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F5 Introduces Intelligent Traffic Management Solution to Power Service Providers' Rollout of Multimedia Services

New release of F5's BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager brings best-of-class high availability, scalability, and security to multimedia applications and IMS components

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced a new release of its BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager (LTM), delivering unmatched, intelligent traffic management for multimedia services.

The highly flexible BIG-IP LTM is already embedded in many service provider networks around the world, enabling IP services to scale and solving tough interoperability issues. As carriers deploy rich multimedia applications and look toward migrating to an IMS infrastructure, the BIG-IP device ensures that these applications and networks scale to millions of users while maintaining reliability. These features allow service providers to create an intelligent, end-to-end service delivery network.

"F5's platform not only enables us to scale our targeted mobile video advertisements to multiple users, but is also flexible enough to support different mobile devices and carrier requirements," said Craig Holland, Senior Director of Operations and Integration at Rhythm NewMedia. "The new release of BIG-IP LTM will build on our ability to scale and provide a single interface to our systems."

Unmatched Intelligent Traffic Management for Multimedia Services

As the first vendor to deliver a comprehensive application delivery controller (ADC) solution for multimedia services and IMS infrastructure, F5's BIG-IP product performs application-layer switching for SIP, RTSP, and SCTP to provide scalability and high availability. Because this new release is the only solution that enables scalability and high availability for connection-based SCTP devices (for example, signaling gateways), it can also provide intelligent traffic management for service providers' migration from circuit-switched to packet-switched networks.

F5's modular TMOS platform, with its powerful iRules™ customization capabilities and high-performance proxy, enables BIG-IP LTM to act as a translator to solve interoperability challenges and application issues in IMS networks. TMOS also brings a wealth of security to IMS networks, including a full TCP and application proxy, optimized IP stacks, and virtual network segmentation. F5's iRules technology enables SIP, RTSP, and SCTP to be inspected, transformed, and redirected with complete flexibility, helping to bridge interoperability challenges and solve application issues.

"There are many point solutions for SIP and RTSP load balancing, but F5 is the first to deliver a comprehensive application delivery solution for multimedia services," said Jason Needham, Director of Product Management at F5. "Converged networks represent a great opportunity for service providers to grow, but they also require applications that meet the high quality demanded by users. As carriers look to capture new revenue streams and deploy multimedia services over existing and future IMS infrastructures, they can ensure that their applications are secure, fast, and available with BIG-IP LTM."

Highlights of the New BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager:

  • Improved availability of multimedia applications. IMS-ready, intelligent load balancing for equipment such as application servers and call session controllers provides high availability and enables carriers to scale their applications and IMS networks efficiently.
  • Complete flexibility for multimedia application delivery. BIG-IP LTM's full proxy and F5's iRules allow a single point to manage the complexities of multimedia application delivery, inspecting and transforming traffic at the connection level to help fix internetworking problems.
  • Enhances IMS infrastructure security. BIG-IP LTM recognizes common IP attacks against both the network and applications, blocking them before they reach critical applications and servers. Encryption offload enables application servers to dedicate resources to the application, with no processing cost to the core signaling servers.
  • Ensures quality of service for multimedia applications. With multimedia rate shaping, service providers can select which applications have priority and allocate bandwidth accordingly.
  • Carrier-class hardware. The BIG-IP platform offers carrier-class devices complete with a NEBS compliant option (BIG-IP 6400), DC and redundant power supply options, and redundant failover configurations. This gives carriers the options they need to meet the specific demands of their network.

"Two of the biggest problems faced by service providers are scalability and interoperability," said Mark Seery, VP, Switching and Routing, at Ovum RHK. "The ability to virtualize processing over multiple service control and application servers provides both scalability and high availability. In addition, the newness of both IMS protocols and the IMS service delivery architecture provides numerous interoperability and systems integration challenges. The ability to correct protocol and logic problems in a matter of hours, as opposed to the longer release schedules of a typical IMS component, is of significant benefit to service providers, especially during this time of transition."


The multimedia protocol support is available with a software upgrade to 9.4.2 on the 1500, 3400, 6400, 6800, 8400, and 8800 platforms. No additional license is needed. BIG-IP LTM 9.4.2 will be available in October 2007.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast and available for everyone, helping organizations get the most out of their investment. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications, F5 optimizes applications and allows them to work faster and consume fewer resources. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability-all on one universal platform. Over 10,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information, go to

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