By Carol Mazibuko, Product Manager, F5 Networks Security Solutions at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa

Multi-Cloud technology is one of the biggest game changers today with increased threats to business. Multi-cloud is the right path to digital transformation but can be fraught with cost and scope creep for businesses unable to manage its intricacies.

Westcon vendor partner F5 recently sponsored The Future of Multi-Cloud (FOMC) report, conducted by the Foresight Factory, gaining insight into where the multi-cloud is today for both businesses and consumers in EMEA and what it means for innovative companies ready to make the transition.

The report reveals customers are facing challenges related to cost, skills and legacy infrastructure but multi-cloud paves the way for adaptive business best practice over the next five years. Success will lead to a wave of innovation tied to new services only achieved when cloud architects, DevOps, NetOps, and SecOps work together.

What will the multi-cloud future look like and what will it deliver? Let’s unpack some of the challenges in the report relevant to Africa:

Speed, cost efficiencies, and innovation

The F5 report specifically speaks to multi-cloud driving agility, efficiency, and cost savings, achieved through digital transformation. There is no need for complexity to hold back change, vendors like F5 provide the tools to migrate to multiple clouds with full visibility and control.

Security, security, security

F5 summed it up perfectly: “Cybercriminals are no longer tinkering hobbyists but instigators of a new “hacking economy” that can outpace businesses’ innovation”. With the drive to scale and deploy applications at speed, business cannot overlook the importance of security.

Regulatory setbacks

Data sovereignty has a negative impact on cloud adoption in Africa, but it won’t for much longer. With different clouds to choose from in Nigeria, Kenya, the Indian Ocean Islands or South Africa, legislation such as GDPR and POPI require better data protection.

Clouds are building

The cloud is not amorphous, and business deploy the cloud they need for the application they want. While this adds to management complexity, it is done in order for the business to get the most from the right cloud. Vendors like F5 enable business to deploy any application anywhere, with consistent services and security in the cloud, as a service, or on-premise.

The F5 Multi-Cloud Approach

To best address the complexity of deploying applications across multi-cloud architectures private clouds, F5 has built technology alliances with leading providers to ensure that solution packages can be integrated with technologies such as OpenStack, OpenShift, Docker, Jenkins and Ansible. Furthermore, F5 continuously engages with alliance partners such as AWS, Microsoft, Cisco, Red Hat and VMware, to name but a few, to ensure seamless integration across any multi-cloud architecture.

By integrating into these ecosystems F5 can provide application services that ease cloud migrations and help organisations achieve the following:

  • Ensure compliance and protect data – Using the Advanced Web Application Firewall customers can achieve security compliance while preventing attacks such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting and other attack vectors that attackers use to steal confidential information. Customers will also be able to protect user credentials, mitigate against Layer 7 DDoS attacks, protect APIs and help reduce cloud usage costs.
  • Simplify access and protect data – Reduce user complexity, increase security and ease of use by providing Single Sign-on to applications, including Office 365 and other SaaS environments.
  • Ensure application availability – F5 can provide intelligent traffic management, provide multi-layered DDoS protection and network security while ensuring applications are highly available across multiple clouds.
  • Automated delivery of application services – F5 helps organisations protect more apps, close security gaps and improve productivity with automated provisioning taking place in seconds.

With a strong partnership between leading multi-cloud vendor F5 and Westcon-Comstor, we offer channel partners value-added distribution services that extends global logistical capabilities and a range of support and technical services.

With one platform of integrated, powerful digital toolsets across purchasing, renewals, sales management, cloud services and software, Westcon-Comstor drives customer experience to benefit all partners across the supply chain.