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F5 Networks CEO: Nginx Is ‘Absolutely Core' To F5's Strategy

F5 CEO Francois Locoh-Donou tells an audience of channel partners at the Nginix conference that the application delivery specialist will increase its contribution to the open-source community.

For the past several years, application delivery specialist F5 Networks has been focused on providing every application service, from inception to the delivery of code regardless of where the application was built or deployed. That path led the company to Nginx, a company focused on application delivery software, which F5 acquired for $670 million in May.

"We fundamentally believe we are going to get to that mission with and through Nginx," F5 President and CEO Francois Locho-Donou told an audience of engineers and channel partners at the Nginx conference Wednesday in Seattle.

"Some of you may be here to mark the day that Nginx died, but let me assure you, Nginx is absolutely core to the strategy of F5," Locoh-Donou said.

[Related: F5 Networks Channel Chief: 'Channel Attitude' Will See Firm Through Digital Transformation]

F5 didn't get its start in open source the way Nginx did, but Locoh-Donou pledged that F5 will increase its contribution to the open-source community and continue contributing code to the initiative. That's because F5's customers are "insisting on open source," he said.

Within the Nginx portfolio, F5 will continue to make investments in the Nginx controller, core OSS enhancements, and in new monitoring and security solutions for Nginx OSS.

F5 has added more than 128 engineers to Nginx and has trained more than 1,000 of its systems engineers so far on Nginx, according to Locoh-Donou.

Now combined, F5 and Nginx are going to create a better—and more simplified—application service for its customers, Locoh-Donou said. "Together, we are going to level up Nginx," he added.

Hopla Software, a Madrid-based software distributor and consultancy firm and Nginx partner for the past three years, has just started teaming with F5. The company expects the combination of the two companies to give partners "the best of both worlds" because it will give Nginx partners access to more resources in the field, said Juan Zamora, CEO of Hopla.

"We expect to have some benefits by having a big organization help us with our projects and even introduce us to some customers we're not working with today," Zamora said.  

F5 generates about 98 percent of its revenue through the channel today. Nginx had a relatively nascent partner program, which has already been integrated into F5's channel program, said Colleen McMillan, vice president of global channel sales for F5.

"Now in the [channel program] Nginx partners can now have access to all F5 products," McMillian said. "The reverse is also true, which allows us to build scale. F5 partners now have another solution offering that they can sell to customers that's just another piece in the whole story."

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