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F5 Helps CSG’s Content Direct Meet Stringent Customer Service Level Agreements

F5’s BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module accelerates data center to data center replication and improves bandwidth efficiency in Dell EqualLogic storage environment

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced that CSG Systems’ Content Direct, a platform of solutions that empower content creators, aggregators, and distributors to easily and effectively market, monetize, and manage content and customers, uses F5® BIG-IP® solutions to accelerate data replication across wide area networks (WANs) and improve bandwidth utilization.

CSG designed its Content Direct solution to give digital content owners a premier online content monetization and merchandising platform.  Developed using the best web technologies available, Content Direct delivers on a simple promise to client companies: deliver an operating platform, partner ecosystems, and business model to help clients promote and extend their brand, monetize digital content, and engage consumers through increased interactivity. Companies like Universal Sports and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) choose Content Direct as the proven solution for launching, scaling, and evolving a smart, results-focused digital content strategy.

Data protection and availability services are critical for Content Direct, which replicates data from its production data center in Illinois to a backup data center in Arizona, 1,700 miles away. A WAN with dedicated bandwidth links the two facilities, but low throughput and long data transfer times typical of WANs made remote replication difficult. Content Direct overcame the effects of the WAN’s limited bandwidth, high latency, and packet loss using F5’s BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM®) and BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module (WOM) solutions.

“The BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module perfectly complements the EqualLogic iSCSI SAN devices we use for data replication, making it a terrific solution for us,” said Geoff Preston, CTO of Content Direct at CSG. “We’ve dramatically reduced data replication times, and virtually all replications are now completed well within our target window. We’ve also seen a 3-to-1 improvement in bandwidth utilization. Overall, we’re thrilled with this solution because it helps us meet our customer SLAs.”


  • In each Content Direct data center, the BIG-IP devices sit between the firewall and the Dell EqualLogic SAN arrays.
  • Content Direct routes all EqualLogic replication traffic through the BIG-IP devices using iSessions, a secure network-tunneling feature exclusive to F5 that encrypts and accelerates data.
  • Because BIG-IP WOM is transparent to the EqualLogic replication process, the array replication configuration required no adjustments.
  • Content Direct implemented the WOM solution without any interruption in service.

Additional Quotes

“Web content providers supported by Content Direct need to scale up quickly, particularly during live events when large user spikes occur,” added Preston. “Because of the nature of the content they’re providing, our customers expect our services to be highly reliable—meaning there is little to no room for outages. With the F5/Dell solution, we now have plenty of headroom to sustain our current peak loads and handle additional capacity as we grow our business.”

“Optimizing site-to-site WAN traffic is an integral part of F5’s overall Application Delivery Networking strategy,” said Jason Needham, Senior Director of Product Management at F5. “F5’s WAN optimization technologies, and specifically the BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module, overcome the limitations of WANs, dramatically increasing throughput and maximizing bandwidth efficiency for all forms of traffic.  This capability becomes especially crucial where data replication is used to support business continuity and disaster recovery efforts.”

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