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NGINX’s Roadmap to the Future is Paved with Innovations

NGINX has an exciting roadmap ahead, full of commercial launches, new product announcements, and open source releases. The significant increase in investment since F5 Networks acquired NGINX has dramatically boosted the capabilities of NGINX technologies.

Through an increased team, considerable financial investment, and company-wide collaboration, cutting-edge tech developments are emerging to revolutionize operations in commercial and open source communities.

Acquisition Benefits

One of the first and more apparent benefits of the acquisition was increased team size by over 100 people. F5 Networks was working on a similar project to the NGINX Controller, so it made sense to merge the teams and work together to accelerate development. 

NGINX now has the application delivery controller (ADC) in its portfolio and application programming interface (API) management and security, coming out in the next few months. The NGINX Service Mesh technology released in October is also a result of that investment. Without the investment from F5 Networks, this would not have happened as quickly, and the future roadmap for NGINX would be a lot more barren.

The acquisition also helped NGINX extend the engineering team capabilities at the core data plane level with an injection of resources to the NGINX data plane team. This has also opened NGINX to a much wider audience, including NetOps companies that F5 Networks previously did not have access to. NGINX can now bring those audiences together through the NGINX data plane and the NGINX Controller. The NetOps team can still get that visibility, governance, and policy with the security team; the DevOps team, through its full self-service access, can deploy in real-time with its code.

After the acquisition, NGINX was able to look at the application landscape more holistically, including more of the monolithic or legacy apps and modern apps. It was able to bring NetOps, DevOps, and Infrastructure Ops together to deliver more value across the organization, including open source. As a result, F5 Networks and NGINX have built a much broader value-set for customers.

New Roll-outs

Now the two companies are making new investments into building SaaS-based around analytics, and DNS, allowing portability of apps from cloud to cloud and back to private cloud to avoid vendor lock-in. 

 There are further developments in the pipeline around edge compute and serverless function as a service. However, NGINX stated that there was nothing they could share now, which leaves the space open for future announcements.

NGINX is racing along its development roadmap. Watch their keynote at the NGINX Sprint Field Day Event.

Open Source

NGINX has a heavy focus on its open source projects, and, over the last year and into the near future, its focus has been on new web protocols such as complete HTTP/2 support, GRPC, and HTTP/3 support. According to NGINX, this is very close to being done.

 The company is also adding more and more programmability into the open source solution, whether adding more capabilities to flexibly configure the features within NGINX or extending it with JavaScript or potentially other options.

 NGINX is creating a freemium strategy where if the client has one to two instances, and it needs some of the higher-order set of capabilities, that will be available in Controller and the Service Mesh so that it can read the benefit of some of the ADC or API management functionality, and do so on a minimal environment.

 That’s the same for NGINX’s strategy for as-a-service. As they build out solutions that will be cloud-delivered, the first starting point is analytics-as-a-service. This will also have a model where the user has a minimal environment – one to two instances – there’s a premium possibility to get a good grasp of the feature set’s capabilities. As you scale that up, you can see how that set of capabilities would help you build that environment.

 NGINX is also on the precipice of launching primary and secondary DNS. This is something that will be offered to the NGINX community at large. Analytics-as-a-service will be its next offering that it will deliver to market with a future of building more management capabilities that are served up from the cloud service.

So What?

NGINX is powering ahead, working on multiple developments in both the commercial and open source space. It will be interesting to see what comes to market and how these innovations change the web serving, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming space in 2020, and beyond.

About the author

Georgina Ford

Gestalt IT’s resident Word Nerd, Georgina is a writer and editor with over a decade working in the tech space. She can be found musing about Colorado mountain life and all things Gestalt IT Tech on Twitter at @gcford

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