incompatible API requests on-the-fly, and correctly routing or responding to requests for deprecated APIs.
– Key management, security, authentication and governance.
In many enterprises, IT staff need to be multi-skilled in different technologies in order to best address API-related issues. That is both costly in terms of HR, but also management approaches that depend on various proprietary standards often require some coaxing to perform at their best (for coaxing, read “intensive CLI activity”). With NGINX’s API management systems, your staff — probably already familiar with the NGINX portfolio — will be able to hit the ground running.
There are also considerations of latency, speed, and bandwidth overheads. By decoupling the data plan that routes all requests from the control plane, the NGINX difference becomes apparent in performance metrics too.
The NGINX portfolio creates a complete application development and deployment system that’s truly scalable and portable. With API access that’s managed identically whether from apps running across a multi-cloud environment and/or on discrete containers, the NGINX API management portfolio creates a platform-agnostic solution — effectively preserving your existing IT procurement’s ROI. The API Management Module for NGINX Controller can be deployed on bare-metal, VMs, public cloud, private cloud, and containers.
The NGINX Plus package makes the IT function a great deal more scalable and responsive for the business without the need to slash and burn the legacy, but also enables developers to self-serve access when required for new projects, for testing and for service extension. Future apps and service times-to-production are therefore much reduced, too.
To learn how all your IT functions — DevOps, SecOps, and NetOps — can benefit from the NGINX full API lifecycle management platform, and how the F5 Networks API portfolio can help you unpick your interoperability knots, request a free trial.