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F5 Networks Announces Availability of the BIG-IP Link Controller 2000, Delivering High Availability and Reducing Cost of Network Connectivity

Solution provides transparent link and ISP load balancing for multi-homed networks to increase the scalability, performance and ROI for corporate connectivity

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Internet Traffic and Content Management (iTCM) products, today announced the availability of the BIG-IP® Link Controller 2000, which provides high availability for sites with multiple wide area links or ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The solution is transparent to users and ISPs, and lowers the cost and deployment complexities for enterprises that need to protect their data centers from connection failures.

"The BIG-IP Link Controller is designed to give us the assurance we need to deliver on our goals of 99.999% uptime and optimal network performance by eliminating the points of failure that could impact network connectivity or performance," said Matt Smith, Data Center Operations Manager at Risk Laboratories, LLC. "In the past we've experienced ISP outages that have impacted our ability to service our customers. With F5's solution, we maintain control of's availability instead of depending on competing providers to resolve connection problems and we're able to actually lower the cost for our corporate connectivity."

Reducing the Cost of Reliable Connectivity

With the BIG-IP Link Controller, enterprises can actually gain flexibility in how they can acquire and utilize bandwidth for their site, which has a direct impact on lowering the cost and increasing return on investment (ROI) for corporate connectivity. Enterprises can seamlessly aggregate any type of connection (DSL, T1, T3, E1, etc.) into a unified "virtual link" while maintaining protection against unforeseen failures. By aggregating lower cost connections, enterprises gain complete flexibility in scaling their bandwidth; reducing over-provisioning and making use of connections that would otherwise be in a standby-only mode due to configuration challenges. The BIG-IP Link Controller seamlessly directs traffic to the best connection in order to efficiently use bandwidth resources and send users over the best Internet link to achieve superior performance.

The BIG-IP Link Controller also provides powerful Link Cost load balancing, giving enterprises the capability to direct traffic over the least expensive link and maximize ROI of communication costs. For connections that have tiered costs like 'burstable' lines, enterprises can actually lower their bandwidth bill and eliminate costly spikes in traffic when lower cost connections can be used.

"As enterprises increase their use of the Internet to deliver mission-critical applications and web services, maintaining just one link to the Internet could represent a single point of failure," said Mark Fabbi, vice-president and research director at Gartner, Inc. "Once an organization has multiple links, they'll require a comprehensive solution for traffic management to maximize utilization and further drive down the cost of bandwidth."

About the BIG-IP Link Controller 2000

BIG-IP Link Controller addresses the needs of any organization that requires reliable connectivity, increased traffic control and improved scalability of their Internet connections. The BIG-IP Link Controller offers:

Reliable, efficient and low cost data center connectivity. The solution provides end-to-end, reliable connectivity through its ability to monitor the health, capacity, performance and cost of each connection and dynamically direct traffic across the best available link.

Policy-based traffic control. The solution provides granular traffic control for any IP network gateway, allowing users to define how traffic is distributed across their links in a way that meets their business priorities.

Evaluate ISP performance with the Internet Link Evaluator. The solution provides statistics and monitoring to aid enterprises in evaluating service and performance offered by an ISP.

A consolidated solution for the enterprise gateway. The BIG-IP Link Controller includes integrated Firewall Load Balancing to manage the traffic to redundant firewalls and expands the capacity of firewall security. As an organization's needs change, the BIG-IP Link Controller provides a simple upgrade path to expand its capabilities to include F5's award winning, comprehensive local and global traffic management capabilities.

"Organizations are always faced with providing highly available connectivity in a cost effective manner," said Dan Matte, vice-president of product management and marketing at F5 Networks. "In these economic times, our customers are redoubling their efforts in this area. The BIG-IP Link Controller addresses two important areas of concern: improving link availability and performance so business critical applications are always available, and reducing expenses of wide area communications."

Pricing and Availability

The BIG-IP Link Controller is delivered on a BIG-IP 2000 IP application switch platform and is priced at U.S. list $19,990 for a single device and $37,990 for a redundant pair. The product is available at the end of March 2002. A white paper on Link Load Balancing for multi-homed networks is available at

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the leader in Internet Traffic and Content Management (iTCM), and delivers application aware networks through its open Internet Control Architecture. F5 features the industry's leading set of integrated products and services that manage, control and optimize Internet traffic and content. Our solutions automatically and intelligently deliver the best possible Internet performance, availability and content distribution for service providers, enterprises and e-businesses. Our products remove bandwidth congestion and optimize the availability and speed of mission-critical Internet servers and applications, including web publishing, content delivery, e-commerce, caching, firewalls and more. Our solutions are widely deployed in large enterprises, the top service providers, financial institutions, government agencies, healthcare, and portals throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. F5 Networks is located on the web at

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