F5 is looking to expand its role in global application security and delivery with a new platform that integrates its homegrown software and services with those scooped up in a series of deals totaling more than $2 billion.
Announced Tuesday morning, F5 Distributed Cloud Services incorporates technologies from acquisitions such as Volterra and Shape Security to give the Seattle company a unified front in its competition with Citrix Systems, Akamai Technologies, and other big players in distributing, managing and securing apps.
It follows the rapid rise of cloud technologies and cyberattacks in recent years.
“I believe it’s time we talk about cybercrime not just as a threat to business, but as a threat to human lives; not just as a business priority, but as a moral imperative,” said F5 CEO François Locoh-Donou in a video accompanying the launch.
The first service on the new platform, F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP (Web Application and API Protection), combines F5’s Advanced Web Application Firewall; Volterra’s machine learning-based API security; AI-based bot defense from Shape Security; and protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
It’s the latest step in F5’s expansion beyond its traditional networking hardware business. Formerly F5 Networks, the company streamlined its name last year to denote its evolution. In the December quarter, F5’s software revenue grew 47% to $163 million, or 24% of its $687 million in revenue for the period.
The company is still keeping a presence in its legacy business, positioning itself to provide application delivery and security technologies across multiple public clouds, edge devices, data centers and on-premises hardware.
F5 has expanded further into software and services in recent years with the acquisition of companies including Nginx for $670 million; Shape Security for $1 billion; Volterra for $500 million; and Threat Stack for $68 million.
As part of the announcement Tuesday morning, F5 said it’s renaming many Shape, Volterra and F5 services using the “F5 Distributed Cloud Services” brand, to simplify its overall product naming.
Based in a 3-year-old downtown Seattle skyscraper, known as the F5 Tower, the company employed 6,461 people as of the end of its fiscal year in September, including more than 1,400 in the Seattle area.