Welcome!

Websphere Authors: Esmeralda Swartz, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Ajay Budhraja, Mustafa Kapadia

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 Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. 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.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...