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F5 Delivers on Dynamic Data Center Vision with New Application Control Plane Architecture

BIG-IP® v11 software speeds provisioning of services, provides application-centric view of the network infrastructure, and offers coordinated protection against complex multilayer security attacks

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the release of its powerful BIG-IP® version 11 software. Building on F5’s vision of the dynamic data center, this new version speeds provisioning of services on an application-by-application basis, aligns IT functions and services more closely with business needs, and enables better visibility and reporting of IT resource utilization.

BIG-IP v11: Aligning Services with Specific Applications

BIG-IP v11 provides a comprehensive view of users, applications, and the network, enabling IT teams to deploy and provision application services on a per-application basis as rapidly as they can provision virtual machines. Aligning the right services—such as authentication, data protection, traffic management, and acceleration—to each application provides a consistent user experience, especially as new applications are deployed or as existing applications are deployed across virtual and cloud environments.

“As applications are virtualized and deployed in the cloud, the network becomes an integral part of the application delivery infrastructure and ultimately defines user productivity,” said Karl Triebes, CTO and SVP of Product Development at F5. “With the rise of virtualization, an organization can go from a bare metal server to a running application in just minutes. However, it might take days if not weeks to provision the underlying network and application delivery services to make that application production-ready and available to users. With BIG-IP v11, F5 changes the traditional network paradigm and makes it as simple to provision the Application Delivery Network as it is to create new virtual machines. BIG-IP v11’s application control plane architecture aligns application control, visibility, and manageability, and allows additional services to be added on demand as current conditions require.”

With BIG-IP v11, organizations can deploy applications up to 100x faster, enabling them to quickly react to changes in business needs. By managing application services as a whole rather than as individual devices and objects, IT teams can streamline operations and dramatically lower OpEx. BIG-IP v11 enables application-specific configurations to move with applications as new instances are created locally, virtually, or in the cloud. Additionally, F5® solutions now provide application-specific intelligence for a variety of popular applications from vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and others.

Highlights of the New BIG-IP v11 Solution

BIG-IP v11 gives organizations the power to configure, monitor, grow, and secure their business applications independently to gain greater efficiency, increase agility, and reduce CapEx and OpEx.

Quickly Deploy and Optimize Applications with F5’s iApps Technology

BIG-IP v11’s powerful new iApps technology simplifies deployment of application service, enabling 10–100x faster provisioning and deployment. Individual iApps leverage easy-to-use templates to associate specific sets of services with single, per-application policies that are portable—even as the application itself moves beyond the walls of the physical data center. Now, for the first time, network services can be provisioned as rapidly as virtual machines, making the F5 Application Delivery Network the agile infrastructure that CIOs seek for their virtual data center and cloud architecture designs. As a complement to iApps capabilities, F5’s DevCentral community will provide technical expertise, guidance, and collaboration opportunities for developing, sharing, and customizing iApp templates.

Raise IT Efficiency with Enhanced Analytics and Management Capabilities

BIG-IP v11 provides IT teams with visibility into all infrastructure dependencies for particular application services. This gives them a business-centric view of the IT infrastructure and makes it possible to manage resource utilization on an application-by-application basis. Similarly, F5’s iApps analytics provides real-time visibility into application and user performance, allowing administrators to assess, isolate, and address problem areas and track the impact of adjustments. In addition, performance results can easily be captured and shared across IT teams, enabling different groups to view current conditions and make changes to optimize the overall application delivery infrastructure. Finally, based on the needs of individual applications, business leaders can work collaboratively with IT to make intelligent investment decisions and streamline operations.

Reduce OpEx and CapEx with Resilient and Elastic Pay-As-You-Grow Architecture

As a feature of the company’s innovative TMOS® architecture, F5 ScaleN(TM) functionality enables customers to seamlessly scale up or scale out on demand. The BIG-IP v11 release enables customers to take full advantage of F5’s previously announced Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP) technology, combining virtualization and multi-tenancy capabilities to simultaneously run multiple instances of BIG-IP solutions on a single device. In addition, ScaleN technology enables multi-way clustering between devices to create a pool of application delivery services that is both elastic and highly resilient. For easy management, ScaleN allows multiple active devices to look like one solution, and also provides the ability to distribute load across Application Delivery Controllers on an application-by-application basis. With ScaleN, application delivery workloads can now to be moved as easily as virtual server workloads.

