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As A Unified Company, F5 And Nginx Can Bridge The DevOps-NetOps Divide

In May, a web application delivery powerhouse acquired a DevOps-focused upstart challenging its supremacy in the load balancing market. Together, they represent a major force in balancing, securing and optimizing web applications.

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Open-Source Synergies

Nginx was a highly regarded technology long before it was an actual company. Igor Sysoev first developed the web server in 2004 after growing frustrated with existing solutions for handling high levels of web traffic, and his open-source software saw phenomenal developer adoption and market penetration in the following years.

By 2011, demands of maintaining the project became impossible to juggle with full-time employment as an administrator for a Russian internet company, prompting Sysoev to launch the startup.

It's common when a smaller company is acquired by a larger one for an open-source community to fear the new owner will deprioritize the project in favor of commercial offerings.

"We've experienced the exact opposite," Whiteley told CRN. "There's an increased number of developers working on the open-source project."

The reason is that when Nginx was a stand-alone company, its biggest priority was proving its commercial viability. But as part of F5, Nginx can leverage the larger organization's marketing and sales resources, allowing it "to shift investment dollars back to the open-source side," Whiteley said.

That's a dynamic that's enabling Nginx to spend more time working with the community to speed feature development.

"We think in the near future there will be a tangible improvement in Nginx open source," Whiteley said.

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