F5 Transforms Volterra, Shape Security Buys Into Secure Edge Service, Distributed Cloud Platform

At its annual conference, F5 rolled out a new platform and service that combines its recent Volterra and Shape Security buys with its own technology to help partners and businesses handle application delivery and security.


Multi-cloud management and application delivery specialist F5 revealed a new platform that combines its recent Volterra and Shape Security buys with its own homegrown technology to reimagine application delivery and security, according to the company.

The F5 Distributed Cloud Platform provides cloud-native, software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based application security and delivery services. A brand-new service the company is launching on the platform is F5 Distributed Cloud Web Application and API Protection (WAAP), which combines F5’s Advanced Web Application Firewall, Volterra’s API security technology; AI-based bot defense from Shape Security; and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) security, the company revealed at its annual Agility Conference on Tuesday.

“This shows both F5’s continued progress in becoming one of the top vendors in application security, and really our first move toward offering a broad set of cloud services and SaaS-based services,” Mark Weiner, vice president of product marketing for F5, told CRN ahead of the conference. “As customers are distributing apps, you’ve got to distribute the security and cloud services if you have any chance of staying getting ahead and actually meet your business goals.”

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[Related: F5 To Acquire Cloud Security Vendor Threat Stack For $68M]

The F5 Distributed Cloud Platform, a “Swiss Army knife” that centrally manages services for partners and end customers, Weiner said. It provides one place for visibility and policy control across all applications and multi-cloud networking services. The platform offers an integrated global private network in 22 major metropolitan areas.

The new platform was built by a division that was carved out within F5 in 2021 called Security and Distributed Cloud.

“Wherever you as a customer, or wherever a partners’ clients are, wherever you distribute apps and workloads, you can put a full cloud service or any range of cloud services, very consistently, whether it’s an edge data center, or [a] public cloud anywhere around the world, you can have a native consistent cloud environment. It’s very modern stuff,” Weiner said.

F5 in recent years has tilting its business towards software and cloud offerings to deliver a broad portfolio of solutions. The new F5 Distributed Cloud Platform offers a new approach to application delivery and security for the company, according to Weiner, who was the former chief marketing officer of edge-as-a-service specialist Volterra before it was acquired by F5 in 2021.

The Shape Security and Volterra acquisitions have been critical in strengthening F5’s portfolio as it evolves to cover application security across any environment, Weiner said.

“We want to help partners provide a clear strategy and clear set of capabilities to help customers who have seen their applications evolve and the need to secure that environment,” he said.

F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP, a new service on the Distributed Cloud Platform offers F5’s existing application security technologies, including F5 Advanced WAF, as well as API security from Volterra’s machine learning-based auto-discovery and anomaly detection technology and Bot defense based on F5 Shape AI technology. The offering also provides global DDoS protection.

F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP joins several other services on the F5 Distributed Cloud Services platform, including F5 Distributed Cloud Transit and F5 Distributed Cloud Secure Kubernetes Gateway, the Seattle-based company said.

F5 in November changed its name from “F5 Networks.” The refreshed, shortened brand signifies the company’s expanded focus on application delivery and security, the company said in 2021.