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F5 Delivers Essential Solutions Enabling Service Providers to Cost Effectively Support Mobile Traffic Growth

F5 launches a suite of unified service delivery solutions for mobile operators and new carrier-class hardware to ensure massive scalability, high availability, and rapid provisioning of new premium services

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced an array of new solutions customized for global service providers. These solutions enable providers to cost effectively scale their service offerings and address the brisk growth of mobile IP traffic (voice, data, and video) while increasing the control and flexibility of their networks. F5’s offerings help service providers balance the cost of delivering differentiated services, increase average revenue per user (ARPU), and ensure excellent user experience.

With today’s news, F5 has defined a new market category for Service Delivery Networking (SDN), offering mobile operators a unified platform to deliver converged, full proxy IP services for voice, data, and video. By offering a set of integrated solutions for service and subscriber management—such as intelligent traffic steering, large-scale IPv4 to IPv6 translation, secure DNS traffic management, traffic optimization and acceleration, and policy enforcement—F5® SDN solutions provide a holistic architectural approach to solve the challenges mobile operators face today.

In addition, F5 is extending its carrier-class hardware with the release of two new NEBS compliant platforms: a BIG-IP® 11050 platform and a VIPRION® Performance Blade 200 that scales to over six million L7 requests per second.

“Until now service providers have been forced to take a piecemeal approach when deploying service delivery solutions for voice, data, and video, using multiple point products that significantly increase costs and complexity, and don’t scale very well,” said Erik Giesa, VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at F5. “Years ago, we witnessed the same evolution within the enterprise market where customers needed to move towards an all IP-based environment in order to cost effectively support user demands and business requirements. With Service Delivery Networking, F5 is extending the value its network and application fluency can bring to service providers, enabling them to break out of costly, conventional infrastructure models while adhering to industry standards and architectures like 3GPP, 3GPP2, NEBS, and IMS.”

“F5’s approach of an intelligent, end-to-end service delivery network designed to support any kind of traffic—whether it’s voice, video, or data—plays a vital role in supporting a converged infrastructure,” said Colin Holland, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technical Operations at Cricket Communications, Inc. “Effectively managing our network is one of the ways Cricket maintains its industry-leading cost structure. F5’s service delivery solutions provide significant scale and intelligent steering of mobile IP services to ensure our customers enjoy superior performance and reliability.”

“To regain control and profitability of their rapidly growing mobile broadband networks, mobile operators need to evolve how they offer and bill for IP-based services,” said John Mazur, Ovum IP Infrastructure Principal Analyst. “They can’t afford to wait for 3GPP R8 evolved packet cores. They need to upgrade 2G and 3G mobile IP cores now with a high performance control plane capability so they can integrate IP routing and servers to optimize the performance of multiple applications.”

Details

F5’s Service Delivery Networking solutions are available on a common platform that combines a set of integrated services with context-awareness, service intelligence, and dynamic adaptability. This enables service providers to effectively manage and steer traffic based upon subscriber policies, device type, geolocation, and network conditions, giving them the agility they need to cost effectively satisfy changing market demands and manage the explosive growth of mobile data traffic.

One of the most powerful aspects of the SDN approach is F5’s rich and dynamic support of the Diameter protocol and related systems. This positions F5’s SDN technologies as key components of any 3G, LTE, or IMS network, and adds a new level of service intelligence for operators seeking to roll out new products and value-added services quickly, cost effectively, and on a massive scale.

Highlights of F5’s integrated service delivery solutions include:

  • More flexible pricing models and reduced server requirements – F5’s advanced solutions provide contextual user and traffic awareness to allow service providers to make dynamic, policy-based traffic steering decisions and enable them to offer premium opt-in services and flexible pricing models. It also allows them to dynamically provision resources as needed, helping to reduce server requirements by approximately one-third.
     
  • Seamless transition to IPv6 – F5’s IPv6 Gateway enables a service provider to manage and deliver applications across an IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure simultaneously. As an integrated service, it reduces CapEx and OpEx by eliminating the need to maintain two separate systems: one for IPv4 and one for IPv6.
     
