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F5 is acquiring web pioneer NGNIX for $670 million. F5 Networks’ strength is in cloud security whereas NGINX is the creator of the world’s most popular open source web server that dethroned Apache.

Combined, the two companies are looking at those customers who are embargoing on their cloud-native journey.

“A tie-up like this allows us to bridge the gap between the traditional world and the new world that customers are building. It allows NGINX to do it faster. F5 wants to be able to solve the same type of problems, and by bringing our set of technologies together, it’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Sidney Rabsatt, VP, Product Management at NGNIX.

There is no overlap between the offerings of the two companies. “We complement each other. We meet in the middle – the DevOps meet the NetOps. We’re trying to bridge two different worlds – the production side delivery and the DevOps environments. By doing so, we get an end to end view of applications, and we get the ability to seamlessly deliver and deploy applications faster while inserting better security along the entire delivery path,” said Lori MacVittie – Principal Technical Evangelist, Office of the CTO – F5.

Businesses want agility, the ability to get new products and capabilities out to market asap. But it could be at odds with the need for stability, security, and durability. Together F5 and NGINX bring these two capabilities together.

Who needs who more?

Ultimately, F5 customers will get access to a new set of technologies that allow them to have a little bit more freedom as to where they can build their applications and what technologies they can use to build their applications. At the same time, NGINX customers will gain access to all the security and analytics capabilities that F5 bring to the table.

NGINX will retain its branding and leadership under F5. Keeping the branding and leadership of NGNIX intact is critical to this acquisition.

Will Free NGINX Web Server Go Away?

There is a concern within open source communities that this ‘acquisition’ might have a negative impact on the NGINX web server which is available freely as an open source project.

First and foremost, F5 itself is an open source player. They have active Open Source projects on GitHub. They are one of those modern companies that know the value of the open source community.

“One of the factors that attracted us towards NGINX is the open source work they are doing. We have no plans to change that. In fact, we want to continue it and invest in it in order to accelerate what NGNIX has been doing and has been so successful at,” said MacVittie.

Kubernetes is also at the heart of this acquisition. NGNIX has done a lot of work in that space. “NGINX Ingress is one of the most widely used controllers for the Kubernetes environment,” said Rabsatt

People are building microservices applications, which not only needs to talk to each other; they also need to talk to the outside world. They need to be able to get traffic in and out of Kubernetes clusters.

“We think that’s a core part of application infrastructure and we’re going to continue to advance our capabilities there,” said Rabsatt.

Listen to the whole podcast where we discussed all these points and beyond!

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Swapnil Bhartiya
I have more than 12 years of experience covering Enterprise Open Source, Cloud, Containers, IoT, Machine Learning and general tech. My stories cover a very broad spectrum - traditional Linux, data center and Free Software to contemporary emerging technologies like 'serverless'. Widely Read: My stories have appeared in a multitude of leading publications including CIO, InfoWorld, Network World, The New Stack, Linux Pro Magazine, ADMIN Magazine, HPE Insights, Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine, SweetCode, Linux For You, Electronics For You and more.