Seattle & Tokyo – F5 has announced collaboration with SoftBank Corp. to provide advanced Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) services in Japan and international markets. SoftBank began nationwide deployment of MEC for 5G SA (5G MEC) in May 2022 in Japan and has selected F5 Distributed Cloud Services to host and protect MEC applications for use cases such as IoT, smart buildings, smart retail, gaming, and AR/VR. F5’s cloud-based services will provide the foundation for a low-latency, high-quality, and secure application communications environment through cloud technology, supporting SoftBank’s efforts in promoting digital transformation and the realisation of a digital twin model at various companies and organisations.
F5 Distributed Cloud Services can be rapidly deployed to provide platform-based managed cloud services and offer unified support for IT, enterprise, and 5G applications. F5 solutions adopted by SoftBank will enable enterprise customers to move more of their business-critical applications to multiple edge locations and enjoy the benefits of reduced latency, enhanced security, and flexible application deployment. F5 Distributed Cloud Services deliver the operational simplicity of a single console, providing agile scalability and integrated and automated security features for all the functions required for 5G MEC sites.
F5 Distributed Cloud Services provide advanced automation for application deployment and network connectivity, addressing the most challenging requirements pertaining to application availability, performance, and security. This provides a distributed cloud environment to enable faster service delivery, enhanced fault tolerance, and simplified application development and testing. The expected reductions to application deployment timelines and time to market are significant and will benefit not only SoftBank but customers from a wide range of industries for use cases such as autonomous driving, smart building management, factory automation, multi-user network gaming, and others.
Key benefits of F5 distributed cloud services:
- High-performance, agile distributed cloud platform
- Rapid integration and zero-touch deployment of demanding enterprise applications
- State-of-the-art networking and security to connect and protect applications at the edge
- Single monitoring point for end-to-end application and infrastructure lifecycle management
- Dynamic platform scaling, operational simplicity, and automation to support thousands of edge sites
- Design focused on a DevSecOps mindset with all functions configurable from a single console
SoftBank has been using F5 Distributed Cloud Services for internal applications as part of its transformative modernisation plan, with announcement representing an expansion of services benefiting their customers as well. Distributed Cloud Services have been engineered to support all applications and associated capabilities relevant to service providers, including internal IT applications, enterprise workloads, partners’ content and services, and even network functions.
With 5G, network elements are being rearchitected to benefit from the latest cloud innovations. Many monolithic network approaches will be replaced by cloud-native network functions that take advantage of the same operational models used in public clouds. F5 Distributed Cloud Services provide automated operations in the network for functions such as 5G Core and Radio Access Network (RAN), delivering networking and security on an integrated cloud-native platform.
F5 and SoftBank are collaborating to move the industry forward with new technological developments that will revolutionise how mobile and fixed services are delivered to end users. A recent example is the use of Segment Routing version 6 Mobile User Plane (SRv6 MUP), where F5 offers a module to support partners’ 5G network functions that require SRv6 to communicate. More details can be found here.
Keiichi Makizono, senior vice president and CIO of SoftBank Corp., says, “Our work with F5 to architect and manage an unprecedented edge computing environment is critical to our customers’ digital transformation success. F5 has demonstrated that it can solve crucial operational challenges for service providers that want to take full advantage of cloud innovation for IT, enterprise, and 5G applications. We look forward to continuing to work with F5 to develop low-latency capabilities that leverage MEC’s strengths in delivering faster and more flexible services.”
Ankur Singla, senior vice president, security & distributed cloud product group at F5, says, “It is remarkable how SoftBank has committed to enabling the digital transformation of companies and organisations across all sectors, and we are honored to have been selected as their cloud partner in this aim. F5 has been working closely with SoftBank in Japan for over 15 years, and we continue to realise new innovations through co-creation efforts and a cross-industry collaborative relationship. We share SoftBank’s vision where modern applications must integrate seamlessly with cloud operations across enterprise boundaries to create exceptional end-user experiences. We look forward to further enabling SoftBank to execute on this shared vision by exploring the potential for additional cloud-native use cases in 5G/6G services and other areas.”
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