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Crystal Cruises' Passengers Have the "Fastest Internet at Sea" with F5 BIG-IP WebAccelerator

Unique application acceleration solution helps differentiate the leading luxury cruise line and delivers a superior online experience for its guests; F5 solution requires no changes for guests' personal laptops

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has significantly upgraded its onboard computer network with the F5®BIG-IP® WebAccelerator product to provide its guests with a fast and convenient Internet experience no matter where in the world its ships travel.

Companies like Crystal Cruises provide Internet access aboard their ships via satellite transmission, which is significantly slower than typical broadband access on land. As part of its ongoing commitment to provide guests with the highest quality service, Crystal Cruises became the world's first and only cruise line to purchase and install WebAccelerator. This highly specialized device from F5 uses a series of intelligent technologies to compress data in transit and reduce the amount of data transmitted, dramatically improving Internet performance for guests aboard the award-winning Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony cruise ships.

"We know that email and Internet are an integral part of our guests' way of life," said Thomas Mazloum, SVP, Hotel Operations at Crystal Cruises. "Guests noticed an immediate benefit and significant improvements in the speed and performance of our shipboard networks. Whether they're checking email, using the Internet to do their banking or check stocks, or sending photos to family and friends, our guests now enjoy the best technology and performance at sea."

A recent issue of Condé Nast Traveler featured a readers' poll naming Crystal Cruises the number one large-ship cruise line, declaring Crystal Serenity's Internet connection to be fastest in the industry and symbolic of the smoothness of the whole guest experience aboard the luxury line.

In seeking a solution to reduce Internet response times while at sea, Crystal Cruises turned to its technical advisor, solution provider CDW. "CDW's networking specialists recommended F5 based on its web acceleration capabilities and excellent fit with Crystal Cruises' specific needs," said Kenneth Grimsley, VP of Strategic Sales at CDW. "In addition to improving performance on the 25 state-of-the-art workstations in the Computer University@Sea program offered on all cruises, the solution needed to support rental laptops and guests' personal laptops accessing WiFi throughout the ship. The resulting solution provides guests with an enhanced web browsing experience even while the ship is miles from any port."

"As part of Crystal Cruises' effort to improve user experience, it was absolutely essential that the solution did not require any changes to be made to personal laptops guests bring onboard," said Joe Hicks, Senior Product Manager at F5. "WebAccelerator requires no browser or user changes and significantly reduces the amount of traffic that traverses the satellite connection, for a big reduction in page load times. As a result, Crystal Cruises is able to provide fast and convenient Internet access that is consistent with the extremely high level of service their customers expect."

About BIG-IP WebAccelerator

WebAccelerator uses data compression and Intelligent Browser Referencing to eliminate the need for browsers to download repetitive or duplicate data and to ensure the best use of bandwidth by controlling browser behavior. In addition, Dynamic Data Offload extends server capacity and reduces server processing by offloading repetitive requests for data.

To learn more about WebAccelerator, please visit:

About Crystal Cruises

Grounded in more than a decade of accolades, Crystal Cruises has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history. The ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity cruise on worldwide itineraries of seven to 106 days. Visit the line's website at

About CDW

CDW, ranked No. 342 on the 2007 FORTUNE 500 and No. 39 on Forbes magazine's list of America's Largest Private Companies, is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government and education. CDW is a principal source of technology products and services including top name brands such as Acer, Adobe, APC, Apple, Cisco, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Panasonic, Quantum, Samsung, Sony, Symantec, ViewSonic and Xerox. CDW was founded in 1984 and as of December 31, 2007 employed approximately 6,300 coworkers. In 2007, the company generated sales of $8.145 billion. For more information, visit

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast, and available for everyone. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications and optimize the data storage layer, F5 extends the power of intelligent networking to all levels of application delivery. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability. Over 16,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information, go to

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