I was pleased to see F5 Networks finally announce BIG-IP availability for AWS. (Click here to read about their announcement)
As many of our followers know, Riverbed Stingray has been available for years in public and private cloud environments. AWS has been a strong partner and platform for us for quite some time, and announcements like this one prove that will be the case for some more time to come.
On the face of it, F5's announcement is all roses. You know BIG-IP, you love BIG-IP, and now it's on Amazon. You have been told you will like it.
But let's ask a few questions and see where we end up:
(1) F5 is announcing availability in amazon, so that means there is hourly pricing, right?
Fair assumption, but in this case that assumption is wrong. F5 is only enabling you to purchase a perpetual license and deploy it as an AMI. So, spend a few cents an hour on compute, and then drop $8k on your ADC. Makes a lot of sense. (Stingray ADC is available for hourly use or bring-your-own perpetual licenses.)
(2) F5 is available via Marketplace or DevPay now, correct?
Nope. (Stingray ADC is available in both)
Moreover, BIG IP will only be available for VPC, and not for EC2. Stingray is available in both.
(3) F5 will allow me to flexibly size my ADC to my application in amazon, Yes?
It's a mixed bag on this one. I'll give F5 some credit for trying, but they are only providing Lab, 200Mbps, and 1GBps versions. Just as importantly, F5 requires you to purchase an Extra-Large AWS instance to run. (Stingray comes in 10 Mbps, 200Mbps, And 1 Gpbs. We also provide a free developer license to everyone that runs at 1Mbps with all features on. And we only require a minimum Large instance to run.)
(4) F5 has been making so much noise lately about being a security company, so their firewall add-on is available for AWS right?
Sigh... No. BUT, good news, if you think security in the cloud is important, you can run Stingray ADC with a firewall option in AWS today.
(5) F5 has a complete AWS strategy and portfolio for use today, right?
They might, but they haven't talked publicly about it. In contrast, Riverbed provides the following in AWS today:
- Stingray ADC to optimize, scale, secure, and control applications
- Cloud Steelhead to accelerate applications
- Whitewater cloud gateway to backup to S3
It seems as though F5 will continue to have a limited AWS presence, to the detriment of its customers. While applications that are born in AWS will be more likely to use Stingray from the start due to its better fit for the cloud, many enterprises are wondering how to make the shift from legacy data centers to private cloud environments. Luckily Stingray makes it easy for enterprises and websites to quickly and easily incorporate our ADC technology into their application and network stacks. Customers who have switched from F5 to Stingray often call out:
- Stingray, as all-software, was built for clouds and hence is better suited to today's data center environments.
- Stingray is supported in 90+ clouds, making it easier to implement a hybrid strategy and cloud balancing algorithms.
- Stingray has subscription and pay as you grow strategies (both for AWS and for use in private clouds), enabling you to right size your ADC for the use case at hand.
- Stingray REST APIs make it easy to integrate our ADC into your operating environment.
- Every developer can have a Stingray ADC running as software in their dev environment, with no need to deal with the mess of another VM on your desktop.
It's no surprise that with this set of differentiators we continue to see more and more customers choosing Stingray ADCs to meet their application delivery requirements in a cloud-based world.
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