F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) recently introduced a virtual edition of its BIG IP solutions for Amazon’s web services (AWS) which enables customers to extend their data centers to the cloud. The new product caters to increasing demand from organizations to extend their data center and application to AWS without impacting reliability, scale, security and performance. F5 claims that the virtual edition of BIG IP for AWS will have the same features as the physical BIG IP devices. The virtual solution for AWS will include options for traffic management, global server load balancing, application firewall, web application acceleration, etc.
AWS offers cloud computing services to enterprises, providing them an opportunity to replace up-front high infrastructural expenses with lower variable costs that vary according to the scale of the business. AWS infrastructure in the cloud powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise in around 190 countries across the globe.
F5 Networks helps companies simplify the management of their data center operations and delivery of services across diverse data center resources. With the explosion of data and growth in internet traffic, we expect to witness a continuous increase in growth opportunities in the application delivery market. The shift to cloud-based applications and storage has also driven the demand for application delivery products.
Shift To Cloud Based Services and Storage
As organizations transform their own data centers, they are increasingly turning to external, third-party cloud providers for services and storage to lower their capital and operating costs. To accommodate the dynamic needs of their clients, cloud providers are building large virtualized data centers to host a constantly changing mix of on-demand resources. Within the past two years, F5 has benefited from this trend in two ways:
- First, as cloud providers have deployed its products within their data centers; and
- Second, as their customers have deployed F5′s products to switch traffic quickly and easily between their own internal resources and the cloud.
Research firm Forrester projects the global market for cloud computing to increase from $41 billion in 2011 to $241 billion by 2020.  With a current application delivery network market share of 25%, the company could significantly leverage on this growth. As F5 looks to provide the next generation of cloud capabilities to expand its user base and meet the increasing need of enterprises, we estimate its market share to rise to 36% by the end of our forecast period.
Our price estimate of $130 for F5 Networks is at a premium of around 40% to the current market price.Notes:
- More Predictions on the Huge Growth of Cloud Computing, Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2011 [↩]