F5 Networks Better together: Microsoft and F5 collaborate for customers

Jeff Bellamy, Senior Director
As companies enable their people to work together at anytime and from anywhere, they face a tug-of-war between keeping information secure, yet accessible. IT departments must navigate issues such as cloud versus on-premises, multiple vendors with standalone solutions, the need to deliver applications seamlessly, and changing security threats. At the same time, they must be as efficient and forward-thinking as possible while adding new capabilities.

It’s a challenge a New Zealand university with more than 20,000 students knows well. To better centralize access control, it wanted to bring user authentication back on site for its Office 365 users.“We like the cost-saving benefits of hosted, subscription-based services like Office 365 but our security team wanted us to bring user authentication back in house so we could manage user credentials and access policies onsite,” says the university’s technical infrastructure integration specialist.

When the university’s IT team realized that their existing deployment of F5®BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager® (APM) supported SAML and could provide federated identity and single sign-on, it saw an opportunity to make the most of its existing F5 investment. “The beauty of the F5 solution is that it put us in control and helps improve our security,” says the specialist.

Onsite and hands-on

Microsoft and F5 offer customers capabilities that fit their specific requirements. The long-time partners provide joint solutions that help customers gain the most value from their technology investments. The relationship goes beyond the meeting room: engineers from both companies frequently work onsite with customers to implement F5 and Microsoft solutions together.
Kettering Health Network (KHN) used Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) to authenticate users of Microsoft applications such as Exchange and Lync. When Microsoft announced it was discontinuing TMG, the company’s IT team evaluated possible replacement solutions from F5 and Citrix. KHN found that BIG-IP APM not only picked up where TMG left off, it enabled them to replace four different vendors’ solutions in its perimeter network. That led to significant savings on licensing and maintenance costs.

Finding new ways for customers to succeed

F5 and Microsoft are finding new ways to enable companies to stay ahead of the competition. F5’s Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway was built in collaboration with Microsoft and enables companies to secure and optimize applications running in a network virtualized environment. F5’s architectural vision, F5 Synthesis™, is the next-generation model for supporting all business applications seamlessly and securely.

The F5-Microsoft partnership is built on a shared goal of helping people do more of what they do best. Enabling anytime, anywhere access to information while keeping it secure is a cornerstone of that effort. And with 50 percent of the Fortune 500 using Windows Azure and 47 of the Fortune 50 using F5 technology, both companies bring a thorough understanding of customer needs to every solution.

“F5 is well-positioned to further enhance the capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure offerings to deliver great agility, flexibility, and security to our joint customers,” says Jeff Bellamy, Senior Director, Business Development, F5.

F5 Networks

Seattle, WA

Jeff Bellamy, Senior Director

F5 Networks provides solutions for an application world. The company helps organizations successfully deliver applications to anyone, anywhere, at any time