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In an exclusive with Telecom Review, Zakeer Zubair, Solutions Engineering Manager for the Gulf and Levant at F5, sheds light on how the company is committed to creating a safer, digital world for its telecom customers.

As part of F5’s goal of creating a safer digital world, how can regional telcos actually protect distributed organizations?

In the past, applications used to primarily live in the data center, and they eventually started moving to multi-cloud environments. The applications were being managed in a multi-cloud environment, but there was no interconnection. However, with applications becoming more and more complex, our customers are trying to get extremely enriched digital experiences to their customers.

As a result, applications are now being delivered as microservices, which means that the different components of an application can be delivered in different environments. For example, you could have an application whose components are living in multiple public clouds, or a combination of private cloud, datacenter, and public clouds. Therefore it is increasingly important to provide seamless connectivity between all these disparate, different environments with an easy, centralized control panel. Moreover, you need to provide security on top, so that it's safer to deliver complex applications to the customer.

What is the essence of multi-cloud networking for telcos, and how does F5 contribute to this?

Multi-cloud networking is an immense opportunity for service providers. Enterprises are exploring the opportunities and will soon have workloads living in multiple environments.

With F5 Distributed Cloud Services, we can help telcos build or interconnect all of these disparate connections. It also provides load balancing, as well as ensures high availability and scalability.

On the security front, the solution features Web Application Firewall (WAF), as well as  API protection, bot mitigation and distributed DDoS protection. Telcos can offer F5 Distributed Cloud Services to their customers as a package that they can use to protect applications across the globe while having a centralized point to control them.

Organizations need to take a proactive rather than a reactive response to security by continuously looking at the threat intelligence and feeding it automatically into the system. And that's why we have it built into the system, so that responding to a security incident is automated and orchestrated globally. We call it a digital shield, and we are encouraging our customers, particularly service providers, to deliver it as a service to their customers.

How do you encourage customers at events like GITEX to utilize F5’s software solutions?

GITEX is an immense platform. We've seen how interactive it's been over the last couple of days. We've seen visitors from across the region and beyond, and there have been many discussions about the challenges and the most effective solutions available to address them. Exhibitions like this give us an opportunity to share knowledge with the rest of the world, helping our customers build platforms and provide value to their customers.

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