Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: John Basso, Liz McMillan, Akhil Sahai, Scott Allen, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

My Ten Years at F5

So far…

10 yr I try not to brag that much (yea right) since a long time ago a good friend would always quip, ‘Everyone loves a bragger!’ Noting that boasters are usually more talk than anything and it is important to stay humble. Well, I’m humbled (and bragging) that I’ve reached an important milestone with F5. Ten years on the job. Yup, a decade with F5. Around 20% of my life has been with F5 and I still enjoy it all. Seriously.

I joined in 2004 – ‘duh’ if you can count years – as part of what was our original Security Business Unit. F5 had recently acquired uRoam in 2003, SSLVPN technology which eventually became our FirePass and Access Policy Manager solutions along with Magnifire WebSystems in 2004 which bore our TrafficShield and Application Security Manager web application firewalls. Our task, at the time, was to help our customers understand and deploy remote access systems and secure their applications. The early stages of F5 moving into the security market. Look at us now.

It was fun being one of the first three Security Systems Architects at F5. My good pals Ken Salchow (now running Certification) and Charlie Cano (Sr. BD Solution Architect) rounded out the 3 headed monster. We would visit with customers sharing insight on current security threats – which at the time were things like SQL injections, forceful browsing, parameter tampering and many of the same threats still dogging companies today. We spoke about the benefits of SSL VPN over IPSec. Remember those arguments? We also ran around the country installing F5 security controllers and troubleshooting them when things went astray. It was a busy but exciting time and I learned a bunch during those first couple years. But we grow.

That same 2004, F5 released BIG-IP v9 with TMOS, iRules, and a full proxy architecture. Terminate the network connection at the BIG-IP, decrypt/inspect/manipulate/secure/manage traffic and establish a new connection to the server. This gives organizations the ability to modify TCP traffic in either direction. A few years later, 2009, we released v10. By then however, I had moved on to Marketing.

In 2006, I jumped at an opportunity to join the fledgling Technical Marketing team, led by Ken Salchow. The same Ken as above. We were the technical writers, speakers and resources for the marketing organization. We did whitepapers, articles, blogging along with speaking at conferences and briefing analysts. We were unique, in that, instead of just focusing on F5 solutions, we were focused on a technology area. Virtualization, Security, Core, Service Provider, you get the idea. So we needed to understand the technologies and trends first to determine how our solutions solved or didn’t solve certain industry challenges. Great team and enjoyable work. I’ve been fortunate.

Also in 2006, my daughter was born and 10 months later we were in the hospital for two weeks due to a rare genetic condition. She’s doing OK today but back then, we had no idea what was happening or if she was going to even make it. I still remember getting a call from the EVP of my department telling me to take care of my family first and not to worry about work. Take whatever time you need. I was blown away. Granted, F5 was a much smaller company then and we all pretty much knew each other but I was so touched that the company cared more for my family’s well being than me getting my work done. Now many F5ers are more than just F5 family, they are ‘Ohana.

In 2009, I started to produce F5 videos – ALOHA! Initially, videos were not a huge part of how we told our story or shared insight but felt it would become an  important communication tool for business. I created the In 5 Minutes or Less series to show how easy it was to deploy certain functionality within a BIG-IP, especially the new v9 stuff. I also started to cover our trade shows, doing video interviews to showcase F5 technology, the integration with partners, and the important trends in the industry. This is what I love most.

You see, I studied theatre in college and dreamed of being an actor, director or producer. Something in the entertainment industry. My dad worked 30 years for IBM so I grew up with computers in the house. In every theatre I worked in, I also (in part) was the ad-hoc systems administrator. I remember playing with AppleTalk in the early 90′s and admin’ing laptops with NT 3.51/4 around the same time. I was also fortunate to think back then that the internet just might become our entertainment medium of the future. I quit the theatre and started to work in technology. Fast forward to today and I feel extremely lucky to be able to combine what I know and what I love to create technology related videos. Here at F5.

And most recently, while still carrying the TMM banner, I’m part of the awesome Marketing Architectures Team at F5. We design and develop the Reference Architectures that organizations can deploy today to solve a bunch of industry challenges. Areas like security, mobility, availability, performance and access & identity all have specific reference architectures covering things like DDoS, DNS, Application Services and Cloud to name a few. Still thrilled.

Ten years is a long time at any company these days and I’ve been blessed this last decade being able to do my thing with such a great organization. Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way!

I am grateful.

ps

 

 

Connect with Peter: Connect with F5:
o_linkedin[1] o_rss[1] o_twitter[1]   o_facebook[1] o_twitter[1] o_slideshare[1] o_youtube[1]

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.