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F5 Announces the Most Advanced SSL VPN Solution for Enterprise Application Remote Access Needs

New FirePass product eclipses the competition with extensive new features for enhanced security, reliability, management and FIPS-enabled high performance platform

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader of Application Traffic Management products, today announced a powerful new version of its best-in-class FirePass® Controller - a Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) solution. With this release, F5 sets a new standard for secure remote access solutions and leapfrogs the competition, offering: (1) ubiquitous secure application access; (2) simplified and scalable management; (3) the most advanced application security; and (4) new enterprise class hardware. The FirePass Controller is an essential component of F5's security product roadmap, which is designed to help enable enterprise organizations achieve end-to-end application level security.

FirePass Controller squarely addresses enterprise organizations' remote access requirements by delivering the performance, security, manageability and reliability needed to provide access to network applications and resources. End-users benefit through seamless access, from any location and client device, and superior performance from a wide range of access modes, including dialup, DSL, cable, and wireless networks. And, as the only SSL VPN product with an open API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Developer's Kit), FirePass enables automated, secure access for client applications via system-to-system or application-to-application communication.

"Moving to F5's FirePass SSL VPN helps us provide better remote access to employees, eliminates the cost and hassle of supporting older IPSec client software, and also supports our Coinstar business initiatives," said Michael Lau, Network Systems Manager for Coinstar. "The new Firepass functionality will provide significant advantages related to communication between Coinstar Centers and our network infrastructure."

The new release of FirePass introduces numerous innovations, including enhancements that provide considerably more granular and comprehensive control over user-to-application security policies. Key new features and capabilities of FirePass include:

  • True Universal Client and Application Access - Provides the industry's first and only solution for secure remote access to any application from any client device, including Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Solaris, and industry-first support for PocketPC and other PDAs (iPAQ and Toshiba e800 devices).
  • Dynamic, Simplified and Scalable Management - Enables enterprises to easily manage access policies for a large and growing number of resources and users without requiring complex and time consuming configurations. A tiered and adaptive policy engine enables granular access control and simplified management, making it easy to control and manage employee, sales and partner resource groups. New Citrix MetaFrame Portal automatically generates relevant application links to web portals.
  • Extended Security Capabilities - Delivers key features such as hardware and software support for restricting network access via Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), and FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) SSL accelerator support for controlling access to government and enterprise networks.
  • New Enterprise Class Hardware Platform Offers unique hardware support for accelerating SSL data traffic and new FIPS support that provides data and key protection for government organizations.

"With the SSL VPN market rapidly maturing, customers should evaluate vendors who can demonstrate a thorough understanding of enterprise access needs as well as end-to-end application security," said Mark Bouchard, senior program director at META Group, a leading provider of IT research, advisory services and strategic consulting. "Organizations evaluating SSL VPN solutions today must be prepared for unforeseen user requirements and therefore should consider products that provide universal client and application access. In addition, solutions that make it simple for administrators to manage and scale access policies will ultimately lead to a lower TCO for the implementation."

New FirePass 4100 Series

A key component of FirePass Controller is the new 4100 Series hardware platform, which provides enterprise-class performance in a highly reliable, field serviceable form factor. The FirePass 4100 Series is the first platform on the market that can perform bulk encryption/decryption (3DES/AES bulk crypto) via an optional SSL acceleration card. Government customers can also choose a FIPS SSL acceleration card. Offloading encryption traffic from the host processor improves overall performance, while freeing resources for other vital activities.

Additional performance enhancements offered in the new platform include multithreading dual high performance processors, 4 GB memory, and an 80 GB hard drive. Also included are four 10/100/1000 copper Ethernet ports for flexible SSL traffic segmentation, three PCI slots for optional SSL acceleration, FIPS compliance and future expandability. For enhanced reliability, the platform has been designed for 24 x 7 operation with features such as redundant power supplies and hot-swappable fans. Additionally, the platform includes an integrated stand-alone management computer for secure lights out management, plus an easy to read, descriptive LCD readout.

"This is a very powerful new version of FirePass that will be attractive to any IT management challenged with providing many different types of users with secure remote access to a large and growing number of enterprise applications and resources, " said Jeff Pancottine, SVP and General Manager, Security Business Unit, F5 Networks. "This release, along with the new 4100 platform, sets new metrics in the market. It's clearly a solution that's been designed with the enterprise in mind, offering the most advanced application security features, support for the broadest range of clients, and extremely robust management capabilities."

Pricing and Availability

The FirePass product version 5.2 is available now, with base pricing starting at US$24,990 (list), for 100 concurrent users, on the 4100 hardware platform. The SSL Accelerator option starts at $2,995 and the FIPS SSL Accelerator option starts at $13,995. Existing F5 customers with current maintenance agreements and hardware platforms can take advantage of all the capabilities in FirePass v5.2. For more information on FirePass controller, visit

About F5 Networks

F5 enables organizations to successfully deliver business-critical applications and gives them the greatest level of agility to stay ahead of growing business demands. As the pioneer and global leader in Application Traffic Management, F5 continues to lead the industry by driving more intelligence into the network to deliver advanced application agility. F5 products ensure the secure and optimized delivery of applications to any user - anywhere. Through its flexible and cohesive architecture, F5 delivers unmatched value by dramatically improving the way organizations serve their employees, customers and constituents, while lowering operational costs. Over 6,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their businesses running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information go to

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This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.