F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) has a joint solution with Equinix,the global interconnection and data center company, that provides automated HSM (hardware security module) capabilities as-a-service. Previously introduced at F5’s 2018 global Agility conference, this integration combines F5 BIG-IP™ and Equinix SmartKey™ technologies to simplify encryption key lifecycle management and provide superior security for organizations hesitant to store their ever-increasing number of keys in the public cloud.
“Our focus is on applications—front and center,” said Calvin Rowland, SVP of Business Development at F5. “Building on a longstanding and fruitful collaboration, this new solution integrates Equinix SmartKey into a joint cloud gateway solution, giving customers the ability to automate the configuration and management of encryption keys within the F5 BIG-IPplatform to better support today’s growing portfolios of distributed applications. Extending the value of each companies’ offerings—with F5 solutions delivering HSM capabilities inside the Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers—essentially delivers the best of both cloud and on-premises deployments.”
Today’s enterprises seek to embrace the cost and efficiency benefits of cloud but find themselves with the daunting task of securely managing data and encryption capabilities across private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud environments. At the same time, many organizations have found that third-party cloud service provider offerings around KMS (key management services) can quickly add complexity—with each provider maintaining a different set of security keys—and fall short of protecting on-premises components, such as those required for an end-to-end hybrid cloud HSM service. Given that organizations are often charged with supporting legacy systems as well, this previous lack of extensibility has limited the appeal of moving certain applications and data to the cloud.
The joint Equinix and F5 solution brings together HSM and KMS capabilities into a cloud-agnostic HSM as a Service offering to deliver the security and simplicity required for both hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Specifically, the integration of SmartKey and BIG-IP provides a network-based solution that preserves the ability to perform a full suite of key lifecycle management functions as a service in the cloud. This approach promotes valuable use cases, including SSL termination, acceleration and offloading, as well as data encryption and decryption, without prohibitive trade-offs around complexity or security.
“Through an integrated, out-of-the-box SSL key management solution, F5 and Equinix technologies accelerate the performance of secure network applications,” said Lance Weaver, VP, Platform Strategy & Emerging Services at Equinix. “This gives customers an innovative way to protect their increasingly distributed digital business assets, without locking them into one set of cloud service provider capabilities. With many use cases providing attractive cost savings, this latest joint effort between Equinix and F5 enables the automated retrieval of encryption keys without customer intervention, regardless of how specific surrounding infrastructure components have been architected.”