F5 Launches BIG-IP Client, Portal Apps for iPad, iPhone
Apropos of the recent trend in tablet consumerization of IT is F5’s latest announcement of two new iPad and iPhone apps. They’re now available, free, in the iOS App Store for IT admins to use. Designed to provide “secure and optimized corporate network access,” these apps are F5’s first foray into iOS — a platform for which the company has high hopes for the future.
BIG-IP Edge Client App and BIG-IP Edge Portal App are available now in the App Store, and are designed to provide iOS devices with “convenient, secure and accelerated access to corporate materials and ensure IT teams can confidently support both corporate and personal devices.” More simply, the Portal App provides access to web apps, while the Client App provides a portal for management of devices, VPNs, resources and network traffic details.
Erik Giesa, VP of product management and marketing at F5, said iOS devices are “further establish[ing] themselves in the corporate space” and “organizations have been pressed to support the products.” Because of that, F5 saw a need to develop these apps.
The apps are designed to work along with F5’s BIG-IP Access Policy Manager and Edge Gateway, and FirePass offerings. Centralized application access is the name of the game, and F5 hopes that organizations now have a flexible, mobile and easy way to for employees partners and contractors to have access to what they need, when they need it, wherever they are.
According to F5, the two new apps are designed to:
- Provide secure access for corporate and personal devices to enhance productivity
- Ensure corporate systems uphold security and compliance requirements
- Improve mobile user performance with accelerated client access
But as Android becomes a real player in the mobile device and tablet space, will F5 extend those apps to run on other popular mobile operating system in the future? It’s as yet unknown. For now, however, big company acceptance of the iOS platform could mean better things for Apple’s existing tablet dominion.