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F5 Networks' BIG-IP Link Controller Maximizes the Reliability and ROI for Enterprise Connectivity

New BIG-IP Link Controller software and hardware platforms enhance F5's intelligent routing solution and make costly and complex BGP solutions obsolete.

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Application Traffic Management solutions, today announced its newest version of the award-winning BIG-IP® Link Controller, which provides customer with highly reliable network connections by managing inbound/outbound traffic over multiple Internet Service Provider (ISP) links. Additionally, the BIG-IP Link Controller is now available on two new platforms, the BIG-IP 1000 and 2400 IP Application Switches, to meet a wider range of traffic types and levels that enterprises may have.

Gartner Research states that Gartner anticipates that the Internet backbone will become 3 times less reliable by 2006, primarily due to economic pressures that ISPs are facing and increasing network complexity. "Enterprises that do not build diversity and redundancy into their corporate networks put their business operations at a huge risk," said Ted Chamberlin, networking analyst, Gartner. "Single, un-managed Internet links are one such example of single points of failure. Hence, one of the best ROI strategies for enterprises concerned about high availability is to have redundant ISP links and employ a solution that effectively switches traffic over the best link. Link load balancing solutions mitigate risk and can provide superior bandwidth flexibility and performance by sending users over the optimal route."

The BIG-IP Link Controller has been enhanced with new features to make it more effective and simpler for customers to optimize the performance and minimize the costs of managing a multi-homed site. Key new features include:

  • L2 Bridging Support - Deploying the solution does not require address changes to firewalls or other networking topologies, making it easier for customers to evaluate the product and reduce deployment risks.
  • NEW GUI - Simplified administration creates new link setup wizards and a reorganized GUI for simplified and reduced administration.
  • Enhanced 'Price' Load Balancing - The BIG-IP Link Controller now supports Duplex and P95 Billing options, allowing customers to lower bandwidth spending for a broader array of ISP billing models.
  • Two new hardware platforms supported:
    BIG-IP Link Controller 1000 - Targeted at customers with more modest traffic management needs, this platform offers superior price/performance.
    BIG-IP Link Controller 2400 - For enterprises with intense Layer 4 requirements and Layer 7 processing needs, this platform offers a high performance solution supported by F5's new Packet Velocity™ ASIC.

"The BIG-IP Link Controller has been well received by our customers worldwide and we've incorporated their feedback to make it even easier for businesses to gain complete flexibility in scaling their bandwidth and eliminate over-provisioning to make better use of their connections," said Erik Giesa, senior director of product management at F5 Networks. "With the BIG-IP Link Controller, fail-over is instantaneous because issues are quickly detected and isolated, and users can immediately be routed over other links. And, we've added two new BIG-IP Application Switch platforms to address a broader range of customer requirements."

Pricing and Availability

The BIG-IP Link Controller version 4.5 is available today, with a list price starting at US$14,990.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the industry leader in Application Traffic Management, enabling enterprises and service providers to optimize any mission-critical application or web service, providing secure and predictable delivery of application traffic in an unpredictable environment. Through F5's unique open iControl API, third party applications and network devices can take an active role in shaping network traffic, delivering application aware networks that allow customers to direct traffic based on their exact business requirements. Our solutions optimize the availability, security and speed of mission-critical servers and applications, including enterprise applications, web services, mobile IP applications, web publishing, content delivery, e-commerce, caching, firewalls and more. F5's 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 Japan and Asia Pacific. F5 Networks is located on the web at

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