Protect Corporate Assets with Unified Network and Application Security Services

In traditional data center environments, security services are usually delivered as point solutions and applied universally across all users, devices, and applications without sensitivity to the specific requirements of individual applications. Additionally, traditional security approaches often involve combining various technologies that are unable to communicate and coordinate responses. Recently, this lack of coordination has opened the door to an onslaught of highly publicized attacks. F5 security solutions provide coordinated attack protection against complex multilayer attacks by integrating security services from layer 2 through layer 7, and by using intelligence and context to apply the appropriate set of security measures for each threat. BIG-IP v11 offers integrated access control services, an enhanced web application firewall, and new DNS infrastructure offload and scalability functions to automatically mitigate attacks. These new services work together to provide scalable security that matches the needs of the dynamic data center, protecting users, applications, and data. For a closer look at F5’s enhanced security capabilities, a separate press release has also been issued today.

Supporting Quotes

“CIO’s are increasingly focused on improving the success of the business—either through technologies to help drive customer growth and satisfaction or to make the business more efficient to drive further investments or bottom line growth,” said Mark Fabbi, VP, Distinguished Analyst, Gartner. “To support the requirement for a more agile IT organization that can operate at the speed of business, the most critical CIO strategy for 2011 is to develop a more flexible infrastructure.”

“We always strive to help our customers get more value out of their Unified Communications environments, whether it’s optimizing the user experience or streamlining IT staff deployment of the application,” said Kapil Sharma, Principal Group Program Manager of Lync Partner Engineering at Microsoft. “F5’s release of iApp for Microsoft Lync will enable our joint customers to more rapidly deploy Lync application services while increasing availability and performance for users. iApps’ unique ability to automatically apply all necessary application delivery services specific to Lync environments will also help reduce errors caused by manual configuration.”

“It’s no secret that dynamic infrastructures are necessary to effectively support applications—especially as organizations pursue the savings associated with cloud deployments,” said Marc Malizia, CTO at RKON. “With F5, customers have an intelligent, flexible solution that can take into account their organizations’ evolving mix of applications and overall goals. Specifically, F5’s innovative iApps technology provides an easy way for customers to simplify application deployment and automate configurations for optimum performance. We’re excited to offer F5’s latest solutions, and anticipate our customers will be eager to take advantage of the new capabilities in BIG-IP version 11 as well.”

“As an IT group that serves multiple school districts, counties, and states, it’s not feasible or efficient to continuously update and customize configurations to ensure high performance and availability,” said Jason Radford, System Administrator, IlliniCloud and Bloomington Public Schools. “With BIG-IP solutions and iApps, we can manage services from a central point, quickly deploy applications, and roll out any necessary configuration changes seamlessly throughout our entire cloud infrastructure. Because F5 can comprehensively address application delivery, we’re also able to capitalize on the products’ powerful orchestration and automation capabilities to efficiently scale IT services.”

Availability

BIG-IP version 11 software and virtual editions of F5’s BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, Application Security Manager, and WAN Optimization Manager products will be available in the third quarter of calendar year 2011.

About F5

F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), helps the world’s largest enterprises and service providers realize the full value of virtualization, cloud computing, and on-demand IT. F5® solutions help integrate disparate technologies to provide greater control of the infrastructure, improve application delivery and data management, and give users seamless, secure, and accelerated access to applications from their corporate desktops and smart devices. An open architectural framework enables F5 customers to apply business policies at “strategic points of control” across the IT infrastructure and into the public cloud. F5 products give customers the agility they need to align IT with changing business conditions, deploy scalable solutions on demand, and manage mobile access to data and services. Enterprises, service and cloud providers, and leading online companies worldwide rely on F5 to optimize their IT investments and drive business forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on 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, DevCentral, TMOS, vCMP, iApps, Global Traffic Manager, Application Security Manager, WAN Optimization Manager, and ScaleN are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. 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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