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F5 Creates Ecosystem to Address Mobile Device Management


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February 21, 2012

F5 Creates Ecosystem to Address Mobile Device Management

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

F5 Networks Inc. is addressing the bring-your-own-device trend in the enterprise space by partnering with mobile device management solution providers AirWatch (News - Alert), MobileIron, SilverbackMDM and Zenprise.

“MobileIron was purpose-built for global companies to secure and manage mobile devices and apps,” says Ojas Rege, vice president of product at MobileIron. “By teaming with F5, a leader in application delivery and innovative SSL VPN and access solutions provider, we can offer our customers greater control and scale of their mobile infrastructure, improving application delivery, enforcing critical security policies and ultimately providing increased mobile productivity.”

The MDM partners and F5, which sells a mobile user access solution, will not resell each other’s offerings; rather, they will do customer referrals. What’s more, the above-mentioned MDM offerings can call up the F5 application directly and automatically (through the entitlement layer) whenever an SSL VPN is needed. In fact, these pairings allow enterprises to enforce network policies from the mobile device through the entire network to secure and manage access to enterprise applications.

F5’s mobile user access solution is comprised of the BIG-IP Access (News - Alert) Policy Manager, the BIG-IP Edge Gateway and the BIG-IP Edge Client. These solutions provide secure, high-performance access to enterprise resources.

Alan Murphy, senior technical marketing manager at F5 says that his company over the past year or two has had a strong release path for customers that run on Android (News - Alert) and iOS. As a result, customers with devices running these operating systems can pull up dedicated VPNs to connect to their enterprises from such wireless devices. But recently F5 customers have been asking the company for the ability to do device wipes and lockdown mobile devices. Since F5 is a company whose solutions operate at the network layer, it responded to those requests by creating an ecosystem of MDM providers.

Murphy says F5 chose this foursome of MDM outfits based on their market presence and technology. He says the four are the larger players in the MDM space and have penetration in both the Android and iOS arenas. Some of these MDM providers also are F5 customers, and F5 is working with some of them to scale their cloud-based infrastructure.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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