F5 Unveils NGINX Management Suite

The company behind the popular NGINX open-source web server, F5, has just announced the launch of a new traffic management and security solution designed to deliver better control over its customers' fleets of NGINX instances.

The newly available F5 NGINX Management Suite 1.0 comes with a centralized dashboard to provide a holistic level of visibility and control of NGINX instances, application delivery services, API management workflows, and security solutions.

In addition to its HTTP server capabilities, NGINX can also function as a proxy server for email (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP) and a reverse proxy and load balancer for HTTP, TCP, and UDP servers.

The new Management Suite is a replacement for the NGINX Controller, which was released in 2017 as the company's first centralized management platform—though the company first tried to rearchitect that tool.

"NGINX Controller wasn’t meeting our customers’ needs for easy deployment, effortless management at scale, and powerful connectivity options for apps and APIs," said Jenn Gile, senior manager of product marketing for the NGINX group at F5, in a blog post. "We recognized this truth in 2021 and set out to rearchitect NGINX Controller as a Linux‑native experience that DevOps teams would find intuitive. But we soon realized that the NGINX Controller architecture was simply not the right one for the functionality that customers were telling us they need. The right choice was to shelve NGINX Controller and rethink our approach. We needed to create a suite of modules, built on a common, easy-to-deploy platform, that could scale to future use cases and support challenging customer environments."

The Instance Manager module, originally launched in 2021 as a standalone product, represents the core functionality of NGINX Management Suite. Operating within the control plane, Instance Manager simplifies configuration and maintenance of an NGINX fleet. IT teams can monitor instances while DevOps teams update configs and certificates through a shared interface.

The Management Suite's API Connectivity Manager module simplifies the complexity of governing and managing APIs in multi-cloud environments, allowing centralized Ops teams to gain visibility and control over API traffic, while allowing developers to maintain the agility and autonomy associated with the delivery of new services.

The company has prioritized two use cases for development in the coming year, Gile said. App and API security (the Management Suite will enable organizations to use NGINX App Protect WAF to protect apps and APIs with capabilities such as troubleshooting, insights, policy management, and event monitoring; and load balancing (the App Delivery Manager module will enable configuring, securing, monitoring, and troubleshooting NGINX Plus as a load balancer for applications).

More details about the release are available on the company blog site. The company is offering a 30-day trial of the new suite.


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].