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F5 Networks Announces Winners of iRules Contest

Wide range of iRule entries demonstrates business value and showcases unique power of BIG-IP and TMOS platform for developing application-fluent solutions solving real-world application delivery challenges

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the winners of its first annual DevCentral iRule Contest titled "iRule, Do You?" Out of hundreds of submissions from around the world, six application developers and network professionals from several different countries were recognized for their BIG-IP® iRules development expertise by a panel of industry experts. These real-world customer demonstrations of iRules, TMOS, and BIG-IP set the bar for all other vendors who may claim application fluency or awareness.

"We were impressed not only with the breath and depth of applications submitted for the contest, but especially with the real-world benefits the deployments delivered for each organization," said Ron Schmelzer, Senior Analyst with ZapThink and a contest judge. "While many of these entries address challenges that could be resolved by recoding applications, it is significant that people are solving them with iRules instead. By choosing iRules for these functions, it is clear that this technology provides a variety of advantages in terms of cost reduction, productivity increases, or improvements in security, reliability, accessibility and performance over other alternatives. In some cases, these entries resolve issues that cannot be addressed in the application and also enable new possibilities not available in existing technologies."

Complete information on the winning iRules, including the actual iRules themselves, can be found at . The winners are:

Customer Division:

  • First Place iRule: "non_local_redirect" by Jason Rahm, (USA)
    Written to address global persistence challenges associated with a thick client application, this iRule utilizes powerful array capabilities and cookies to ensure that client connections are always directed to the appropriate datacenter for the best user experience while overcoming database replication latency.
  • Second Place iRule: "SOAP HTTPS Handler" by Pete Watts, (UK)
    To overcome a common challenge when terminating SSL for Web service calls, this iRule expertly overcomes embedded URL issues with SOAP requests by rewriting the requests as needed while also reducing load on SOAP servers. The result is easier ongoing maintenance with reduced development effort.
  • Third Place iRule: "SOCKS 5 SSL Persistence" by Adam Kramer, (USA)
    This iRule addresses application persistence challenges associated with a proprietary service. By handling SOCKS and SSL protocol negotiation through binary rewrites, this iRule not only reduces server outages and increases customer satisfaction, it is a great example of the unique, far-reaching power of iRules and TMOS.

Partner Division:

  • First Place iRule: "SMTP Threat Detection and Response" by Peter Cox, BorderWare Technologies Inc. (Canada)
    To help enterprises and service providers successfully address email virus and spam challenges, Borderware has integrated its MXtreme™ product via iRules and iControl to provide enhanced threat detection. The result is a more scalable, easy-to-manage, integrated security solution which dramatically reduces incoming traffic volume.
  • Second Place iRule: "Client-SSL" by Thomas Laubrock, help AG (Germany)
    In order to deal with browsers that can easily spoof client credentials, this iRule improves application security by providing SSL sign-on and session handling in addition to logging for later review.
  • Third Place iRule: "Referrer Rule Map" by JiaXin Di, SINOGRID (China)
    To reduce the amount of code required to ensure that referring client connections are valid, this iRule utilizes the "class" function to build groups of allowable referrers. The end result is an iRule that reduces server load while reducing custom development needed to support this requirement.

"We created an iRule that can reduce total incoming traffic by more than 50 percent for considerable cost savings," said Peter Cox, Vice President of Product Management, Borderware, a F5 partner in Canada. "By writing an iRule that enables an MXtreme mail firewall to automatically update the BIG-IP with threat information , we have drastically reduced the time an organization spends on manually blacklisting or rate shaping email traffic on the BIG-IP. This enables customers to increase security, save on network bandwidth and improve performance without the associated administrative overhead using a very basic iRule."

"We received entries from across the globe representing solutions to address straightforward issues and complex problems," said Karl Triebes, CTO and SVP of Product Development at F5 Networks. "The diversity of applications is significant and a testament to the unique flexibility of iRules and BIG-IP, featuring TMOS, and its ability to successfully address real IP application networking challenges. Proof of the impact iRules offer is clear as more than 75 percent of the iRule entries received are already deployed and delivering high-impact benefits in production scenarios. This first annual contest illustrates the uniqueness of F5 solutions, the creativity of our customers and partners, and the boundless possibilities for iRules. Now, organizations worldwide can benefit from these examples to further enhance the performance, availability, security and manageability of their own IP applications."

About the "iRule, Do You?" Contest

Entries in the iRule contest were evaluated on a weighted scale for innovation, creativity, and business applicability by a panel of leading industry press and analysts, as well as the F5 DevCentral team of iRule experts. Industry expert judges include Lori MacVittie of Network Computing Magazine, Joel Conover of analyst firm Current Analysis, and Ronald Schmelzer and Jason Bloomberg, both of analyst firm ZapThink. The top three iRule entries in the customer division will be awarded prizes and all contestants will receive a limited edition iRule t-shirt for their submission.

About iRules

iRules, an exclusive application-fluent F5 technology, are customizable commands that leverage the power of F5's unique TMOS platform. It defines how F5 products secure, optimize, and deliver any bi-directional IP application traffic or flow, giving customers complete and granular control over their application traffic. Based on the popular Tool Command Language (TCL) syntax and F5-specific extensions, iRules enable enterprises, service providers, and e-businesses to offload costly application functions that previously had to be performed by the applications themselves. With so many distributed applications, this centralized functional capability saves customers a tremendous amount of development work and can ensure successful application implementations without having to change the network or the application.

To assist customers and partners with learning more about iRules and iControl, F5 created DevCentral ( over two years ago. The popularity of this unique resource is evident in its rapidly growing community of over 5,500 application developers, network professionals and IT architects worldwide. DevCentral is the only web site and community on the Internet offering practical, real-world solutions and discussions to bridge the traditional gap that has existed between application developers and network professionals. While free of charge, DevCentral is a rich resource offering tools, techniques, and collaboration to help the F5 user community build solutions with iControl and iRules.

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, protection for the application and the network, and delivers application reliability - all on one universal platform. Over 9,000 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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