F5 Synthesis Infographic  1 The proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or the ability to respond to spurs in Internet or Web traffic is driving a shift in end-user expectations and business demands. According to Frost and Sullivan, the number of connected devices that are encompassed within the Internet of Things will be close to 80 billion by 2020 globally.

The number of applications delivered within an enterprise is anywhere up to 1,000 according to Morgan Stanley. The increasing number of applications infiltrating the enterprise will in turn have security implications for businesses, both from a data and device perspective. In particular, we are also witnessing the evolution of a new era of cybercriminals who are becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted in their approach through distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, network, and more recently around application layer attacks.

This paradigm shift we are witnessing across the IT landscape is dramatically changing the way data centers are delivering applications to any device. This is driven largely by the disintegration of the network perimeter with cloud, mobility and security quickly becoming the norm. The challenge for businesses is to ensure they can deliver applications from anywhere, to anyone, at any time. Especially as people and global organizations increasingly rely on the Internet and web-enabled devices, which inevitably spurs innovation and an ever increasing volume of data traffic.

In response we are seeing a wave of software-defined technology emerge, for example Software Defined Networking (SDN), stemming from a need for greater operational efficiency and management simplicity. This has been attracting a lot of attention from IT teams, especially as networking technologies are becoming a real bottleneck today. For example, with pressures such as frequent changes and expansion of infrastructure, and rapid deployment of new services, changes in networking take the longest to be completed, hence the bottleneck. Through software-defined technology, this issue can be resolved.

Now you can see why everybody is excited with SDN! Although, there is a critical element missing to this equation – the application layers, also known as L4-L7.

In an apps world, it is essential that the performance of delivery and the security of applications in the enterprise is optimized at all times to help organizations seamlessly overcome the challenges outlined above. F5 has taken this a step further by taking the same principles applied to SDN (which primarily addresses Layers 2-3 in the network),and deploying them to the application layers (Layers 4-7), providing Software Defined Application Services™ (SDAS). These are services deployed in the network between the end-user and the application to ensure apps, networking, and application services come together and provide application owners with the ability to address application mobility, security, access and identity, performance and availability challenges architecturally.

The magic of SDAS lies in the fabric, which can be deployed on a combination of hardware, software, and virtual form factors, as well as beyond the data center boundary into cloud environments. This allows the elasticity and operational consistency needed to scale and manage services in any environment.

Each service can gather a breadth and depth of information about the user, the application, and the network in real-time. With such scalability, enterprises no longer need to choose which applications to be optimized, accelerated or protected over others. In summary, no application will be left behind!