  • Massive scale for device and network resources – F5’s large-scale Network Address Translation (NAT) solution provides scalable NAT services at one-third the cost of firewalls, and lowers CapEx and OpEx by offloading security features from firewalls. This integrated service scales up to 64 million concurrent NAT sessions in a single F5 device.
     
  • Superior user experience and security – F5’s secure DNS solution provides massive scaling, monitoring, and high availability for DNS services, while protecting against malicious DoS attacks. Supported by F5’s carrier-class hardware, the solution distributes user application requests based upon policies, as well as data center and network conditions.


F5’s Ecosystem of Technology Partnerships

To further address market needs, F5 continues to build a global ecosystem of technology partnerships with companies like Bridgewater Systems, Bytemobile, Ericsson, Flash Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks, Openwave Systems, Vantrix, and Volubill, each of which leverage F5’s SDN capabilities to deliver best-in-class service provider solutions.

Flash Networks

Together, Flash Networks’ Harmony Mobile Internet Services Gateway and F5 solutions ensure that mobile operator networks can efficiently handle the dynamic nature of mobile content while optimizing their customers’ experience.

“With the integration of Harmony and F5’s powerful BIG-IP and VIPRION systems, we are able to deliver advanced video optimization and other intelligent, scalable traffic solutions to address challenges posed by rapid data traffic growth,” said Merav Bahat, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Flash Networks. “Already with many successful joint deployments, we are looking forward to expanding our partnership and our joint solution portfolio to help mobile operators globally to manage their traffic growth and provide a personalized user experience.”

Openwave Systems

Collaboration between F5 and Openwave provides integration of the two companies’ products to enable smart, dynamic policy control and enforcement with user- and service-level awareness as part of Openwave’s traffic mediation solutions for wireless operators worldwide.

“Mobile operators are embracing the value in Openwave’s and F5’s IP traffic mediation and service orchestration capabilities,” said John Giere, SVP of Marketing at Openwave. “The combined solution is designed to help operators effectively manage, monitor, and monetize an ever increasing volume of mobile traffic from an equally diverse set of mobile users, devices, and internet content—all from a single point of control in the network.”

Vantrix

Vantrix improves mobile and converged video capabilities for customers by ensuring that content is delivered cost effectively and with the best possible user experience. Vantrix uses F5 carrier-grade infrastructure for real-time intelligent traffic management in its leading Bandwidth Optimization solution.

“As mobile data explodes and video becomes the dominant content on mobile networks, F5 helps Vantrix to intelligently manage traffic,” said Jean Mayrand, CTO and co-founder of Vantrix. “F5 and Vantrix integrated technologies provide a best-in-class solution to address traffic optimization in a cost effective manner, as well as provide an outstanding quality of experience for users.”

Volubill

Volubill’s CHARGE IT and CONTROL IT products have been tested and integrated with F5’s BIG-IP solutions. F5’s advanced capabilities such as its iRules® technology, combined with Volubill’s policy management and enforcement, give providers a greater understanding of network traffic, enabling them to more accurately personalize subscriber services and, in turn, increase the quality of experience.

“Volubill is proud to have forged an alliance with F5 Networks,” said Rick Woods, VP Americas for Volubill. “Both companies are committed to assisting service providers as they tackle the challenge of balancing the increasing demands on the network with that of customer satisfaction. Even with the increased capacity and efficiency gains expected from LTE and other 4G technologies, operators will need to explore options for managing traffic on their networks. This alliance contributes to those options.”

Availability

F5’s Service Delivery Networking solutions are available today. The NEBS compliant VIPRION Performance Blade 200 and a BIG-IP 11050 platform will be available by the end of calendar year 2010.

About F5

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), focused on ensuring the secure, reliable, and fast delivery of applications. F5’s flexible architectural framework enables community-driven innovation that helps organizations enhance IT agility and dynamically deliver services that generate true business value. F5’s vision of unified application and data delivery offers customers an unprecedented level of choice in how they deploy ADN solutions. It redefines the management of application, server, storage, and network resources, streamlining application delivery and reducing costs. Global enterprise organizations, service and cloud providers, and Web 2.0 content providers trust F5 to keep their business moving forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technology. For a complete listing of F5 community sites, please visit www.f5.com/news-press-events/web-media/community.html

F5, BIG-IP, VIPRION, IPv6 Gateway, and iRules are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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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.

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