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F5 Helps Communications Service Providers Meet Unprecedented Growth in Mobile Traffic with New DNS Services

F5’s intelligent Domain Name System (DNS) architecture enables CSPs to build flexible, secure, and scalable IP-based networks

SEATTLE – F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that its intelligent, carrier-grade Domain Name System (DNS) services enable Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to scale their DNS infrastructures more efficiently, significantly reduce costs, and more quickly deploy critical new revenue-generating services. With these services, F5 continues to fulfill its vision of Service Delivery Networking (SDN), providing a unified platform for CSPs to deliver voice, data, and video services on a single IP-based network.

“The landscape for communications service providers is shifting radically as data traffic grows relentlessly and traditional business models move from circuit-based voice to all-IP services,” said Akshay Sharma, Research Director at Gartner. “With these changes, DNS services, which have never before taken center stage for CSPs, are more important than ever. They must be rock-solid—secure, flexible, and sophisticated enough to enable CSPs to manage distributed traffic intelligently and scale in capacity while keeping the DNS footprint and infrastructure costs to a minimum.”

CSP Business Challenges

As the number and type of mobile devices increases and subscribers demand more sophisticated multimedia services, mobile traffic continues to grow at unprecedented rates. Gartner expects mobile data traffic to grow 26-fold worldwide between 2010 and 20151. Existing CSP networks are already feeling the strain, and the volume of traffic will only increase as voice services move to all IP-based networks.

To meet these challenges, CSPs’ IP networks—and the DNS infrastructures that support them—must evolve. If the DNS infrastructure fails, subscribers cannot access services. Because DNS services are the “first stop” for every mobile Internet connection—translating a user’s request for a website to the required IP address—CSPs need a stable, intelligent, scalable, and dynamic DNS infrastructure.

The DNS infrastructure must also stand up to escalating security threats such as DDoS attacks, hijacked websites, and mobile phone malware. These attacks can cause DNS servers to fail, jeopardizing the safety of applications and data, causing potentially devastating financial consequences, and making it more difficult for CSPs to deliver a quality user experience.

“It often comes as a surprise when CSPs realize their existing DNS infrastructures can’t sustain current traffic demand, let alone handle the increases from voice over IP and other new service offerings,” said Erik Giesa, VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at F5. “What’s more, they’re finding the traditional approach of adding more DNS servers no longer solves the problem—it’s prohibitively expensive, won’t scale linearly, and can’t deliver the capacity needed to handle millions of DNS requests per second. Today, the average high-performance DNS server only handles about 120,000 requests per second. With F5’s new DNS services, CSPs can efficiently manage this deluge of IP traffic.”

F5 Solution Highlights

With F5’s carrier-grade DNS services, CSPs can build out flexible, reliable, and secure IP networks that meet immediate and future traffic demands, reduce complexity and costs, and help them continue to deliver quality of experience for subscribers. Benefits include:

  • High-performance DNS services – F5’s chassis-based systems deliver high performance, responding to more than 15 times the volume of requests handled by traditional DNS servers.
  • Unparalleled scalability – By handling millions of DNS requests per second, F5’s DNS solution significantly offloads existing DNS servers. This enables CSPs to more efficiently use network resources and eliminates the need to continually add more DNS servers to meet increasing traffic demands. In addition, new services can be added to the network transparently without disrupting existing services.
  • Policy-based global traffic management – User requests and application services can be distributed within and across data centers based on business policies, data center and network conditions, and application performance, enabling a more intelligent and responsive DNS infrastructure.
  • High availability of applications and services – F5’s DNS solution provides global server load balancing to help ensure high availability of mission critical and revenue-generating applications and services. High availability helps improve quality of experience, which in turn reduces churn and protects average revenue per user (ARPU).
  • Superior security – Because F5’s DNS services can handle an extremely high volume of requests per second, the DNS infrastructure is able to withstand DDoS attacks. F5’s DNS solution also helps protect users by blocking known malware sites and ensuring that DNS responses are delivered from valid or trusted sites.
  • Reduced complexity and cost – Providing intelligence, high performance, and unmatched scalability, F5’s DNS solution helps CSPs simplify their DNS infrastructures and more effectively manage their capital expenditures.

Service Providers Cite Improved Scalability, Availability, and Cost Control with F5

TechValidate, an independent research organization, analyzed data collected from F5 CSP customers that have experience using F5® BIG-IP® solutions. The TechValidate findings below illustrate the value F5’s solutions bring to CSPs:

  • F5’s DNS functions are essential in improving scale, availability, and user experience – A global 500 telecommunications services company reported that their F5 BIG-IP products play a crucial role in delivering intelligent load balancing and traffic steering, global load balancing of DNS services, and web acceleration to their customers. Source: Engineer, Global 500 Telecommunications Services Company. TechValidate, TVID: 5DE-29D-631
  • F5 solutions provide high QoE for customers – “We are able to provide a redundant solution for various end customer products and spread them across geographic locations in order to provide a high quality experience for our customers.” Source: IT Director, Global 500 Telecommunications Services Company. TechValidate, TVID: 4EA-26E-819
  • F5 cost-effectively manages mobile data growth while exceeding user expectations – A Global 500 telecommunications services company was able to scale to meet rapid data growth, control infrastructure costs, and meet/exceed demanding end-user expectations by using their F5 BIG-IP products. Source: Engineer, Global 500 Telecommunications Services Company. TechValidate, TVID: A91-F7B-CE9


F5’s DNS services are available today with BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager (GTM) and BIG-IP version 11 software.

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

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F5, BIG-IP, Global Traffic Manager, GTM, and DevCentral 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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[1]Gartner, Inc. Forecast: Mobile Data Traffic and Revenue, Worldwide, 2010-2015, Jessica Ekholm and Sylvain Fabre, 4 July 2011

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