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NGINX Levels Up on ‘Innovation’ for customers; Gus Robertson speaks to Ashnik

Sachin Dabir | Founder & Director, Ashnik
USA, 18 Sep 2019

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NGINX Conf 2019 kicked off in Seattle last week with NGINX, F5, and their mutual customers. Leaders from the two companies shared their vision of how the world of applications is evolving today, and how the companies are coming together as one.

The theme of NGINX Conf was “Level Up”, and each of the speakers lent a unique perspective on what leveling up entails for applications, infrastructure, and teams. Organizations need a way to bridge the divide between DevOps teams, NetOps teams, SecOps teams, and users, with an eye toward increasing the speed to market for the next generation.

The conference lasted 2 days and was packed with insights, trends and new age undertakings for Nginx, F5 and the industry in general. Amid these discussions and sessions, Ashnik’s Director Sachin Dabir caught up with Gus Robertson, SVP and GM of Nginx – F5. Here are some candid discussions that followed.

Coming back to the conference, the audience witnessed keynotes, panel discussions featuring executives, analysts, and customers, product demos, customer use cases and more.

Featured below are the key takeaways shared by Gus Robertson from the event:

Takeaway #1: Moving Toward a World of “Living Apps”

A living app is where an application can grow autonomously as traffic comes in, shrink as traffic subsides, heal itself when broken, and defend itself when it’s being attacked.
As we evolve toward this vision, blending the digital and the physical world, machines will increasingly interact directly with one another, taking humans out of the loop. AI and machine learning are necessary to learn in real time from the application, to make smart decisions, and to continue to evolve. And to accomplish this, open source is the only way.

Takeaway #2: Helping Enterprises Increase the Velocity from Code to Customer

In this new world of applications, a company’s apps can be its most valuable asset. For traditional ecommerce firms, just minutes of downtime can equate to millions of dollars in lost revenue.

To arrive at the goal of building living apps, organizations need to be able to:

  • Deliver customer experiences at web scale with speed and reliability, the way today’s digital native companies can.
  • Reduce cycle times to develop and deploy apps in a matter of days rather than months.
  • Scale the number of apps they can take through this cycle every year, increasing velocity and volume for their application assets.
  • Secure and govern the portfolio – meaning all of the apps, not a subset.
  • Do it all with full visibility along the path from code to customer.

Takeaway #3: Building New Capabilities across the Entire Ecosystem

Sidney Rabsatt, Vice President of Product Management for F5’s NGINX business unit, described how F5 is making investments in the future of its product portfolio. He announced that they’re building the NGINX Controller platform, enabling:

  • New capabilities for easier configuration and synchronization of customer intelligence.
  • Its partner ecosystem to reduce costs for customers running workloads in the cloud, and for global server load balancing for websites and apps powered by NGINX.
  • Focus on open source and working across the ecosystem is key to enabling all customers to build applications with the biggest possible breadth of choice.

Takeaway #4: With NGINX, F5 Is Investing in the Open Source Community

F5 has begun making more frequent contributions to open source over the past several years, including a number of open source BIG‑IP integrations for Ansible and Kubernetes.

Continuing F5’s commitment to open source, they’re working to port certain NGINX Plus functionality into NGINX Open Source. They are moving some of the statistics framework into NGINX Open Source in the next year. Not moving all of the stats themselves, but users will be able to use a consistent API to get the stats” with both NGINX Plus and NGINX Open Source.

And for more, you may refer here.

Takeaway #5: NGINX Has Leveled Up During Another Strong Year of Innovation

NGINX has built out capabilities around rate limits with more programmatic control so organizations can choose limits on the fly and dry run to test them before committing. This functionality has resulted in better control over how the application responds to major spikes or drops in traffic.

Along with those changes, NGINX has enhanced in its TCP/UDP proxy and continues to invest in JavaScript, where the NGINX community and the industry at large is innovating. Security is also key, and NGINX has worked closely with Trustwave over the past two years on Trustwave’s ModSecurity offering, the world’s most widely deployed web application firewall. In addition, there are plans to incorporate features from F5’s best-in-class WAF into NGINX products.

Takeaway #6: F5 Products Are Helping Customers of Every Size around the World

Of course, all efforts mean the most when it helps the NGINX customers and users surpass the expectations of their customers and users. It was interesting to learn from several customers how our technology is in play across the computing landscape.

*With blog inputs from



  • Sachin is veteran in IT industry and brings over 25 years of experience in setting up new businesses, leading high performance sales teams and executing growth strategies. He is passionate about open source and is an acknowledged leader in open source in Asia. As a founder of Ashnik he is leading the growth initiatives and taking Ashnik global. His stints in Asia, UK and USA enables him to bring unique perspective to entrepreneurship and life. His interests in writing, reading and mentoring makes him an excellent networker. Currently he is learning to be a patient father to teenage sons and striving to be a good husband.

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