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F5 Launches One-stop Resource Portal to Help Customers Evaluate and Deploy Application Optimization Solutions

Comprehensive resource center features real-world performance metrics, application-specific deployment guides, and tools to help customers analyze cost savings
F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Traffic Management, today announced that it has set up a comprehensive resource portal http://www.f5.com/solutions/AppOpt.html where customers and potential customers can learn more about F5's application acceleration technology, see the benefits it can provide in their particular environment, and learn how to deploy it to improve the performance of specific applications. The resource portal includes (1) a detailed explanation of the performance improvement metrics obtained using the Gómez® Performance Network, an award-winning third-party tool for analyzing application performance under real-world conditions; (2) a compression tool that evaluates the results that F5 compression technology can deliver under different connectivity scenarios, including calculations of end-user response time improvements and the resulting bandwidth savings; and (3) solution overviews and step-by-step deployment guidelines for using F5's family of BIG-IP products to improve the performance of enterprise applications from Microsoft, Siebel, Oracle, and BEA.

Real-World Testing with the Gomez Performance Network

To verify the degree of optimization and acceleration that these technologies deliver, F5 used the Gómez Performance Network to compare results before and after installing BIG-IP. This tool, consisting of a network of over 10,000 distributed computers around the world, differs from most other performance-measurement tools in that it is based on actual end-user Internet connections. Therefore, its measurements take into account such real-world problems as latency and out-of-order-packets. In addition, the tests simulate complete user sessions, averaged over several days and thousands of repeated tests, rather than consisting of single-page hit requests. The real-world nature of these tests means that the results are much more realistic than tests made under lab conditions and promoted by WAN optimization vendors.

To further simulate real-world conditions, F5 chose to run the tests on applications that enterprises commonly use over a WAN. These included BEA WebLogic Portal, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft Outlook Web Access, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Services, and Siebel Business Applications. While the tests were run specifically on BIG-IP Application Accelerator, customers can expect to achieve these same results running any BIG-IP platform running v 9.0.5.

According to the Gómez Performance Network, on average the BIG-IP system improved end-user response times by two times or more; reduced bandwidth utilization by more than 75%, reduced the occurrence of browser timeouts over slow links by more than 80%, and offloaded up to 98% of connections from the servers. In addition, BIG-IP offloaded an average of 36% of the content serving and 95% of the TCP connections from backend servers, enabling servers to handle twice the workload that they could before. It also provided a 322% average increase in bandwidth utilization efficiency and reduced the number of TCP timeouts and resets seen by clients by up to 50%.

"Well defined, real-world performance testing is critical to the continued growth of the application acceleration market" adds Mark Fabbi, Vice President & Distinguished Analyst, Enterprise Communications at Gartner, Inc. "It's difficult to make a major purchase decision without a thorough understanding of the benefits provided. Support for an open, standard test methodology will help to justify a purchase decision. Documenting test results, configurations and solutions clearly help enterprises make the most effective use of their resources."

Compression Tool for Demonstrating Savings in Download Time

The F5 Resource Portal includes an online compression tool that potential customers can use to find out the performance improvements they will realize by using BIG-IP before making a purchase decision. The compression tool asks for the URL of the Web page to be tested for compression and then generates a report showing how much smaller the compressed page is and how much faster end-user response time is with compression, as well as providing estimates of how much bandwidth will be saved by deploying this technology.

Documentation for Implementing BIG-IP Technology

Also included in the F5 Resource Portal are Solution Briefs and Deployment Guides that will help customers fine-tune BIG-IP technology to get the best performance out of several popular applications, including BEA WebLogic Portal, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft Outlook Web Access, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Services, and Siebel Business Applications. For each of these applications, a solution brief provides a high-level overview, outlining the performance needs of that particular application and the benefits provided by BIG-IP. The deployment guides provide step-by-step guidelines for implementing BIG-IP so as to maximize performance. By following these guidelines, companies are able to reproduce the results obtained through the Gómez Performance Network.

"F5's application optimization resource center is one more example of F5's continuous efforts to help our customers understand and maximize the benefits of our technology," says Erik Giesa, F5 Vice President of Product Management and Marketing. "It's not enough to know that it will interoperate with their existing IT applications; they want to find out what specific benefits they can realize and how to implement the technology. Now they have one place they can go to get all the information they need-from real-world evidence of performance improvements, to calculations of response time and bandwidth savings, to deployment documentation explaining how to get the best results with specific applications."

About F5 Networks

F5 enables organizations to successfully deliver business-critical applications and gives them the greatest level of agility to stay ahead of growing business demands. As the pioneer and global leader in Application Traffic Management, F5 continues to lead the industry by driving more intelligence into the network to deliver advanced application agility. F5 products ensure the secure and optimized delivery of applications to any user-anywhere. Through its flexible and cohesive architecture, F5 delivers unmatched value by dramatically improving the way organizations serve their employees, customers and constituents, while lowering operational costs. Over 9,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their businesses running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information go to www.f5.com

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